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Offshore roustabout

Getting hired for the vacancy of offshore roustabout on the platforms must be the easiest way of reaching any other vacancy with the oil drilling companies. In general, roustabout or roughneck are the jobs that require being able to work physically hard for long hours. Sometimes they have to work overtime, and hence is the high rotation rate for these jobs across the industry, i. e. this is the reason for them to become vacant more often than, say, rig welder or offshore driller.

In many cases the people who apply for an entry level position of roustabout, once hired, they find out they didn't expect it to turn out so physically demanding. The point is that some people are just not suited either physically or emotionally for the responsibilities and duties, associated with this position or with working on the offshore oil rigs in general. The Texas oil platforms do not provide the typical experience you get on the deepwater installations.

In fact, roustabout is the only offshore job that do not require any previously acquired skills or training that almost any candidate can be suitable for, provided you are a strong person, to take the things realistically. This is also the best position to get trained as you go to become qualified for performing other duties on offshore platforms. Roustabouts, that are usually being hired by oil companies to carry out the unskilled work on deep water oil drilling facilities like drillships or offshore platforms, are not experienced in performing the task other than a simple hard manual labor. They will do or will help to do almost everything aboard a platform, even repair mechanisms and provide some of the routine maintenance of the machinery available aboard an offshore platform.

In contrast for the simple job you do, the salary that you get is exponentially bigger, compared to the same type of land based inexperienced jobs. Roustabout salary on an offshore oil rig ranges from $US 45,000 to $US 60,000 a year.

The real value of getting a low skilled position of offshore roustabout on sea based oil rigs resides with the fact, that this position is the easiest to qualify and get recruited for, while offering a candidate a unique chance to prove he is the right person for working on offshore platform. The life aboard as well as the job itself are really challenging. The truth is that only a certain percentage of greenhand roustabouts last for at least two months. But if you see after six months you are still there, there's no other way for you than going upwards to become assistant driller, assistant crane operator, trainee electrician, etc. Oil companies provide continuous training for their staff as they work. There are training courses available right there on the platform. If you are a smart and motivated person, then working in the capacity of offshore roustabout could provide you with the best opportunity to get your foot in the door and get promoted quickly.

You will work long hours getting very good salary for doing your job. The benefits offered to roustabouts on offshore oil exploration units beet the hardships associated with working in challenging and sometimes dangerous environment, but the price is worth the prize. You gonna like the rotation schedule with at least half the time off on land. The pay is great, and the the offshore experience is exciting, if only you don't lack endurance. While the temporary moratorium was set on the deepwater drilling, the shallow water offshore exploration for the oil and gas off the shore of Texas never stopped. Therefore the vacancies of roustabout are continuously available.

6 largest oil companies in the world

There are 6 major privately owned companies in the world's oil industry, universally referred to as the Supermajors and operating globally:

  • Exxon Mobil (USA)
  • Chevron Corporation (USA)
  • ConocoPhillips (USA)
  • Royal Dutch Shell (UK and the Netherlands)
  • British Petroleum
  • Total S.A. in France

As a group, the 6 Supermajors are also called "Big Oil", hinting on the role they play in the politics, especially in the USA.

The large multinationals merged as a protection measure against the plunge in crude oil prices in the second part of the years 1990's. They were formed by the some of the previously existing high investment oil companies that made their way to merger in an attempt to resolve 3 issues:

  1. to resist the world economy stagnation
  2. to set up a protective barrier against oil prices plunge
  3. to invest money in order to prevent the large cash reserves that they compiled from staying idle

It took only 4 years for the privately owned major upstream oil companies mergers to take place. During the four years between 1998 and 2002 the following mergers took place:

  1. Exxon and Mobil
  2. British Petroleum and Amoco
  3. Total and Petrofina, joined afterwards by Elf Aquitaine
  4. Chevron and Texaco
  5. Phillips and Conoco

By contrast, 95% of the world's gas and oil reserves are under the control of oil companies owned by governments, mainly in the Middle East. The other group of the oil companies are seven government controlled (some of them national, the others semi-national) companies referred to as "Seven Sisters". This group currently includes:

  • Saudi Aramco - Saudi Arabia
  • Gazprom - Russia
  • China National Petroleum Company - China
  • National Iranian Oil Company - Iran
  • Petroleos De Venezuela SA - Venezuela
  • Petrobras - Brazil
  • Petronas - Malaysia

Many people believe it is with these companies that they should seek employment in oil and gas, but the truth is that, as a rule, they hire only high end personnel, engineers, and administration/managers. It is drilling contractors like Transocean or Diamond Drilling that they award contracts to to implement both offshore and onshore oil drilling projects. The latter either do their own recruiting or outsource the hiring of personnel, especially for filling low end and entry level positions like roustabout, roughneck, driller, derrickman, mechanic, rig electrician etc. to. Positions in the catering are to be sought at catering companies that do their business with offshore oil drilling companies on contract basis.


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