Top 10 Oilfield questions about life offshore from non-oilfield people

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Sunrise bathes the S-92

First off, “How’s the Rig?”, this isn’t a real question but another version of “hows work?”. Its a filler. These are the real questions I get the most.

 

“Why do you do that?”

Offshore Mudlogging is good work. It pays well, you get a lot of exposure to drilling, and the accommodations are 5 star compared to land rigs. I am given a ton of responsibility at a young age. I get to troubleshoot 100k pieces of equipment and oversee million dollar operations. Not many young professionals get this type of opportunity.

“What’s the work like as a mud logger?”

  1. Fedex, packaging, manifesting and shipping rocks, mud, and gas
  2. Monitor and Report drilling problems, ie stuck pipe, kicks, hole cave ins
  3. Detect and analyze gases from the rocks
  4. Maintain computer networks, gas equipment and our sensor suite
  5. Produce real-time and depth projected logs of drilling, and lithology

“What is it like out there?”

War against Nature. Your squad and a bunch of computers against rocks and gas at high pressure.

“What’s your average day like?”

Wake up at 17:15, eat in the galley, go to pre-tower meeting, walk to work, drink coffee, monitor operations, talk to WSG, Coman and RF about anomalies, after 12 hours get off tower, work out in rig gym, shower in my room, read and sleep. Repeat for 21-28 days.

“Whats the rig gym like?’

Different on each rig, but on my rig they have ellipticals, treadmills, dumbells up to 100lbs, a squat rack, benchpress, ping pong table, bikes, rowing machine, pullup bars, and a smith machine.

“What do you do when you get off work?”

Work out, read, go fishing, eat in the galley, hang out, watch tv, smoke, listen to music, and sleep. Not much to do really, it’s a monks life. But I enjoy the time away from distractions. I am able to read 100 pages a night, write, workout, and invest. Each time I come back onshore I feel like I improved my life 5% in each of the categories I seek to improve. Physically, financially, and intellectually. Then I hang out with friends and decompress from all the stress.

“Do you guys drink alcohol and do drugs out there?”

A resounding No. Heliport x-ray scans and bag checks plus random drug and alcohol tests while onboard.

“Are there any girls offshore?”

Yes, about 5% of drilling engineers, mudloggers, and MWD’s are girls. Very rare to find a girl on the marine crew, drill crew or maintenance crew.

“Do they have fights, sex?”

Not really much fighting. Mainly arguments. If you did anything physical you would be run off. As for sex, I’ve head rig rumors, but the walls in the rooms are so paper thin, everyone would hear you.

“Do they have mental health seminars of counselors out there to deal with the problems?”

The crew becomes pretty tight nit. They become like a second family and the downturn in the industry really tightened people together. I think it’s similar to any line of work where you are away from family and friends for a prolonged amount of time. Yes its corporate and you have to watch what you say, but people are generally easy to get along with and can take a joke. As for keeping my mindset correct. Like everyone I go through days of low energy and cloudy thoughts. I try and do a couple things to get my mind off it. I write in my journal until I get to the root of the feeling, I try and stay off social media and tv, and I try and eat a healthy diet and stay active during and after my shift. That helps me stay even throughout my hitch.

These are the most common ones I get from friends and family back home. I had little idea coming in what it would be like and I’m glad I stuck it out through the tough times.

Hopefully things in the oilfield will stabilize and my friends that were laid off will once again be back on bottom drilling ahead.

Any other questions let me know.

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My Offshore Oilfield Packing List: What to bring Offshore for Guys and Girls

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My Packing List

-PPE: Personal Protective Equipment, i.e. Hard Hat, FR coveralls, steel toed boots, and safety glasses. Extra safety glasses can come in handy.
-Toiletries, vitamins, deodorant, toothbrush, shampoo, body wash, razor, shaving cream, ibuprofen.
-Neck pillow for the van/helicopter ride to and from the rig, Sleep anywhere is good
-Aeropress for coffee, grinder, and whole bean coffee. Tea.
-Kindle and a paper back book
-Clothes: extra socks and underwear, extra pair of shoes and t-shirts, fleece for cold days, workout clothes, they do laundry for you, but they sometimes lose stuff, so bring extras
-Electronics: extra pair of headphones, 1 TB hard drive for swapping stuff with rig hands
-Healthy snack food, icebreakers ice cube gum, sunflower seeds, bag of mixed nuts and dark chocolate.
-Adapter for the European, Korean outlets onboard.
-Fitbit to track steps onboard
-Small notebook to take notes in, or tally book.
-My guitar, for after my shift

-melatonin for nights when you can’t fall asleep

Dude Specific:

Dip and cigarettes, protein powders, pre-workout, bandannas, games for the Xbox

Girl specific:
Flip Flops for shower, Breathable clothes, boxers, tee shirts for under coveralls, blanket for the unit or the bed, hand and baby wipes, lots of tampons

What you cannot bring:
Knives, Alcohol, drones, guns, chemicals, fireworks.

10 Common questions about working offshore

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