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Old 23rd January 2016, 15:19   #16
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Great travelogue. Your post was very true about Middle East's beauty. Their culture and awesome food is something I miss a lot.

Limited internet and less TV channels does sound depressing at this time and age. Well whatever works for them is fine I guess
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Old 23rd January 2016, 16:15   #17
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Been There, Done That, back in 1989 in our own country.
BHS, BHN, Sagar Ratna - ONGC platforms. During September with Monsoon still in full swing. We were transported in Dauphin Chopper and landed safely on BHS. But have done that Jhoola thing with our equipment to move to a supply vessel. Sea was choppy 5 meters up and down and we were literally 'dropped' on the unloading deck. Though we finished our work in 3 days, weather got worse and choppers could not land and spent 2 more days on Sagar Ratna just doing nothing. Just started to get depressed, as no Mobiles, no Dish, No TV, only some puny computer games there on DOS system. They had loads of video cassettes, but no mood at all to watch. 5 Star buffet, no mood to eat.
It was about 6 days trip and when we returned to land, I felt I was visiting Heaven. Truly admire people working on those rigs.
Kudos for sharing your experience.!
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Old 23rd January 2016, 16:43   #18
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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Originally Posted by shreyascashyap View Post
Underwater robots weld the different segments together so that there is no leakage. This depth is usually not very deep so human divers also go down to supervise the work.
Fantastic posts , Shreyas ; reminds me of the SBM and the subsea hoses and pipelines that I used to monitor when I was in Gujarat.

Just curious to know what the depth was at this platform ?
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Old 23rd January 2016, 17:41   #19
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Thanks for sharing the experiences.

For a land lubber like me, it was a lot of good information on the whole offshore oil exploration business.

Fascinating window into the culture and experiences in Iran as well.

Drive on,
Shibu.
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Old 23rd January 2016, 19:50   #20
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Thank you for this informative thread on a country not too often understood or visited by foreigners. Did not know Iran was this neat, clean and modern (That museum pic looks like from some Western museum).

Is it also true of what they say of Iranians being the most beautiful/handsome people on the planet?

Last edited by WindRide : 23rd January 2016 at 19:51.
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Old 24th January 2016, 01:01   #21
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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Originally Posted by shreyascashyap
One curious fact - over 90% of the vehicles you can see on the road are either white or grey/silver for reasons I cannot explain!
This is common practice in the middle east.
White absorbs the least heat from the sun and since the Gulf nations face 50 degree summers and HOT weather 9 months of the year, as you may have experienced, they prefer white cars the most.
Black cars generally have a lower resale value.
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Old 24th January 2016, 01:49   #22
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

People often mistake the Iranians for Arabs, when infact they are Persians - a different ethnicity entirely. I likes the blog. Always wanted to visit Iran.
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Old 24th January 2016, 04:35   #23
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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I get an opportunity to travel to the more obscure places on work, which was how I ended up spending considerable time in Asaloyeh, Iran - the site of the largest gas field in the world currently i.e the Pars Gas Fields.
Very well written post on your experience. was this a short term stint? were you on board for Commissioning services?

The entire Oil & Gas industry is quite amazing. about 'Stellar' money, I can believe. 2 Norwegian service engineers I know personally are on Rigs every now and then on short tasks. one drives a 458 Italia and the other a R8 V10.

Ironically, The VP of that business unit only drives a Volvo XC90.
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Old 24th January 2016, 08:25   #24
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Hello. A beautiful writeup and thanx for the insight. Please do write a few do and don'ts about the places you visited. The handshake being one !

Any writeup on the famous food and snacks you tasted.
Compared to the various social conventions I found out that you have to adhere to the hard way during my travels to the far east and middle east, Iran is one of the more relaxed places. Any social goof up you do is quickly forgiven and forgotten.

