Thursday, April 10, 2014

Offshore Experience

In case you didn't catch it in my last post, I took a trip to the middle of the North Sea this past week. It was a phenomenal experience and I am so glad I had an opportunity to come out!

There's some beforehand prep work that you have to do in order to go offshore. I took a week long survival course that included putting out fires with different extinguishers, swimming in the North Sea in a survival suit, and lastly, escaping a "helicopter" in a pool as practice in case of emergency. I found the course to actually be a lot of fun, but I hope I never have to put those skills to use in real-life!

Friday I boarded my helicopter at Sola Airport to fly offshore. We wear those survival suits on-route making for a tight 1.5 hour ride out to Ekofisk (for which I am grateful in case anything were to happen because that suit - that's going to be the reason I survive. You've seen Titanic. Jack would have been just fine had he been in one of these babies!).

Cell phones are strictly forbidden offshore so I've got limited pics. My wifi-only ipad is allowed so I snapped a few pictures inside the "hotel" and used the rig's approved-camera for pictures of operations. I can't share those ops pics with you, but I can share a rig selfie!

Sitting in the driller's chair. Don't worry, they knew better than to let me drive!

Here's a few shots I got of my accommodations. There are single/double rooms, a gym, multiple lounges, a sauna, dining room, and the ever-important tanning bed and unlimited ice cream. :-)

Operations offshore run 24/7. The first couple of days we were getting everything setup so we didn't have to worry about night shifts. Towards the end though, I took over watching ops in the evening and overnight on my last day. It's surreal to think I am writing this from the middle of the North Sea!
Ekofisk Main Complex in the background. I am on Ekofisk Kilo.

My job doesn't typically entail going offshore so this was a great opportunity. The well we were logging is one that I actually planned before I went on maternity so it was neat to come back to work and get to see it in progress! The logging was... well, interesting. Let's just say I saw a wide variety of operations and things that can happen unexpectedly!

I will say though, that it got tough towards the end being away from Jason and Madi. I was alright the first couple of days, but really starting to miss them! I'd only been away from Madi for one night before this and while five nights isn't long enough to complain about, I am very glad to be headed back home so I can cuddle with this cutie pie!!

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