Life on Board the Maersk Developer – An OIM’s Perspective

Jennifer DiGeso Mærsk Developer
Jennifer DiGeso on board Maersk Developer. Photo by Wilson Mantilla.

A rig like the MAERSK DEVELOPER has a reputation of being a place mostly for tough guys, working 24 hours a day. However, Offshore Installation Manager (OIM), Jennifer DiGeso, challenges this view: “Life out there is best described as living in a mini-society with all necessary amenities like a gym, a cinema and, on the MAERSK DEVELOPER, even a prayer room. Like at every other work place, our rig has different personalities working here e.g. the ‘joker’, the ‘super serious’ the ‘workaholic’ etc.,” she says.

On a drilling rig there are always lots of activities going on. With four different shifts working day and night, someone is always working. Typically, the shifts are 12 hours a day and with working hours like that, you need somebody to take care of the practicalities: “Catering staff prepare your meals, clean your rooms and do your laundry and sometimes you are a bit spoiled. But apart from that, it is not that much different from other jobs. – Except that you are out there on the deep water and you cannot leave,” Jennifer DiGeso says.

maersk developer
Image courtesy Maersk Drilling

Being an OIM on one of Maersk Drilling’s most advanced rigs, the MAERSK DEVELOPER, Jennifer DiGeso is in charge of the operation of the vessel and her primary focus is safety of the people, safety of the rig and safety of the environment. Asking Jennifer DiGeso what her favorite part of the job is, she does not hesitate when answering: “The challenges – both the operational and the coaching and leadership challenges.”

“At the end of the day, the OIM has to maintain the right balance between servicing the crew and the company. The OIM represents the management of the company, while at the same time serves the crew; combining the two can sometimes be the biggest challenge,” Jennifer DiGeso says. “You take on board all the things that are important to the people who work for you.”

A day on a rig for an OIM

• Jennifer starts her days early, typically at 5 AM. The first thing on her schedule is to check her e-mail to see if anything important has happened during the night.

• Between 5-6 AM she goes out to the bridge and gets an update from the night shift.

• From 8 AM she conducts the morning meetings. This is where the rest of the day is planned. Hereafter there is a lot of paper work to be done.

• 11 AM is time for the shift handover when one team leaves duty and the next takes over. Then lunch.

• From 1 PM it is time to “get some real work done” as Jennifer DiGeso says. Besides more paper work, the “real work” includes coaching the crew, a part of the job that Jennifer really enjoys.

• At around 6 PM she gets back on deck to check that everybody is doing alright and then usually a couple of extra meetings will be held sometimes followed by a couple of hours of work before the day ends with working out at the gym.

Article reposted from Maersk’s Facebook page HERE.

About Jennifer DiGeso

Jennifer DiGeso was the first female to be promoted to OIM in Maersk Drilling’s history.

Jennifer graduated from Texas A&M at Galveston with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and a US Coast Guard Third Mate Unlimited Tonnage License.  Since the beginning of her oilfield career in 1999, Jennifer DiGeso has held several positions at companies including GlobalSantaFe and Nexen Petroleum.