While I am a major foodie and love eating anything under the sun, Iranian food didn't cut it out for me due to the insane number of sweets and the total lack of anything remotely spicy.In fact, when a bunch of us Indians had complained to the site admin office saying the food was unpalatable due to lack of spice, they ended up sending 10-15 fresh green chillies every day along with our packed lunch! If I had to choose a few things I did enjoy, it would be -

Falafel - their equivalent of roadside pakoras. Deep fried balls made out of chickpeas and beans. We had a vendor we used to frequent, and he made sure to add extra green chillies while frying our batch hehe

Samosa - the humble samosa we love to gorge on here in India actually has it's origins from ancient Iran. However the samosa they make is slightly more squished, with less potato and lots of green leafy veggies. Still tastes amazing though!

You know when you cook rice and it gets overdone, it gets crisp and burnt out and sticks to the bottom of the vessel? That's actually a delicacy here!! They have special flat vessels where they add a pinch of saffron to the rice and burn it to a crisp which they then have as papad!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Hey Shreyas,

This was a really informative thread & some really good narration.

Felt like a National Geographic / Discovery Channel episode in print

Thanks for posting
Thank you karan! That's some high praise indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Fantastic posts , Shreyas ; reminds me of the SBM and the subsea hoses and pipelines that I used to monitor when I was in Gujarat.

Just curious to know what the depth was at this platform ?
Thanks vigsom! This platform was at a depth of 74m.

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Originally Posted by WindRide View Post

Is it also true of what they say of Iranians being the most beautiful/handsome people on the planet?
Haha! I wasn't expecting this question at all. I would have to agree with you there. Iranians happen to be the most beautiful ethnic group I've worked with so far. However, the grass is greener on the other side, always! Every single Iranian guy I spoke with said Iranian women are barely good looking and they had all fallen head over heels in love with Indian women lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous View Post
This is common practice in the middle east.
White absorbs the least heat from the sun and since the Gulf nations face 50 degree summers and HOT weather 9 months of the year, as you may have experienced, they prefer white cars the most.
Black cars generally have a lower resale value.
Ahh! That makes so much sense. Should have thought of that. Thank you nitrous.

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Originally Posted by 14000rpm View Post
Very well written post on your experience. was this a short term stint? were you on board for Commissioning services?
Thanks 14000rpm. Yes, I was there for commissioning and start up. I was present at the onshore refinery for a longer duration than at the offshore platform though.
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Old 24th January 2016, 08:40   #25
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Very nice and informative thread.

You work in a very interesting area, Distributed Control Systems.

After I left the merchant navy / offshore I worked for a company dealing with DCS. At the time we were the European rep of Rexnord. They were bought by Texas Instruments a few years later. At the time our biggest competitor was Honeywell. They are still around, whereas my kids donít even know TI.

Always enjoyed working in the automation and instrumentation industry. Did some teaching too.

Did you have to undergo any formal safety training before you were allowed on the rig?

Jeroen
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Old 24th January 2016, 11:21   #26
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Excellent write up shreyascashyap!

I spent a quarter century in Oil and Gas industry (on the engineering team, not erection&commissioning) and the industry is the reason I could set foot on 16 countries, on 4 continents and also consider an early retirement! Sad that the industry is in doldrums due to crash in crude prices.

It is quite a spectacle - the heavy lifts by the barge cranes for installing the offshore platforms. The FPSO is a different offshore animal - due to the effect of wave motion and the weather-vaning design.

I got an offer to work at Iran, which I did not accept as I gathered that Iran isn't different from Saudi Arabia in terms of social restrictions and inequalities. Later I found that that was not true. Your experience corroborates my later understanding.
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Old 24th January 2016, 13:46   #27
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

@shreyascashyap

That was a wonderful insight into Iranian culture and of course the rig!
Many thanks.

