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Moving Across to oil rigs

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  • Moving Across to oil rigs

    Hey, So I'm interested not just in shipping but also oil drilling and oil production sides of the offshore industries and I like to keep my options open.

    How easy/difficult is it for a qualified 1st or 2nd unlimited engineer with some experience to move across from shipping to the oil industry working as either a maintenance/mechanical technician or part of the drilling crew on an Fixed oil platform (production), a semisub (production or drilling), drillship or FPSO?

    I would assume it is easiest to move across to a drillship or FPSO out of all of those would I be correct? and would it be near impossible to become a driller with shipping qualifications? and would there be any limitations/difficulties of getting work on an oil platform that is fixed to the seabed compared to working on a floating vessel?

  • #2
    I'm also interested in this topic but from the deck side of things. Drill ships and FPSOs must need deck officers right?

    Any advice would be much appreciated


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


    • #3
      A lot of people go onto the Rigs because there are many benefits than working on a ship. A few being decent hours of rest as they normally work 12 hour shifts and ,crew changes are a lot more certain than being stuck on a ship and also promotion is much easier if you are good at your job. I've noticed on ships quite a few generally incompetent people manage to luckily worm their way to Captain etc because they have decades of experience, but decades of experience doesn't increase I.Q., from what I've heard on rigs people of high rank that are useless tend to get found out and got rid of quicker or just never make it high up.

      Main negative point is that you won't get the SED, but depending on what job you do rigs normally pay so much that it doesn't really matter that you pay tax.


      • #4
        It's worth noting that if you want to move across to a drillship as a deck officer you'll almost certainly need a full DP endorsement. The same goes for most rigs that aren't classed as "fixed installations".
        Pointy bit is the front, blunt bit is the back... Simples!

        Will work for money/sea time.


        • #5
          From what I have seen most rigs seem to want engineers with tanker experience and marine people with anchor handling experience or at least offshore DP II experience, but this is just from what I have seen and heard of guys who have gone across rather than anything concrete.
          Go out, do stuff


          • #6
            I've worked offshore for quite a while and have known quite a few engineers go from AHTS/supply to become maintenance engineers on gravity based platforms, drillships, FPSO's, jack ups and semi subs etc. they have nothing to do with the drilling or production etc just keeping the power to the installation running. However I do have to add I have only seen them move within the same company so if I was to pick a random example out of the sky like moving from Maersk Supply Service to Maersk Oil & Gas. Although, you still have to apply the same way everyone else has to even thought its owned by the same father company. I don't know but I am guessing it would be a lot easier to get yourself onto some kind of trainee driller programme once you've worked for one of these companies for a while and got experience on a rig/platform.

            As for deck officer, you would be looking at what they call a 'Barge engineer' these aren't actually engineers, they do a similar role to what chief officer do on a ship, they look after the maintenance of the platform. However your best bet is if you have worked on tankers as someone has said above and then it is very easy to become a 'control room operator' (CRO) or 'Ballast control officer' (BCO) which I believe is essentially the same thing. I know 3 lads who have moved from tankers to these positions on firstly, FPSO's and then drillships. This was with BP and Stena drilling


            • #7
              So it seems you must be working on an oil tanker or an AHTS to move across, and it is mostly only done within the same company

              Roughly how much experience you would need out of marine college to do this? and are there any particular certs you would need as an engineer to make the move?


              • #8
                DCE as an engineer would be helpful.
                Go out, do stuff


                • #9
                  Thank you for all the info guys