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Working on an Oil Rig

by Jones Oil

Working on an Oil Rig


Curious minds might wonder what it’s like to work on an offshore oil platform, surrounded by vast expanses of sea and sky. What are the advantages of such a life? Is it lonely, is it safe, and is cabin fever a thing?


Oil Rig1


Pursuing a career in the oil exploration industry can present many opportunities for those with a thirst for adventure who don’t mind long stretches away from home. Firstly, there’s the chance to save money. Out there on the ocean, you won’t find too many chances to blow your salary.


Then, there’s the added allure of working three-weeks-on, three-weeks off. While workers put in long hours, often working 12-hour shifts for three weeks on the trot, the reward of 21 days off on full pay has its appeal.


You’ll need to be strong and fit, and may have to submit to a medical exam. In terms of personal qualities, you’ll have to be able to work well with others in a close-knit environment. And a sense of humour is a plus.


The downside of choosing to work offshore is that if someone in the family is ill, you can’t just go home. You sacrifice weddings, birthdays, funerals and anniversaries for life on the rig. It’s a helicopter trip to get there so there’s no hailing a taxi home.


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Globally, some 1.5 million people are employed in this industry, working from around 2,800 oil platforms.  Workers can be based on an oil platform in the North Sea or in some far-flung location such as Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, the Middle East or South Africa. Positions vary widely: from drillers to divers to electricians, mechanics to welders, crane operators to engineers and caterers to cooks.


According to global workforce provider, Swift Worldwide Resources, the average salary of an oil rig worker starts at €45,000. If an individual decides to stay in the field, specialised training will increase their earning potential. Drill technicians, for example, can expect to earn up to €180,000. Engineering or geology graduates can earn in the region of €90,000 as a starting salary, which increases incrementally as they gain experience.


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It’s no secret, however, that the offshore oil business is experiencing challenges at the moment and job opportunities are hard to come by due to growing competition from the onshore sector.


South African, Christo Van Zyl, has spent time working on FPSOs, the floating, production, storage and offload vessels that are used by the offshore oil industry. Right now, he says that it’s difficult to get work as a result of low oil prices.


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“Even when oil prices were up it was hard. You have to know the right people or be in the right place at the right time,” says Van Zyl, who worked as a supervisor for the rope access division in the construction team.


“We were replacing pipe lines, valves, pumps, motors and production equipment. All the rope access members are skilled riggers and bolting technicians as well.”


And the perks of working in the offshore oil industry? “From the moment you get on a plane to fly to the offshore platform to work, your bank account is untouched until you get home again,” he says. “There are big pay cheques, the food is good and you work only six months of the year.”


On the flip side, Van Zyl says it takes a ‘special breed’ to work in the sector, with a thick skin being a must to handle the pressure. And not everyone can deal with being away from home.


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The environment tends to be predominantly male. In Van Zyl’s experience, of 100 personnel on board a platform, normally only three to five would be women. However, the North Sea offshore oil industry employs more women, he says.


One such worker is Wendy Stronach, who works on an offshore oil platform in the North Sea, off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland. She’s a steward, covering three main areas: galley, laundry and accommodation. Her galley role involves being kitchen assistant to the chef.


“Each role has its own daily deep-clean rota.  All stewards are involved in the unloading of the food containers that arrive by ship, usually on a weekly basis. The containers are to restock the food, bond [the shop on the rig] and the cleaning stores.”

Stronach can occupy any of these roles, night shift or day shift, from one trip to the next.


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So how hard is it to get work?


Having stated working offshore just over four years ago, Stronach believes she got lucky.


“I completed my survival training and sent my CV off to a few places. I was invited to an interview about two weeks later. I met people there who had been trying for two years and that was their first interview. I got my job remarkably fast.”


The perks for her include time off between trips, and the salary.


According to Stronach, however, the North Sea is no different than other locations when it comes to men making up most of the workforce.


In her experience, the only women on the rig are stewards, helicopter flight administrators and the occasional chemist or medic.


“I’ve never been on a rig that wasn’t 95% male.”