I noticed that in one of the pictures, the platform is spewing fire on to the side, and not to the top like we usually see. Is there any reason for that set up? Is it something only for Natural gas?
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Old 24th January 2016, 14:42   #28
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Hello. That was very funny and was amusing, to know, about Indian Females = Iranian Females. You know why, Just go through the History. Almost all good Buildings in India, post 1600 AD, were built, by them, before the Britishers came. All the marble 'naqquasi' and the Inlay work, (the Kashmiris too, learnt the art, of carpet weaving, and wooden inlays, paper mash and other fine woolen work (from 'shatoosh') from the Persians. The Pulao or pilaf, the rogan josh, the art of cooking with saffron, The lavendar oil and perfume, etc etc; )

Its no wonder these artists fathered and sired many; and many many beautiful womenfolk, with sharp features, beautiful, dreamy eyes with beautiful eyelashes, warm glowing skins, started dotting the canvases of whole of western and eastern India, specially Kashmir, Punjab and to some extent Rajasthan. 90% Male Indian; below 25 and above 15, will agree to this.

Coming to kababs, The persians and the turks were the original inventors ( well, i am NOT talking about meat roasting on fire, with salt, pepper and lime juice rub ! which some people mistakenly call them, kababs !)

Did you find the kababs, Any better tasting or worse than one found in Middle east or India. I had tasted authentic Afghan and Paki Kababs (they have large border with Iran, so does Pakistan). The Afghan's are more bland (as per our taste) than pakis (similar to our taste).

What about the Pulao and the Curries or rogan josh?

Any more pictures we should expect? Please, do put some from the offshore and some from the country side and market place. I am sure, you had clicked hundreds. Had voted a deservedly 5 star rating, for such enlightening travelogue.

When will you be back there. Thanx in advance.

regards

dr. sen
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Old 24th January 2016, 18:45   #29
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreyascashyap View Post
.. Iranian food didn't cut it out for me ...
Similar sentiment here. Remember a group of us going to Shebestan - Sterlings MAC Hotel, an Arab/Iranian restuarant on Old Airport Road and coming out with half filled stomachs. Food was bland AND tasteless. They are rated high on authenticity, so what we ate must be similar to what was served to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreyascashyap View Post
... they had all fallen head over heels in love with Indian women ...
Yes there must be striking similarities in the physical features of Iranian and Kashmiri people, for example. Certainly because of the 'cross-pollination' effect of the early Persian visitors/invaders to the North of our country.

Last edited by WindRide : 24th January 2016 at 18:47.
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Old 24th January 2016, 22:47   #30
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Excellent write-up and great pics Shreyas. I myself have been working in the oil and gas industry for almost a decade now, but never been offshore (it might happen soon though and Im so eagerly looking forward). Have been to fab yards though. The offshore trip gives you a first hand experience and visualization of the shear size and complexity of the equipment that we design from our desk. It also gives an insight into the daily operations that takes place on a platform and the safety measures that need to be adhered while on it.

I'm sure this trip will be a feather in your cap for your future career.


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Originally Posted by 14000rpm View Post
The entire Oil & Gas industry is quite amazing. about 'Stellar' money, I can believe. 2 Norwegian service engineers I know personally are on Rigs every now and then on short tasks. one drives a 458 Italia and the other a R8 V10.

Ironically, The VP of that business unit only drives a Volvo XC90.
Yes indeed it is quite amazing and well paid industry. Everyone (especially the operators and major contractors) mad merry when the oil prices were hovering over 100$/bbl. Thats no more the case for the past 8 months now. Unfortunately these are torrid testing times for oil and gas industry with oil at sub $30/bbl. There have been more than 100k job cuts. If these low prices sustain for longer periods (which I believe they will for at least another 1-2 yrs) will change the oil and gas industry from the perceived high profit margin business into a aggressively competitive low margin commodity market. The oil price expected to go down further. While oil importing countries like India reap the benefit of the reduced oil prices temporarily, the exporting countries are severely impacted. Most of the operators across the globe (including ONGC) have reduced their investments by ~20-40% for the next 1-3 yrs. Some of the countries will loose money if they produce at these low prices and if they don't they won't have any other income. The low petrol prices we are paying everyday might seem good for now but in longer run this will have a ripple effect and the entire global economy can go down.
Lets hope this will turn around soon...!!!
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