So, you want to work an offshore drilling job. Do you know which companies are involved in offshore oil drilling? Besides the super-big players like Esso, BP, Shell, etc. Did you know that these big boys do not always do their own drilling? Quite often nowadays, they are forced to subcontract some of the work to smaller players.
Have you heard of these companies: Diamond Offshore (Houston, USA), Dolphin Drilling (Tananger, Norway), and Frigstad Offshore (Singapore)? How about Offrig Drilling ASA, Scorpion Offshore, Songa Offshore and Thule Drilling ASA? These are just some of the companies in the modern oil industry. In their own way, you can call them the modern wildcatters. During the last slump in oil prices, the giants like BP and Shell stopped investing in their staff and oil drilling technologies. But some smaller companies correctly predicted that prices would rise again. They invested in R&D to develop new drilling techniques and technologies. They build new oil rigs for deep-ocean drilling. These are the boys that Shell and BP are sub-contracting for oil drilling services.
If you want to work on an offshore oil drilling rig, you have two main choices. The path most people think of is to go on board as part of the drill crew. If you have prior experience, you will probably be a pumpman or derrickman. If not, you have to get in as a roughneck or roustabout. Drillers are pretty much the 2nd-in-command and assistant of the oil rig manager. Technically, a roughneck/roustabout is a laborer. On the other hand, how many laborers earn $50,000 per year for just 6 months of work every year? Unlike a normal laborer, who never gets the chance to work his way up to manager level, a roughneck with the proper attitude has a reasonable chance to become a manager on an oil rig. Of course, first he has to work his way through derrickman and driller.
This is not the only way to get an offshore drilling job. If you have some useful trade, like a cook or medic, this will be a good choice regardless of your offshore oil rig experience. You get the same generous living conditions of the drill crew, and better salary than a comparable job on dry land.
Just because it is an offshore oil rig does not mean it does not need office staff. No matter where you go, you can’t escape paperwork. You’ll still find your paper pushers. Except that on the oil rig they are called tool pushers. They work in the rig offices and rig floors.
You also have the mechanical department and electrical department. The mechanical department hires motormen, mechanics and maintenance supervisors who are responsible for all mechanical operations. The electrical department includes jobs like electrician, electronics technician and maintenance supervisors who repair and look after of all the electrical equipment.
An offshore drilling job is a very lucrative career. As you can see, you do not need drilling experience to get hired on an offshore oil rig. And now that you know there are companies other than Shell hiring people, you have many ways to get in on the action. You can get in as part of the drill crew, or as a tradesman.