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Company Man

A company man in the petroleum industry refers to a representative of an operating/exploration company. Other terms that may be used are company representative, foreman, drilling engineer, company consultant, rigsite leader or "well site manager". In a normal scenario, gas/oil-drilling (exploration) companies rent or lease rigs from another company that owns the rig, the drilling contractor. The majority of the personnel on the drilling rig, called 'the rig crew', are employees of the drilling contractor. The Company Man is the on-site representative of the operating/exploration company and is in overall charge of the drilling and associated activities. Rig operations and maintenance and crew upkeep are attended to by the toolpusher, who works for the drilling contractor. Expertise A company man is not a supervisor in the traditional sense. He/she is representing the company that is paying for the well amongst other companies performing the services. In matters where safety may be questioned the oil rig workers, who may not be employed by the same company as the company man, may refuse to perform an action requested by the company man. In recent years it has become standard safety policy that anyone can "Stop the Job" if they feel there is a hazard that has not been properly addressed. This can be found in most contractor safety manuals and is generally encouraged by the drilling company also.[citation needed] The company man is knowledgeable in the area of drilling operations and to some extent completion operations. He/she is not generally responsible for defining the technical aspects of the well, but instead works with a team of office-based engineers and geologists and is the team member responsible for carrying out the written drilling program in an efficient and safe fashion. Since most of the physical work is carried out by contractors that may have separate interests from the oil company, the company man is often the sole representative of the oil company on location to ensure that plans are carried out according to specifications, time-lines and budgets. In the modern era, many company men have a degree in petroleum engineering or some other discipline of engineering with broad experience in a variety of oilfield jobs.[citation needed] However, many others have some of the skills of a drilling engineer but without a degree, and have worked their way from being a "worm" manual laborer to the position of highest authority on the drilling site, similar to a private working to the position of general through a demonstration of competence. The next step for a company man is to become a specialist "floating foreman," who is skilled at solving complex drilling problems, or to become a "rig superintendent" who may oversee many rigs and have company men as direct reports. From there it is possible for some to move on to upper management in an oil company, or to branch off into a multitude of other careers requiring technical management experience. Usually, 24-hour supervision is required at the well site. To achieve this, a night company man may be utilized.


The derrickman is one of the drill rig crew members who gets his name from the fact that during trips he works on a platform attached to the derrick or mast, typically 85 ft (26 m) above the drill rig floor. On small land drilling crews, the derrickman is second in rank to the driller. Larger offshore crews may have an assistant driller between the derrickman and the driller. In a typical trip out of the hole (TOH), the derrickman wears a special derrickman safety harness that enables him to lean out from the work platform (called the monkeyboard) to reach the drillpipe in the center of the derrick or mast, throw a line around the pipe and pull it back into its storage location (the fingerboards) until it is time to run the pipe back into the well. In an emergency, the derrickman can quickly reach the ground by an escape line often called the Geronimo line. His other job is to handle the mud-processing area during periods of circulation. The derrickman measures mud density and conducts the viscosity test on a regular basis. The derrickman reports to the toolpusher during periods of circulation, but is instructed in detail by the mud engineer on what to add to the mud, how fast and how much. Derrickmen are employed by drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.

Dynamic positioning (DP)

Dynamic positioning (DP) is a means to automatically control vessel movement, keeping it in a desired location and heading or on a specific track, solely through the use of thrusters. It is a technique used extensively in the many branches of the offshore oil and gas industry, including diving, ROV operations, survey and marine construction, all over the world.

Dynamic Positioning Operator (DPO)

Dynamic Positioning Operator (DPO) is responsible for the safe station keeping of the vessel. He/she is the primary watch keeper at the Dynamic Positioning (DP) control desk. He/she operates and monitors the D.P. system when the vessel is in D.P. Mode and monitors logistical operations associated with the vessel. (i.e. movement of supply vessels and helicopters) Dynamic Positioning System is a computerized ship control system, using forward and stern thrusters ( propellers ) in combination with ship's main engine and rudder to remain in a constant position, regardless of wind and/or current. Mostly used during offshore operations when necessary for ship to stay within a few metres of an installation without touching it. The system can be controlled through an "joystick".


