Apache Ditches 3-3 Rota in North Sea

Apache Ditches 3-3 Rota in North Sea
Apache North Sea confirms that the offshore work rota for all Apache staff onboard company operated assets in the North Sea will change from a 3-3 system to a 2-3 system.

Apache North Sea has confirmed that the offshore work rota for all Apache staff onboard company operated assets in the North Sea will change from a three-weeks-on-three-weeks-off system to a two-weeks-on-three-weeks-off system.

The company expects the new shift pattern to be implemented in the first quarter of next year.

“This decision has been reached following consideration and engagement with the workforce,” Apache said in a statement sent to Rigzone.

“The decision is in response to employee feedback, an improved oil price environment and the need to remain competitive in the current market,” Apache added.

“All offshore staff are being fully consulted on this change. The health, safety and wellbeing of all our people, and the continued safe operation of our assets will remain our top priority as we transition to this new rota,” Apache continued.

Apache operates offshore assets within the Forties and Beryl fields, which each have an expected field life extending beyond 2030. 

Earlier this month, Shell UK revealed that it will change its offshore operating model on its central North Sea assets.

“As a result of the new operating model we will combine our operations and maintenance teams, creating new multi-skilled operation and maintenance technician roles in the Shell organization,” the company said in an emailed statement on September 18.

“This will include a change in the working pattern to a 2:3 cycle (two weeks offshore, three weeks field break) for Shell staff and our core crew,” the statement added.

Shell UK said it anticipates the changes being implemented in the second quarter of next year.


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ronald laborde  |  October 03, 2018
worked offshore many yrs and never understood how they get away without paying at least min. wages for off time at sea--Its no different than firefighters pulling 3 days on off and getting 24 pay--u are trapped for the benefit of the co. 24 hrs a day--
Offshore Employee  |  October 02, 2018
Personally by main issue isnt with myself but with my family. I have young children at home and my partner finds it very difficult when i am away for 3 weeks, nowhere near as bad when its only 2 weeks... having said that, I think i would prefer 3/3 over 2/2
Gerry  |  October 02, 2018
just finished a stint of 15 years doing 28/28 Rota, which was absolutely no problem at all, although it worked out 31 on 25 off due to travel, it concerns me that I will now be exposed to more helicopter trips with their inherent risks. Also I will now have the extra flights and drives to get to and from work, the cost of which comes out of my pocket. Can't understand what all the fuss is about.
Offshore employee  |  September 29, 2018
It all started years ago. From 7 & 7, to 14 & 14. A reduction in transportation costs, while you spend more time away from home! Where does it end 21 & 21? I think not.
a drilling mong  |  September 28, 2018
what about us drilling mongs .. does our well being not count in apache assets or are we subhuman
Offshore Worker  |  September 28, 2018
Also Jeremy, people who work "5 day week" generally are entitled to 28 paid holiday days per year... or 224 hours per year (17 hours per 4 week period) so you can reduce your 160 hours down to 143 hours... not to mention the fact that the majority of 5 day week workers have the luxury of 16 hours off in their own house per day, whereas offshore workers have 12 hours in a cabin several hundred miles away from home.
Offshore Employee  |  September 28, 2018
Jeremy Dyer... As an Apache employee who this directly affects.. our rota is actually 3:3, 3:3, 2:4 at the moment, meaning it isn't quite equal time. Our new rota although will be 2:3, will likely have some form of call back (likely being 1 week)... That being the case, the actual days worked offshore will be similar on both rotas, if not slightly less on the new rota... the real concern amongst the workforce is working 21 12 hour shifts in a row.. it's not easy, believe me, not the total number of days offshore per year. To answer you question "will there be an appropriate wage cut?", its unlikely as we will still be doing the same amount of work. This is a welcome change that it nothing but positive. Also it is worth noting that we used to work 2:3, we changed to the 3:3 rotation about 3.5 years ago, and did we get a wage increase....? No
Jeremy Dyer  |  September 28, 2018
3:3 or any equal on/off rota with 12 hour shifts equates to 168 hours per 4 weeks on average. 40 hours per 5 day week computes to 160 hours, reasonably close. Now 2:3 is a 20% reduction from 168, that's about 134 hours per 4 weeks. A huge differential compared to people working a five day week. Is this featherbedding accompanied by an appropriate wage cut? No, don't answer that.