Working on an offshore oil rig requires a sharp mind, and it typically requires extremely long shifts. Fortunately, the salary that is offered for most employees is very attractive. In fact, the compensation package can reach as high as $1,000 a day for managers, and even most entry-level positions pay approximately $300 a day. Additionally, employees are usually provided with comfortable offshore oil rig living quarters and accommodations, along with typically receiving free food and airplane tickets. It is common for an offshore oil rig employee to work 12 hours shifts, and they will usually work a minimum of seven days in a row before they receive an equal amount of off time.
The History of Offshore Oil Rigs
The offshore oil rig industry first began in 1887, but it did not begin to operate as it does today until 1947 when Kerr-McGee first built platforms far enough into the ocean that land could not be seen. As the industry continued to grow over the next couple of decades, it became necessary for employees to begin living on or near the oil rig for extended periods of time. If someone was going to work 12 hours shifts for seven days in a row, it did not make any sense for them to be transported back and forth to the mainland on a daily basis. By 1962, the industry’s first dynamically positioned ship was put in place by the Shell Oil Company, and it was a leader of shallow water operations for several decades. In 1996, Royal Dutch Shell installed two deep water oil rigs, and one of them can even be seen from space due to its enormous size. Since that time, offshore oil rigs have continued to expand, together with comfortable offshore oil rig living quarters, and they are a major contributor to the worldwide petroleum industry.
The Living Conditions for Employees
Employees who lived on offshore oil rigs were initially given very meager cabins, and they usually shared them with multiple people. Some of these cabins included a shared wash basin, but other amenities were practically non-existent. It was also difficult for workers to maintain contact with people on land because mobile phones were not yet available. Over time, however, the industry began to recognize that it was important to provide employees with a more agreeable living situation.
Although older oil rigs can still have more spartan quarters, it is now common for most offshore oil rig employees to have a cabin that they share with only one other person. This cabin will most likely have a wash basin and a television, and many oil rigs offer a nice selection of TV programs via a satellite connection. The prevalence of smartphones has also made it extremely easy for employees to keep in touch with their family and friends, and this has had a huge impact on morale. Additionally, most oil rigs include an employee lounge that will feature several recreational options such as ping-pong, a gym, a large screen television or areas that are specifically designed for relaxation.
The Future of Oil Rig Living Conditions
Although it is unlikely that offshore oil rig housing platforms will ever reach a point where they mimic onshore living, it is likely that the conditions will continue to improve. Easy access to the Internet is becoming more common, and the emergence of larger facilities provides the rigging companies with additional space for adding on amenities that will make employees feel more like they are at home.