Basics Of the Oil Rig Business
DRILLING: The Beginning
Before a new oil field is ready, several appraisal wells are drilled to allow geophysicists and engineers to determine the size and viability of the field. This process usually takes between 1 to 5 years. When the field is ready to go on stream, production wells are drilled. Historically, many production wells were drilled vertically, today wells can be drilled horizontally. This allows for greater rates of production, because hydrocarbons are usually deposited in horizontal layers. At this point, if insufficient hydrocarbons are located, the well will be abandoned due to non-viability. However if the well is proven to have sufficient oil reserves, there are likely to be a great number offshore oil rig drilling jobs available to work on this project.
Producing oil from offshore rigs is a costly exercise, much more expensive than land based rigs. In order to reach oil which is buried in shallow water, oil rig platforms need to stand on legs which are embedded into the floor of the ocean.
Drilling in deeper water requires the use of specialized floating platforms. These vessels are anchored to the ocean floor by large chains. In the past, wells have been drilled in up to 10,000 feet of water using this method.
OIL RIG JOBS Description
The following details the approximate daily earnings for offshore oil rig drilling jobs. These are of course subject to change and can vary according to whether the rig is situated domestically or internationally.
Salaries start at $300 USD per day for Roustabouts.
Roughnecks (drill deck workers) can earn up to $355 per day. This would translate to an annual salary of $47,500 USD. From here it is possible to be promoted to a Driller. In this case the daily rate is likely to be around the $420.00 mark, translating to $56,250 per annum.
Tool Pusher and Drill Leader positions (Chief and Supervisor's positions respectively), allow you to earn between $75,000 - $100,000 per annum.
Working aboard an oil rig is hard work, however the facilities are excellent. Many of the accommodation wings meet hotel standards, despite being located in the middle of the ocean. All food, board and laundry expenses are usually met by the employer - and the foods are of exceptional quality. All transfer and traveling expenses to and from offshore oil rig drilling jobs are also met by the employer.
Another considerable benefit is that most personnel work in a 14 / 21 day rotation. This means you will work for 14 days, and will get 21 off. This translates to holidays for 3/5 of the year.
Prior to securing offshore oil drilling rig jobs, it is advisable to have experience with land based rigs. This gives you the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in an offshore environment.
Once workers have mastered the entry level positions on rigs, they will usually be given the opportunity to progress to more difficult or responsible positions. Along this route, on-the-job training is usually given. This may be handled in a variety of ways, including job shadowing, mentoring and coaching.