With oil rigs operating throughout the world and are staffed 24/7 nearly all of them require medical personnel. Offshore oil rig medics are generally not doctors, but they will have the training and experience in the medical field as former nurses or paramedics. They manage the sick bay and order medical supplies as needed. They will also be in charge of issuing medication and keeping up with medical records for all the employees. Being an offshore medic is a very responsible and highly challenging job. On smaller rigs, with fewer personnel, you might even have to double up as the resident safety officer and you will also be responsible for the upkeep of the sick bay and the ordering of medical supplies. In some cases you may also be required to transfer from the rig to a support vessel to attend to injured crewmen so a head for heights and, of course a good strong stomach are often the order of the day. It’s one of the most respected and rewarding jobs offshore, but it’s not for everyone. However, if you fancy a job that is as challenging as the environment in which it is carried out then perhaps the position of offshore medic is the one for you. Depending on the location your starting anual salary can range from $55,000 to $69,000


A motorman is the member of the oil rig crew responsible for maintenance of the engines. While all members of the oil rig crew help with major repairs, the motorman does routine preventive maintenance, minor repairs, drive trucks and operate specialized hydraulic pumping systems to place cement in wells or to treat wells with chemicals, sand mixtures or gases to stimulate production. Motormen are employed by oil drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.

Oil Driller

Oil drillers set up or operate a variety of drill rigs to remove petroleum products from the earth and to find and remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration. Oil drillers control the operation and direct the activities of the rig crew under supervision of the rig manager. The driller is responsible for the efficient operation of the rigsite as well as the safety of the crew and typically has many years of rigsite experience. Most oil drillers have worked their way up from other rigsite jobs. The driller must know how to perform each of the jobs on the rig. The driller also operates the drawworks brake using a long-handled lever. Hence, the driller is sometimes referred to as the person who is "on the brake." Oil drillers are employed by drilling and well service contractors, petroleum producing companies and well logging or testing companies.

Rig Electrician

An oil rig electrician install, maintain, troubleshoot, repair, test and commission electrical and electronic equipment and systems on oil rigs. The rig electrician may also work on electrical transmission and distribution equipment. Rig electricians are employed by maintenance departments of drilling and well servicing contractors and by petroleum producing companies. The oil rig electrician must follow the Electric Code. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Rig Mechanic

An oil rig mechanic perform routine preventive maintenance and ensure that machines and equipment continue to run smoothly. The rig mechanic obtain supplies and repair parts from distributors or storerooms. Following a checklist, a rig mechanic may inspect drives, motors and hydraulic systems, check fluid levels, replace filters and perform other maintenance actions. The rig mechanic keep records of his work. Rig mechanics are employed by maintenance departments of drilling and well servicing contractors and by petroleum producing companies. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.


The oil rig roughneck or floorman is a member of the oil drilling crew. The oil rig roughneck carry out a variety of general laboring duties and operate equipment to assist in the drilling and servicing of oil and gas wells. The oil rig roughnecks are employed by drilling and well servicing contractors and by petroleum producing companies. The oil rig roughneck usually work long hours in all weather conditions on extended roster systems, usually as member of a drilling crew. The oil rig roughneck usually performs semiskilled and unskilled manual labor that requires continual hard work in difficult conditions for many hours.