And, as with most offshore oil rig jobs, Stronach’s can be strenuous. Being a steward requires 12 hours of full-on graft every day for three weeks at a time.


“By the time I finish each shift I usually just want to shower, phone my other half for a catch up, have a read of a book to unwind and get some sleep before it all starts again.”


To offer some semblance of work-life balance, she says oil platforms have TV rooms, a gym and Wi-Fi for crew use.


For those contemplating a career on an oil rig, Stronach says it’s important to factor in relationships.


“The hardest part is the strain that it puts on your relationships. You’re constantly leaving for weeks at a time. I’ve noticed that a lot of relationships fail in this industry.”


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Wicklow man, Michael Connolly, works on chemical and petrochemical plants and oil refineries these days, but he has worked on oil rigs in the past, for companies such as Solar Turbines and Elliott Group.


Connolly’s expertise is in rotating equipment, including servicing, overhauling and upgrading it. Referring to the job situation, he said it’s more difficult to secure work at the moment because of the oil price dip.


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Big players such as Shell, BP and Exxon have downsized, according to Connolly, but he says this applies mainly to the North Sea, whereas the Gulf of Mexico has been less affected.


He advises people to tread carefully before choosing a career in the offshore arena. “Anyone considering this should first try finding a job onshore and having a regular life. If not, you’d better find an understanding partner!”

Energy Rating Guide for Homeowners Sources

by Jones Oil



Agriculture & Greenhouse Gas: The Goal to Reduce Emissions Sources

by Jones Oil


IPCC (2007). Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science BasisExit Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Note: Though quite old (2007) this fact is mentioned quite a lot elsewhere

Diesel Laundering and What To Look Out For Infographic Sources

by Jones Oil


  • HM Revenue and Customs. 2014. Excise Notice 75: fuel for road vehicles. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 May 15].


  • Crown Oil UK. 2015. Red Diesel – Red Diesel Delivery. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 May 15].


  • The AA. 2011. Dirty diesel. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 May 15].


  • The AA. 2010. AA WARNS OF LAUNDERED AND SUB-STANDARD DIESEL. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 May 15].


  • The Irish Times. 2013. Two mobile diesel laundries discovered in Co Louth. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 May 15].


  • The Independent Newspaper. 2015. High number of diesel laundries. [ONLINE] Available at:  [Accessed 03 May 15].


  • Irish Petroleum Industry Association. 2014. Contaminated Motor Fuel. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 May 15].


  • The Independent Newspaper. 2012. Laundered fuel can destroy your engine. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 May 15].


  • Revenue Irish Tax and Customs. 2014. Excise Duty Rates. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 May 15].

Glastonbury’s Biggest Mud Disasters

by Jones Oil
Glastonbury’s Biggest Mud Disasters
This years festival goers got away very lightly when it comes to a mud drenched Glastonbury. As the fashion pack polished their posh wellies and dug out their denim hot pants for the world’s biggest festival, many might have forgotten that Glastonbury is held on a working dairy farm. All it takes is a quick downpour and the thousands of revellers soon churn up the mud and remember where they are. Since its humble beginnings in 1970 as a free music festival on a farm, Glastonbury has grown into a 900-acre behemoth of the music world. That’s a lot of ground getting churned up. This gruesome gallery captures some of Worthy Farm’s muddiest moments…

1. Forget Flip-flops

… especially stone-encrusted flip-flops. And pink toenails.

Image source


2. Take a rubbish phone

.. because no one wants to drop their smart phone in a puddle. Or a Portaloo, for that matter.

Image source.


3. Love is…

… still being up for kissing someone when they’re covered in crusty mud.

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4. Wade in…

In 2005, the flooding at Glastonbury was so bad that many people lost their tents and belongings and rescue teams had to wade in to help.

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5. Nice day for a swim…

This brave reveller tries to swim through a murky sea of roll-mats, Pot Noodles and cider, all the while keeping his camera aloft.

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6. What’s worse than a muddy Glastonbury?


