Glossary / Oil and gas / Roustabout

A roustabout refers to a general laborer or entry-level worker who performs various manual tasks and provides essential support to the operations of drilling rigs, production sites, and oilfield facilities. Roustabouts play a crucial role in maintaining the smooth functioning of oil and gas operations.

Here are the key responsibilities and duties of a roustabout:

– Rigging and equipment handling. Roustabouts are involved in the handling, moving, and assembling of equipment and materials required for drilling and production activities. They assist in rigging up and rigging down operations, which involve setting up or dismantling equipment such as pipes, pumps, and drilling tools.

– General maintenance and repairs. Roustabouts are responsible for general maintenance and repairs of oilfield equipment and infrastructure. They perform tasks like painting, cleaning, greasing, and ensuring the proper functioning of machinery and tools.

– Loading and unloading. Roustabouts assist in the loading and unloading of equipment, supplies, and materials at drilling sites or supply bases. This includes handling heavy machinery, using cranes or forklifts, and ensuring the safe transportation and storage of materials.

– Pipeline and facility maintenance. Roustabouts may be involved in the maintenance and inspection of pipelines, storage tanks, and production facilities. They help with cleaning, painting, and repairing structures to maintain their integrity and prevent leaks or damage.

– Spill response and environmental compliance. Roustabouts are trained to respond to spills and other environmental incidents in compliance with safety and environmental regulations. They participate in spill containment, cleanup, and the implementation of environmental protection measures.

– Safety and rig operations support. Roustabouts follow safety protocols and support rig operations by assisting with tasks such as erecting safety barriers, maintaining firefighting equipment, and participating in safety drills and meetings.

Roustabouts work under the supervision of more experienced personnel, such as rig operators, drillers, or supervisors. They often work in physically demanding and challenging conditions, including remote locations and adverse weather conditions.

Roustabout positions provide opportunities for skill development and advancement within the
oil and gas industry. Many individuals start their careers as roustabouts and gain experience and knowledge to progress into specialized roles such as roughneck, floorhand, or equipment operator. The contributions of roustabouts are crucial to the efficient and safe operation of oil and gas sites.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A roustabout was a general laborer who performed various manual tasks on oil rigs and other industrial settings. Their duties included cleaning and maintaining machinery, handling heavy equipment, and assisting skilled workers like mechanics and electricians. They were also responsible for unloading and loading supplies, setting up drilling equipment, and performing other tasks as needed. Roustabouts played a critical role in supporting the operations of oil and gas companies.

A roustabout crew is responsible for performing manual labor tasks on oil rigs or other industrial sites. They assist in the movement of heavy equipment, perform general maintenance duties, and clean and prepare job sites. These workers typically work long hours, often in challenging weather conditions, and must have physical stamina and excellent communication skills to work effectively as part of a team.

A roustabout slang refers to an unskilled laborer who works on oil rigs and ships. The job typically involves manual labor and can be physically demanding. The term “roustabout” originated in the circus industry, where it referred to someone who set up the tent and performed various odd jobs. In the oil industry, the term has come to refer specifically to someone who works on drilling platforms and performs maintenance tasks.

In the oil and gas industry, a roughneck and a roustabout are both entry-level positions on drilling rigs, but they have different roles. A roughneck primarily works on the drilling floor, handling the drilling equipment, pipes, and operating machinery. They assist in the drilling process and are involved in physically demanding tasks. On the other hand, a roustabout performs general labor and maintenance duties around the rig site, including equipment handling, cleaning, and assisting different crew members as needed.