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Offshore rig crews

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The importance of well-trained, motivated, skilled, safety-oriented personnel with a teamwork attitude to crew and operate offshore drilling units cannot be stressed enough. No matter how well-engineered, well-equipped, and well-maintained a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) is, it will not perform any better than the crew who manage, operate, and maintain it.

Importance of rig crew and management

The crew and management system are often the real determining factor concerning MODU performance and safety. This is often overlooked during the flurry of cost analysis, equipment evaluation, operating expenses assessment, and number crunching during bid analysis and MODU selection. It is often said that the low bid does not always give the best performance. A complete “hard” (equipment) and “soft” (crew, management, and safety) analysis must be done to make the best decision.

Over the last 10 to 20 years, almost every offshore drilling contractor and operator has developed very comprehensive management systems to guide and operate their companies. Management systems will normally include the following:

  • A mission and goal statement
  • A top-tier-quality control manual
  • Various second-tier standards and procedures manuals addressing such business functions as:
  • Document control
  • Department descriptions and responsibilities
  • Job descriptions
  • Bridging documents
  • Safety and security
  • Internal audit
  • Contract review
  • Purchasing
  • Inventory control
  • Human resources

These policies and procedures should be reinforced throughout the personnel hierarchy, from the chief executive officer to the roustabout on the rig, in order to have a successful and well-performing organization and rig operation.

Rigs used to have accommodations for 60 to 80 personnel, including all support activities, but now the total can exceed 100 personnel, making management of the crew an important function.

Staffing

The staffing and organization of a MODU vary with each drilling contractor, operator, and country, and are controlled by classification and registration requirements. The most senior person on the MODU is usually the offshore installation manager (OIM) who is, by law, the “master” or “captain” of the vessel. The OIM is responsible for all departments, including:

  • Drilling
  • Maintenance
  • Marine
  • Auxiliary services
  • Safety

The OIM works for the drilling contractor and interfaces and coordinates with the operator’s (leaseholder’s) representative. Table 1 shows a typical MODU personnel complement for a jackup. The drilling contractor may employ the catering complement wholly or partially.

Employment contractors used by the drilling contractor are not uncommon in overseas operations. These contractors usually supply positions from floor man down, but there are exceptions. The shore-based operation usually includes:

  • An operations manager
  • Drilling superintendent
  • Administrative manager
  • Materialsman
  • Secretary

Overseas operations also often include:

  • Car drivers
  • Local agents
  • Warehouse men
  • Administrative staff

If the financial and accounting functions are done on site, additional personnel may be required. With the advent of satellite communication on the MODU and local office, communication problems and time delays have been significantly reduced, resulting in a much smoother and more trouble-free operation. Procurement, inventory, and maintenance can all be monitored, directed, and recorded with ease and in a timely manner.

In the early offshore days, MODUs operated like independent companies, including their own:

  • Personnel hiring/firing
  • Procurement
  • Accounting
  • Materials and inventory
  • Housing, etc.

However, with modern transportation and communications, local operations have been reduced in favor of centralized procurement, employment, accounting, and financial functions. Tax issues can be very tricky when moving from country to country; thus, outside major accounting firms are needed to interpret local laws so as to comply but not waste potentially huge sums of money.

However, with modern transportation and communications, local operations have been reduced in favor of centralized procurement, employment, accounting, and financial functions. Tax issues can be very tricky when moving from country to country; thus, outside major accounting firms are needed to interpret local laws so as to comply but not waste potentially huge sums of money.

Operator personnel

The operator will have additional personnel on the MODU, such as:

  • Radio operators
  • Two or more drilling superintendents or foremen
  • Drilling engineers
  • A geologist
  • Possibly an administrator

Third-party personnel

The operator from time to time will also have third-party service companies on board to perform and/or run:

References

Noteworthy papers in OnePetro

External links

See also

MODU selection

Drilling safety

PEH:Offshore Drilling Units