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Entry Level
Big Oil

Roustabout's life and work aboard offshore oil platform

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Living on a offshore oil platform, and observing work and life of Roughnecks, Roustabouts, and the rest of the crude oil drilling crew, and their real-life existence for a couple of weeks, could impress a platform visitor in quite a contradictory manner. From one hand, the company takes care of everything, the catering is excellent, the personnel's linen and towels are changed frequently, the bathroom and the toilet are washed and disinfected after every person's visit; at your disposal you have every kind of entertainment and the gym for exercising. The meals that they serve are often of top restaurant quality with variety of dishes to choose from. Where the teams are international, the chefs strive to ensure that something is regularly cooked from crew members specific national cuisine. Oil drilling contractors also take care of other living needs of their employees and workers, while they stay and work on offshore oil production installations, for example the workers are provided with cell phones to stay in touch with their families and their important people, as part of their pattern of life on offshore platforms.

From the other hand you see those Roughnecks and Roustabouts working long hours with only a couple of coffee breaks per 12 hours or longer. They often work in their overalls soaked with oil and grease, never stopping and paying no attention to strong wind, heavy rain, or intensive snowfall. The other outdoor staff, like Offshore Welder, work in the conditions that are not better. It is the majority of offshore oil rig employees and workers, who are required to work 12 hours long shifts. Sometimes you work night shifts, the other times day shifts, from time to time you have to switch from night to day and vice versa. Therefore it is important to make sure your organism is capable to sustain such switching without detriment to the quality of carrying out the duties and functions, found in your role's job description. Once the roster is completed, the crew gets flown from offshore oil rig by helicopter to the mainland, and and for a certain period of time the workers could forget the specifics of their life on offshore platform.

Getting inside offshore industry

Having strong health and being in excellent physical shape are important criteria, but meeting only them is not not enough to make good candidate for working on offshore oil rigs. Not only work, the life itself on offshore oil rig is not for everyone - even if you came there to stay just for a while on a secondment. If you apply for a low-end entry-level position of Roustabout, the lowest ranking oil rig worker from all the personnel, found on the deck, there's more to coping with the role, than just being able to endure working long hours without breaks. Both work and life on offshore oil rigs are different for employees and workers from the conditions of working and living that you might come across on mainland in the USA, UK or Canada.

Any person on offshore platform or drillship, regardless of the position kept or job performed, should have no problem staying for weeks far away from family and friends, as well as settling issues with colleagues in a non-conflicting manner, follow strictly safety rules, and be, of course, capable to pass drug and alcohol abuse test. There are really stringent standards not only for work, but also for living on offshore platforms. If noticed smoking in the area or during the time, other than designated or allowed for that purpose, or even throwing a small piece of paper or a plastic cup overboard, you will be fired mercilessly and immediately, without any reprimand or admonition from supervisor, manager, or administrator. The rules of life on offshore platform are truly tough, and there is no way you could get around.

Basically, Roustabout's duties and responsibilities on an offshore oil rig are very similar to those of a general laborer in other industries. What makes the difference, is that Offshore Roustabout, contrary to land based General Laborer, say, on a construction site, has to perform his functions in very challenging and noisy environment, often exposed to adverse weather conditions. In order to turn out efficient and successfully pass the trial period, the greenhand worker is expected in the course of work to demonstrate such qualities, as quickness of response to the orders, ability to concentrate attention while retaining the awareness of the surroundings and what occurs around himself. Possessing sleight of hand is essential. That's because the unskilled or semi-skilled operations on offshore oil rig require from Roustabout the ability to learn quickly what and in which sequence to do and how to handle properly all sorts of tools, mechanisms, lifting appliances etc.

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