Offshore Drilling: Under The Sea

It’s common for the majority of people to know about Disney classical films especially the catchy song of  The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea”. However only few of us have a basic understanding of the real “Under the Sea “habitant which are Rigs. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work on an oil rig? Well it is quite difficult; imagine a job that take you hundreds of miles out to sea for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and for weeks on end. Oil rigs can be found on dry land but there are around 1,470 offshore oil rigs around the world, which means this role could take you anywhere from the UK to Australia and even the Middle East.  Before we can begin to understand offshore drilling, let’s get a basic understanding of how a traditional oil rig works.



Drilling Stage

A derrick is used to drill wells down to a depth of 3,000 meters for oil and 5,000 meters for gas. The derrick is made of a collagen-resistant alloy material, which can resist high pressure and temperatures, as well as the hydrogen sulfide found at those depths. As they drill, they remove any rocks they encounter, once at the right depth, they place casing pipe to help support the hole. Then they continue drilling and casing until they find sand in the rock cuttings. When this happens, they perform tests to confirm that they’re in the right spot. If they aren’t in the right spot, they’ll continue drilling and casing. Then, they prepare for oil with multi-valved structures and tubing to help control oil flow.


Extracting oil and natural gas from deposits deep underground isn’t as simple as just drilling and completing a well. Factors in the underground environment such as the porosity of the rock and the viscosity of the deposit, can impede the free flow of product into the well. Prior, it was common to recover as little as 10 percent of the available oil in a reservoir. This in result, left the rest underground modern technology did not exist to bring the remainder to the surface. Nonetheless, advanced technology allows production of about 60 percent of the available resources from a formation

Final Stage

The liquid that is brought up to the platform is a mixture of crude oil, natural gas, water, and sediments, some drilling platforms contain full production facilities to separate this mixture. Although most refinement occurs onshore, some companies use converted oil tankers to treat and store oil at sea. Once some initial treatment has occurred, undersea pipelines and oil tankers transport the oil and natural gas to storage and treatment onshore.


Regardless, of how much experience you have. You should always be willing to learn a new skill or technique,  jobs are always changing and evolving. An openness to grow and learn is required with that change. The use of competence in the oil and gas industry is well established and will continue to develop as we refine current methods and seek new applications.

At OCS Training Institute, our goal is to provide the training and skills essential to help companies in a wide array of industries operate safely and efficiently. Our training courses include online courses and onsite courses conducted in our state-of-the-art facilities for realistic hands-on instruction.  One of OCS Group’s new and enhanced training course Rig Inspections Workshop (IADC),   focuses on terminology, inspection, and protection concepts utilized in hazardous areas, such as rigs.

A careful analysis of the area you currently work in is highly essential to prevent any incidents this is the first step to ensuring safety in the jobsite.


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Call for additional info: (281) 579-1066


Christian, Bonnie. “How Do Oil Rigs Actually Work?” WIRED, WIRED UK

Lamb, Robert. “How Offshore Drilling Works.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks

About the author: Alise M. Mena is a Business student at the University of Houston-Downtown Marilyn Davies College of Business. Alise is in her 3rd year studying marketing as her major and is currently an OCS Group