World Oilfield Forum
Does any one know anyone currently working over in Africa or anything about the drilling over there? My man works for Patterson in West Texas. He'll be with the company a year in April and is seriously considering applying to drill in Africa for 6 months, but we don't know a lot about it and I was hoping maybe we could get some experienced information from families that have actually been through it or are currently going through it. ANY information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Oh and if you have the name of a company over there we'd appreciate that too.
Find out where in Africa. Africa is larger than the USA and Nigeria is vastly different than Guinea or Mozambique or Libya or Egypt. A good general rule is avoid Nigeria period, avoid most of Africa on land, check out anywhere but Nigeria if going offshore.
Ask how big they are in Africa and how long they have operated there. Pretty much, if the answer is BIG and LONE, then be wary. Companies that focus on Africa could be doing it for profits, but fairly often it's because they have low standards can't get contracts in "civilized" areas. Most of West Africa is difficult for logistics and oil companies are willing (or forced) to accept drillers with lower standards just to get the wells drilled. It's not universal, some companies are there because the phone rang, others don't mind the extra challenges to make the extra profits, but quite a few are there because they can't compete in other areas.
A few questions arise. Is he interested 'only' in Africa? I know Nabors and a few other companies that are in desperate need of drillers worldwide. I have a lot of exposure with drilling companies and with the amount of drilling activity going on, it's a 'drillers paradise' at present. Has he considered a 'commuting' and rotational position? A vast amount of these positons are on a 35/35 or 28 /28 day rotation. As others have mentioned above, Africa around Nigeria, can be an area that could be a little shocking to a 'first time expat'. Do ask questions and do some research of the area.