The roustabout is commonly hired to perform hard manual jobs to ensure that the skilled personnel that run an expensive oil drilling rig are not distracted by peripheral tasks, ranging from any unskilled manual labor on the rig site like cleaning up location to cleaning threads to digging trenches to scraping and painting rig components. The roustabout usually work long hard days on extended roster systems outdoors in all weather conditions. The roustabout jobs are generally hard and physically demanding. This type of work can lead to more steady employment on a drill rig crew.
  • Assemble or repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools
  • Assist in slotting, welding and inserting casing screens
  • Help with well development and pumping tests
  • Crry out minor maintenance and repairs, including lubrication
  • Ceans equipment, drill and camp sites
  • Dig and clean mud pits and drains
  • Help move drilling rigs and equipment from site to site, set up in the new site and connect power cables or hoses for water and air supply
  • Help obtain drilling core samples
  • Mix and test drilling fluids, chemicals and grout
  • Operate equipment such as pumps for air, water and mud, and equipment and tools used to correct problems in drilled holes caused by mechanical breakdowns or by harmful natural conditions
  • Perform other tasks as needed

ROV Operator

A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is a tethered underwater vehicle. They are common in deepwater industries such as offshore oil extraction. An ROV may sometimes be called a remotely operated underwater vehicle to distinguish it from remote control vehicles operating on land or in the air. ROVs are unoccupied, highly maneuverable and operated by a person aboard a vessel. They are linked to the ship by a tether (sometimes referred to as an umbilical cable), a group of cables that carry electrical power, video and data signals back and forth between the operator and the vehicle. High power applications will often use hydraulics in addition to electrical cabling. Most ROVs are equipped with at least a video camera and lights. Additional equipment is commonly added to expand the vehicle’s capabilities. These may include sonars, magnetometers, a still camera, a manipulator or cutting arm, water samplers, and instruments that measure water clarity, light penetration and temperature. ROV Operator Job The ROV Pilot Technician has the primary responsibility for the piloting of the ROV, maintenance and repair of the ROV system, implementation and monitoring of technical procedures and reporting, work management and execution of ROV operational tasks. Their job is highly specialized. ROV technicians are responsible for complex robotic systems, launching and retrieving them from the ship or drilling platform as well as for operating them at great depths. Classification of Submersible ROVs ROVs are normally classified into categories based on their size, weight, ability or power. Some common ratings are: Micro: typically Micro class ROVs are very small in size and weight. Today’s Micro Class ROVs can weigh less than 3 kg. These ROVs are used as an alternative to a diver, specifically in places where a diver might not be able to physically enter such as a sewer, pipeline or small cavity. Mini: typically Mini Class ROVs weigh in around 15 kg. Mini Class ROVs are also used as a diver alternative. One person may be able to transport the complete ROV system out with them on a small boat, deploy it and complete the job without outside help. Occasionally both Micro and Mini classes are referred to as "eyeball" class to differentiate them from ROVs that may be able to perform intervention tasks. General: typically less than 5 HP (propulsion); occasionally small three finger manipulators grippers have been installed, such as on the very early RCV 225. These ROVUs may be able to carry a sonar unit and are usually used on light survey applications. Typically the maximum working depth is less than 1,000 metres though one has been developed to go as deep as 7,000 m. Light Workclass: typically less than 50 hp (propulsion). These ROVs may be able to carry some manipulators. Their chassis may be made from polymers such as polyethylene rather than the conventional stainless steel or aluminium alloys. They typically have a maximum working depth less than 2000 m. Heavy Workclass: typically less than 220 hp (propulsion) with an ability to carry at least two manipulators. They have a working depth up to 3500 m. Trenching/Burial: typically more than 200 hp (propulsion) and not usually greater than 500 hp (while some do exceed that) with an ability to carry a cable laying sled and work at depths up to 6000 m in some cases.


A toolpusher is the location supervisor for the oil and gas drilling contractor. The toolpushers supervise and co-ordinate the activities of drill rig crew engaged in drilling for oil or gas, operating service rigs, or providing oil and gas well services. The toolpusher is usually a senior experienced individual who has worked his way up through the ranks of the drilling crew positions. The toolpusher job is largely administrative, including ensuring that the oil rig has sufficient materials, spare parts and skilled personnel to continue efficient operations. The toolpusher also serves as a trusted advisor to many personnel on the rigsite, including the operator's representative, the company man. Toolpushers are employed by drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.