fusion point research Marketing Research Reports

Marketing to Offshore Leaders

Understanding Their Role

Once a petroleum company decides to extract oil from an offshore location, they position an oil platform over the well site. These large platforms are constructed in pieces on land, towed to out to sea on barges, and then assembled over the site. The design, construction and assembly of these enormous structures can involve thousands of workers.1 There are many different types of platforms, some floating and others fixed to the seafloor.2


The platform operates in a remote and difficult environment, far from support resources. It needs to be largely self-sufficient, with facilities to house workers, generate electricity, desalinate water, maintain equipment and run the drill. Platform supply vessels (PSVs) ferry workers and materials between the structure and land.3


Working on the platforms is dangerous, and safety is a major concern. Workers wear protective gear and routinely perform emergency drills. The crew generally operates in 12 hours shifts. Most of the platform’s space is dedicated to production equipment, but the platform also has offices and areas for the crew when off duty.4 In the US the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) handles regulation and oversite.5


“Every facility is different, but most platforms have dormitory-style sleeping quarters, visitor accommodations, a restaurant, a coffee house, as well as a cinema, gym and other recreation areas.” - BP 6

1 BP. “How to Build a Platform in Six Steps.” See: www.slideshare.net/BP_plc/how-to-build-a-platform?....

2 Hilyard, Joseph. The Oil and Gas Industry: A Nontechnical Guide . Edited by Hill, Stephen. 1421 South Sheridan Road, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74112-6600: PennWell Corporation, 2012.

3 See, for example: www.maersksupplyservice.com/activities/fleet/pages...

4 BP. “Life on a Remote Platform.” See: www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/what-we-do....

5 See: www.bsee.gov

6 BP. “Life on a Remote….”



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Oil platforms operate in the open ocean, far from land-based support. The platform not only contains facilities to drill and pump for oil, but also to house, feed and entertain the crew.