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Offshore oil worker interview

Stacey Green, an operations manager for Quality Energy Services, has spent the past 19 years working in different jobs on offshore oil rigs.

Green, 39, works with wire line used to lower and retrieve tools and other equipment in oil and gas wells.

Green is not a two-weeks on, two-weeks off shift worker, but works on projects, staying offshore for as few as three days and as long as six weeks.

Green is not affiliated with the Deepwater Horizon, a $500 million rig that caught fire Tuesday night. The rig is owned and operated by Swiss-based Transocean and leased by Houston’s BP.

Green spoke to Chronicle reporter Brian Rogers about general conditions on offshore oil wells.

Read more at: Chron

The future of offshore banking and corporations

Assorted international currency notes.

Image via Wikipedia

No single person can perfectly predict the future of offshore banking and corporations. However, judging from the political positions of those nations that recognize offshore banking and those that do not, it is a clear indication that the future of offshore banking stands on shaky ground. Major nations highly criticize the practice, flagging it as a means of tax evasion for businessmen. This has led to these nations making additional tax agreements with partner nations. It is evident that many citizens of the nations that do not appreciate offshore banking are hungry for the tax benefit that comes with offshore banking and corporations and are thereby begging to be heard. The nations that do not recognize offshore banking claim that they are robbed of billions of dollars when their citizens go offshore, further destabilizing the future of the practice.

Not to mention the fact that offshore banking has been highly associated with terrorist and criminal acts – specifically the September 11 attack, further complicating the future system. Other than terrorism, the practice is believed to be used by criminals to cover their identity following acts of theft, money laundering, kidnapping and blackmail, which also challenge the stability of the practice.

With many offshore banking centers being located in remote areas, it is evident that the system suffers poor communication technology which complicates the success of the practice.

Work Life – Working Week and Shift

Drilling offshore by its very name implies that you will be working on a platform or ship in the middle of an ocean. It means you have to live on the site for a specified period and work a specific number of hours a day.

Number of Working Days

Oil rigs vary on their working day patterns but are consistent in providing the same number of days off as days on. So essentially whatever you earn for the year corresponds to 6 months of work on a rig. The schedule can vary from 14 days on and 14 days off, 21 days on and 21 days off or 28 days on and 28 days off. Very few organizations expect their workers to work longer than a 28-day stretch however if the replacement crew doesn’t arrive or the replacing worker fails to show up, extended support may be expected.

There are no off days on the rig. You will be expected to work on all the days of your schedule without any break. Similarly your time off is completely yours to enjoy. You will not be asked to ‘drop by the office’ for a meeting; it’s literally impossible as the office is in a remote location accessible only by helicopter or ship. At the same time, rarely can you ask for an extension of your time off. The crew offshore needs to be relieved and without you, at least one crewmember cannot be relieved. Unless there is a dire emergency, you will not be given any impromptu or extended time off.

Working Hours

A typical shift on an oil rig is 12 hours long with a lunch break and 2 fifteen minute coffee breaks. Your shift timings could vary from conventional schedules. A number of companies take advantage of the 24-hour presence of workers and run two shifts requiring half the team to work through the night and the remaining to work through the day. Meals are provided at designated times depending on the shift schedules. Smoking is permitted in most rigs but only in designated areas and only during your breaks or non-working periods.

A Career in Oil Exploration

The primary focus of this book has been on oil exploration and specifically working on an oil rig. The global dependence on oil and related products as the primary energy source is expected to continue well into the foreseeable future. Oil companies supported by national governments spend huge sums of money on geological surveys and other exploratory efforts to find new locations of oil wells deep under the sea. Technology to extract the oil is constantly being developed and the bigger rig companies devote a large portion of their annual budgets on finding more efficient and safer ways to drill for oil. Despite the mishaps that have occurred over the years, this industry is here to stay which is excellent news for those who would like to make it their career choice.

Top Oil and Gas Fields around the World


world map

There is a number of approved oil and gas fields spread across different countries in the world. The oil and gas fields around the world have different capacities and are managed by different oil and gas companies. Most of these fields are on main land with quite a number on offshore rigs.

In south America the top oil and gas fields are found in the following areas; North Cuban basin, Norte basin in Uruguay, Unconventional in North West Mexico Guatemala and Belize. Other fields in South America include; Orinoco Oil belt in Venezuela, Conventional South America and Carrebian. The South American oil fields combined can produce a total of over 700 million barrels of oil.

In Africa, the oil fields are in the following major regions; South Africa Coastal Province, Four West Africa Geological provinces, Four East Africa Geological provinces, Chad basin province and North –Central Africa. In Africa there are both exploited and non-exploited oil and gas fields; all these combined may produce over 5 billion barrels of oil and 40 trillion meters cubed of natural gas.

In the middle east there are key major oil and gas fields in the following regions; Sargelu formation in Iraq, Arabian Peninsula, Levant Basin in Eastern Mediterranean. Red sea basin and Shale Oil in Jordan. The Middle East oil and gas fields are believed to have the largest oil and gas fields in the world. With over 8 billion barrels of oil and 500 trillion meters cubed of unexploited natural gas.

There are more oil and gas fields in the Circum-Arctic, North America, Europe, South Asia, Russia and the pacific.

Concluding Thoughts

Life offshore is different from an ordinary working environment and most people who start off in this industry become lifers. Others find it unbearable and cannot put up with its drawbacks for more than a single trip. It is important to reflect your personal preferences and make an appropriate decision after fully understanding what such a life demands. The next chapter which talks about offshore locations can also help in deciding whether this is the career path for you.


Offshore Regions

Life on an oil rig definitely includes travel of some sort. In the book we covered some of the key regions in which drilling operations take place. Some areas are extremely popular thanks to extensive geological investigation while others are yet to fully develop their potential. The most well known drilling regions are the North Sea, The Gulf of Mexico and the Persian Gulf. Here there are a number of rigging companies each using different vessels and equipment at different specific locations to extract oil. We also covered the regions that are expected to be the next hot ticket locations in the coming years. These were West Africa, South America, the Arctic and some unexplored areas of the Gulf of Mexico. As companies vie for the rights to certain areas, one thing is for certain – the oil exploration industry is going to around for a long time.


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Stena Drilling

Stena Drilling, based out of Sweden, is quickly gaining importance as one of the world’s foremost independent drilling contractors. A wholly owned subsidiary of Stena AB Gothenburg, it has grown over the past 20 years by acquiring well established rig companies like Houlder Marine Drilling and Ben Line Steamers. Currently they have a number of exciting operations based out of all the oil drilling hotspots of the world including the US, North Sea, West Africa, the Mediterranean and Australia. Thanks to its commitment to innovation, the company has become known for some of the most cutting edge technology and rig conversions making them a company to watch out for in the coming years.

As employers they believe in training and developing their rig workers so as to retain the talent and expertise that gets generated. They have a strong mentorship program, which works wonders in getting entry level and middle level workers up to date with the latest technologies and trends in this exciting industry. They are known to be competitive paymasters offering all benefits as per industry standards.

Stocking for Trades

Pro tip: On board an oil rig, it is common practice to exchange chocolate bars and cans of cokes for favors. So keep a few in stock just so that when the time comes, you don’t have to go running to the store or vending machine.