The Ferrari team walked us through the importance of Shell's fuel and lubricants when it comes to the racing world, where the slightest change results in huge ripples.
It was an amazing experience going #RigToRoad with Shell and Ferrari. Shell takes no short cuts when it comes to the safety of their employees and the quality of their products. We're happy to be back on land but we're prepared should we ever need to go back on the rig.
The team on the rig welcomed us with open arms and showed us all the intricacies involved in extracting over 50,000 barrels of oil a day. It's a process that calls for a tremendous amount of teammwork every step of the way.
The process was made to mimic a helicopter crashing into water and flipping upside down. They assured us the chances of this happening were slim to none, but they take nothing for granted when it comes to safety.
The next part of our journey led us to Shell's Auger oil rig 150 miles off the Gulf Coast. It's one of Shell's largest deep-water oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico.
The origins of products we use everyday are unfamiliar to a lot of people. A lot of us take for granted what it takes to produce a product for consumers across the globe. Included in this is the fuel billions of us use on a daily basis. Luckily we were able to get an inside look into the process of how Shell gets fuel from the oil rig to the road.
We were also going through the training with 2017 Indy Car champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske. He was way better at escaping the helicopter than us, but that was to be expected.
After the classroom we jumped into the pool for a more hands on approach. Derek let us know that they'd be putting us in the capsule above, dunking it under water, flipping it upside down, and we would have to escape it and swim to safety.
So it was back to the classroom for what's called the Tropical Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. Every Shell employee must go through this training before they start working on an oil rig, since helicopters are the main transportation vessels of rig employees.
The flight in gave us a 360 degree view of the enormous rig. Being out in the middle of the Gulf put everything in perspective, especially for the employees on the rig who work a 2 week on, 2 week off schedule. For those 2 weeks on the rig, everyone becomes a family and that was very apparent to us even as visitors.
We successfully made it out from the submerged capsule, but it wasn't easy. The training made it as real as possible. But getting out of the helicopter was just the first step. We then focused on what happens if you're stranded at sea, including swimming to safety as a group and getting inside an emergency flotation vessel.
Ferrari works closely with Shell to let them know what they need from their fuel and lubricants to ensure the fastest car possible. That was on display last weekend as their team took home 2nd and 3rd place.
Wrapping up the #RigToRoad experience, we took in the F1 race in our hometown of Austin, Texas with the Ferrari team.
A Racing Experience
We successfully passed the class and were certified to step into a helicopter and onto a rig.
Our instructor, Derek, didn't skimp on any details and had us focused from the start. We didn't realize we would be put through such rigorous coursework when we came into it, but we're glad they treated us like one of their own.
The beginning of the process lead us to the Robert Training Center near New Orleans. Here we would learn that before Shell even worries about fuel, they prioritize safety for their employees above all.
Talking to everyone on the rig, we really got a sense of how proud they were of their jobs. When you work such odd hours in extreme conditions, it's key to be totally dedicated to your job and the people around you. That was clear the moment we stepped on the rig.
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And of course, we had to bring Josef and the Shell team to HQ.