Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A Useful Glossary of terms

From time to time I will be using work-related terminology and this may require a 'print out and keep' guide so that you can keep up...So here goes...

Annulus - The space between 2 concentric circles...Basically if you think of a dartboard then the outer bull forms an annulus around the inner bull, that's how I remember it anyway.

AOV - 'Actuator Operated Valve'  Basically means that if the air system fails, all hell breaks loose.  As a leak tester, these are the bane of my existence.

Bawbag - term of "endearment" possibly originating from the west coast of Scotland. 

Normally reserved for the less competent of co-workers and the socially impotent. 


Bund - a self-contained area designed to catch any spills, usually used for spotting chemical tanks.  These should be built by the time we get offshore but a lot of the time we end up building them ourselves (Oh, the joys!).

Camp Boss - Not, as you might expect, an OIM (see below) in make up but this is the guy in charge of the accommodation...in short, a very good man to get in with.

CCR - 'Central Control Room' A place where all the AOV's are operated from.  Usually situated on the bottom floor of the accommodation block.  The place where the 'CRO's drink tea, I mean surf Facebook, I mean eBay, I mean work...

'Chopper Eve' - The day all offshore personnel long for more than any other.  The day/evening before you travel home or to put it another way, the only thing you think about from the moment you arrive at the Heliport to travel offshore.

Covvies - Short for coveralls, we all need em but it doesn't say we have to like em!  There is a very small window in a pair's life during which they actually fit you, usually 1 or 2 trips.  After that they will be too small - 'ONE SIZE FITS NOBODY'.

CRO - 'Control Room Operator'  Very important people that occasionally may need 'turning' so that they don't get bedsores.

Day Rater - Agency person paid daily - It's a lottery whether good/bad/totally useless(I used to be a painter before I came here!!!!!!). With thanks to 'Bumpy' Rhodes...

Deadliest Catch - A TV show about fishing that is always on...EVERY telly FOREVER! (See Sky News).

FPSO - Strictly speaking this stands for 'Floating Production Storage & Offload', to us it means an oil tanker with a load of Process and pipes stuck on the deck.  All this tends to mean is you have an oil rig but stretched out and only on 2 levels (Yay! Fewer stairs!!).  In reality it means that the treadmill in the Gym will move around more than usual.

FPV/Semi-Sub - 'Floating Production Vessel' or 'Semi-Submersible'  A rig that will move about in rough weather (See FPSO).

Galley - Place where, depending on the location, either decent or decidedly sub-par food is left under hot lamps for an extended period of time.

Grey - The colour of Aberdeen...All of it!

The Gym - In the normal world, these are places where you can exercise, socialise and possibly ogle yourself into an early grave but offshore they are quite a different proposition.  Mostly they are filled with scaffolders and over-compensating  operators 'spotting each other' - or whatever the current gay slang is...and the music is TERRIBLE!!

Holes - Things that start to appear in your clothes when you wear (or more particularly wash) them offshore.  This is due to the process of ramming a big-ass needle through your entire laundry bag.  I still don't know why they do this when you consider all your clothes are tied up in a bag together as it is...

Inbetweeny - the unofficial pre- and post- break breaks. Some colleagues can tell just

by looking at the floor that it's "Inbetweeny time" Very much the preserve of the leak tester


Induction Video - A cure for insomnia (See Site Induction).

ISSOW - 'Integrated Safe System of Work'  The updated, ultra-modern, computer-based, supposedly paper-free, permit-to-work system.  This is how offshore work is controlled so that everyone doesn't try to do everything all at once.  As it's computer-based, people can sign-in remotely to sign-up their relevant parts and so the permit office is less busy/chaotic.  This DOES help to keep some sort of order.

Job Security - File not found

Ken - Short for Kenneth, sooner or later you WILL be called this by a Scotsman.

LN2 -  Abbrev. 'Liquid Nitrogen' Basically means 'Do Not Drink!'

MSV - 'Mobile Storage Vessel/Vehicle'  A totally onshore term that means a road tanker that could be filled with anything from acids to milk or water.  In my world these are usually filled with LN2.

OIM - 'Offshore Installation Manager'  The Boss, The Big Cheese...basically the guy in charge.  May sound like fun but if a chef burns himself in the kitchen, it's his responsibility.  They get paid the most but it is a LOT of responsibility (and you still have to travel on the same choppers as the Hoi Polloi).

Piece Time - Depending on the location (and the day) these can be great or distinctly disappointing.  I have had in my travels the good (Bacon Rolls, Sausage Rolls (both sandwich rolls and normal sausage rolls), Hot Dogs, Pizza, etc and the bad (Cheese on toasted buns. cheese and tomato on toasted buns) but the worst ever has to be Scones!  Plain Scones!  Not even warm!

Pig - A name for a variety of pipe-internal tools used for anything from drying (Foam Pigs), Flooding, de-watering, gauging (Gauge Pigs) to just plain old clearing crap out of the line.  They come in many different guises/shapes/sizes but the external shape is almost always round (square pipes never really caught on)...

Pig Launcher - An extra bit of pipe from which we 'Launch' 'Pigs' (It's not rocket science...Come On!)

PPE - Another TLA, Personal Protective Equipment. Anything you have to put on to protect yourself (gloves, eyewear, ear defenders, etc.).  Think cricketer's pads, box, gloves, helmet.  Very similar actually (apart from the box, I've never worn one of them offshore). 

PTW - 'Permit To Work' (See ISSOW).

Pump - Both a noun and a verb yet neither is in the least bit dirty - in a work context at least.

Shifter - Just an Ordinary adjustable spanner, although the singular/plural can cause some consternation eg: 'Hand me a pair of shifters...No! I only wanted one!'  OR  'Give me 2 pairs of shifters.'
'So 4 then?!
'No! Just 2 pairs! Idiot!!'

Site Induction - A very necessary action to familiarise oneself with all the vital emergency procedures on board (particularly break times)  (See 'Induction Video')

Sky News - A God awful, tawdry, propaganda machine staffed by some of the worst examples of what DNA can become...that is on every telly...ALWAYS!

Stilly - Short for 'Stilson', for normal people it is a 'Monkey Wrench'.  For when a 'shifter' just won't cut it!

Tallybook - Should be used to log ops details for your daily reports but they are mostly used to log days, pay totals, useful e-mail addresses to seek better employment, phone numbers and web addresses for porn sites.

Tea Shack - The natural habitat of the operator or leak tester.  These are usually too full at 0900Hrs and 1500Hrs mainly due to 'Piece Time'.

TLA - 'Three Letter Abbreviations' the scourge of the offshore industry (See WCC).

Tool Pusher - What IS a Tool Pusher?  I still don't know?!

Vantage System - A lot like the Metric system in that almost no-one understands it fully.  It is supposed to make life easier for us poor offshore slobs by limiting our days worked to a reasonable amount.  What actually happens is if you are working too much, the next time you go to check-in a message will flash up on the screen but will be cancelled with such speed by the person checking you in that no-one could possibly read it!  I've often wondered what these little missives might say, indeed, if I were in charge I'd add little things like: WARNING! This man is a pervert and should not be allowed in a confined area...or something else maybe?!

 WCC - 'Work Control Certificate'  Basically a 'PTW' (See ISSOW).

If I've missed anything off I'm sorry but don't panic as I will be adding to this list as I include more jargon.

Neil Hannon (and Ron Swanson) rocks!!