The following Q&A section provides background information for those with little or no prior knowledge of offshore oil exploration and production (E&P), including types of jobs that require no college education, the industry’s search for younger people to replace its aging work force, and more. Many aspects of onshore and offshore drilling operations are similar. Where there are major differences, these are flagged under each answer, or as needed, in separate questions. Periodically, breakout sections on special topics of interest are noted by underlined links.
In addition to going through the questions you should check out this publicly available government document from the Department of Labor. It is a graphical oil rig description or glossary. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to open the link. Get Acrobat at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.