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Old 11-19-2012, 02:56 AM   #1
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Default Anyone in the Oilfield Industry?

It's been awhile since I've been here, but in the past I've found this place to be a great source of information on far more than just beer.

I retired from the military in May of this year and relocated to North Idaho. Great place to live, but a difficult place to find a job with decent compensation. I did find employment, but am ready for more challenges and better pay.

I am considering the oil industry. Specifically the type of job that works a rotating schedule (2weeks on/off for example) where I can stay home based here. I have an electronics background and am mechanically inclined but am willing to learn anything. It's not difficult to find oil field job listings but what I am really looking for is hearing from the people who work there about who I should contact and what companies are the right ones to work for.

Location of the job isn't a priority as long as I can as I said spend my off time here. North Dakota is appealing due to distance but I understand the housing situation is a PITA. The Gulf Coast and Alaska would also work.

Thanks for any assistance you may have.

Jess

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:10 AM   #2
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Please feel free to PM me as well.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:57 AM   #3
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I was an AB/OSV for a while. Did a little oiler work too since I had gotten a QMED through the boat company I worked for. This was in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lots of former military out there, both on the boats and the rigs. They seemed to take well to being away from home, and land, for weeks at a time.

It was 28 to 36 days on, usually 28, with 14 days off. Shifts were 12 hours, but since we lived on the boat, we were at work 24/7 and would be called upon to do what needed doing anytime all hands were needed. Tying up to the rig and product transfers were all hands on deck, at least to get it going.

It was easy work sometimes. Boring as all get out sometimes. And dirty, nasty, long, hard, tired work other times. A few times, it was dangerous too. Bad weather. Stiff currents. Night operations. Unloading in the wind. Heavy equipment on deck. Hazardous product shipping and handling. Getting the boat in tight among platforms, cranes and other boats. We did some wild stuff. Fun and interesting.

The fishing was great! Tuna, grouper, shark, you name it. And if we weren't eating fresh fish, we had groceries like kings. The boats I was on were too small to have cooks, but everybody out there could cook something fierce.

Pay was per diem. Three digits a day. Well, I think OS started at $85 to $95. The higher your license, the higher your pay.

The down sides were living at work 24/7 for 28 days. It gets to feel like a floating prison. A back and forth swaying, loud floating prison. And being away from family. The divorce rate out there is sky high. Some of these guys were on wife number 3 or more. Some of them just accepted that crew change for them was crew change for the wife too.

I got on with no experience and the company paid for my training. Once you get the licenses, they're yours. They're issued by the USCG, so they're good nation wide.

It was one of those "life experiences" I'm glad I had, but don't want again.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:34 AM   #4
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I've been in the oilfields going on 8 years now and I love it.

I started in the Arkoma basin and now work in the Fayettville Shale in Arkansas. A lot of shale plays going on out there right now, that means lots of jobs in the frac/completions side of things.

There are jobs where you can work a decent schedule, but you have to start somewhere. I now work 14 12 hour shifts in a row then I'm off for 7 days, I'm home every night. Frac crews, work over rigs, and Coiled Tubing Units all pay good but you will EARN your money. I laid flowline for 5 years before I got the cushy job I have now.

If your smart, can do basic math and have computer skills, and are willing to start at the bottom, you have a good future in the oilfields.

We make sacrifices that others do not have to, such as long hours, being away from home, hard work, and always worrying about commodity prices, but we enjoy many perks too. I have a company truck AND I get to use it for personal use, in other words I do not buy gasoline. The food is awesome, someone is always waiting to take you to lunch or cater to your rig/crew, the pay is awesome, we're not stuck at the same location every day, we get to work with lots of different people, chicks dig roughnecks, we get to see and do things other people just don't get to, and there is always room to move up the totem pole. The guys you work with every day, you develop a bond with. While a lot of factory workers fight with each other during the work day, roughnecks get it done TOGETHER. When we aren't at work we are usually with each other, tipping brews or at each other's weddings or even there for the birth of a child in the hospital waiting room. Since you were in the military I'm sure you understand more than I what a sense of pride the comrodary can give a man.

When looking for an employer the most important thing to think about is safety. You want to work for someone that takes it seriously. Make no mistake about it, people get hurt in the oilfields, a company that takes safety serious and goes the extra mile for training is the one I would choose.

If you have any questions ask away, I'm just not sure what all to say here so I won't ramble on anymore.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for both of your responses. Finding the companies seem to be easy, trying to get in touch with someone in the industry a bit more difficult. Linkedin is so spammed up anymore that I don't think it would help much at all.

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Old 11-25-2012, 04:15 AM   #6
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If you're still looking to get I to the oil field, have you tries rigzone.com? My company gets a few candidates from them.

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:15 AM   #7
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I am registered on Rigzone.

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