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7. Messing about on the river (of sewerage)

Another shot from 2005 – look at the dome tents poking out of the top of the water!

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8. We’re going to need a bigger boat…

When you’re not content with taking a ride in our handy, festival kayak, give some kids a lift too.

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9. Slam dunk.

If you’re going to spend the weekend covered in mud, you might as well wrestle in the stuff.

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10. All tied up

Probably a good idea to remove the shirt and tie first, though.

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11. Taxi!

Hope the meter wasn’t running…

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12. Face pack

Everyone knows mud is good for your skin, which is why so many Glastonbury-goers return to work looking fresh and radiant after the festival’s finished. Oh, hang on…

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13. Trolley dash

From council-owned wheely bins to shopping trolleys, festival attendees will use anything they can to drag their camping gear through the churned-up mud.

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14. Camouflage

Believe it or not, this isn’t an image from a military training exercise, but it does depict people (apparently) enjoiyng themselves at Glastonbury 2011.

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15. Beer Beard

Warm lager and mud – the perfect coupling of every good festival.

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16. Fancy Dress

If you knew you were going to be hanging out on a farm and getting very muddy, the last thing you’d be likely to don would be a fancy dress outfit. Yet every year, thousands of carefully-picked costumes end up immersed in mud. This pensive seagull is one of our favourites

A man dressed as a seagull walks beside people while they rest on a bench in the Circus Field during the Glastonbury Festival, on June 25, 2011. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images) Image source


17. Like a pig in mud…

Every Glastonbury season, the British press to to make people feel better about the fact they weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket to the festival by showing them photographs of people in soggy, sorry states. This doesn’t work when the ticket holders look as carefreee as this guy, snapped in 2011.

Tom Wilder, 17, from Kent, dives in the mud at the Glastonbury Festival site, on June 23, 2011, in Glastonbury, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) Image source


18. Poor Sucker

Spare a thought for the people who have to try to make the farm as close to clean as they possibly can.

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19. Welly Henge

… and don’t bother with cheap wellies, as they’ll probably end up here, the site of next year’s summer solstice festival.

Image source

Why Oil Prices Rise & Fall Sources

by Jones Oil

Farmers Markets Infographic Sources

by Jones Oil



Christmas Safety Tips Sources

by Jones Oil

Fireservice UK Christmas Safety Advice

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Christmas Safety Tips Wishing You a Safe and Happy Christmas

The Safe Network Child Safety at Christmas

UK National Health Service Prevent Christmas Injuries

UK National Health Service 12 Tips for a Healthy Christmas

An Garda Síochána Seasonal Safety Advice

Family Fun Ireland Tips for a Safe Christmas

TV 3 Ireland AM Safety Tips for Christmas

UK National Health Service Safe Festive Drinking

Drinkaware Ireland The Ultimate Christmas Guide

Winter Hacks Infographic Sources

by Jones Oil


Buzzfeed 18 Winter Car Hacks that are Borderline Genius

Buzzfeed 24 Creative Life Hacks Everyone Should Know Before Winter Comes 15 Winter Weather Life Hacks 7 Winter Life Hacks to Keep You Warm 14 Winter Car Hacks 21 of the Most Brilliant Winter Hacks 56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter 10 Home Hacks to Prepare Your House for WInter Green Juice and Fish Oil: 30 Winter Beauty Hacks

Healthy Living Magazine 9 Winter Beauty Hacks 6 Smart Beauty Hacks to Help You Survive Winter 12 Winter Beauty Hacks to Get You Through Till Spring

Pioneer Settler 36 Cold Winter Hacks to Keep You Cozy This Winter 10 Life Hacks for a Happier Winter 10 Superfoods that will Super Boost Your Mood 12 handy Winter Kitchen Hacks 8 Healthy Tips for Winter Living 19 Tips for Healthier Skin and Hair this Winter 8 Scientifically Backed Ways to Beat the Winter Blues 25 Life Hacks for Winter 25 Clever Car Hacks

Sources Oil Infographic

by Jones Oil