Women Offshore connected with Author and Wellsite Geologlist, Amanda Barlow, to discuss her latest book: An Inconvenient Life.
Australian-born, Amanda Barlow, worked as a geologist onshore for 16 years before taking her career offshore to become a wellsite geologist on an oil rig. Women Offshore was fortunate to catch up with Amanda to discuss her unconventional career and what inspired her to write her latest book, An Inconvenient Life.
A 56-year-old, marathon-running mother of 3 children
Amanda Barlow, a 56-year-old mother of 3 adult children and a marathon runner who has run races on all 7 continents, thrives on challenges. Over her 30-year career, she has experienced many of the industry’s notorious cycles of booms and busts. In January of 2016, the drilling campaign Amanda was working on came to an end. Amanda recognized that the industry was already a year into the downturn and many geologists had already been unemployed for that period of time, or more.
As a veteran geologist, Amanda knew that she may be on land and awaiting another rig assignment for quite a while. So, she dug deep into her memory and used that downtime as an opportunity to write An Inconvenient Life. Amanda stated, “While looking and applying for jobs – which became a full-time job in itself – I set myself a 3-month time limit to write and publish the book. Not having ever kept a diary, I had to try to recall 35 years of my life, in chronological order of jobs and life events.” Amanda enjoyed the experience, spending several hours every day, researching and contacting many people she hadn’t spoken to in several years.
A new assignment with specialists from around the world
Fortunately, Amanda has recently resumed work offshore in the Southern Hemisphere and, this week, is headed out to a new rig. She enjoys working offshore due to the ever-present, diverse group of professionals that she is able to work with, who motivate and encourage her during their collaboration, to get the job done. Amanda points out that, “The offshore workforce is made up of specialists from around the world who have to work in harmony despite language, gender and cultural differences.”
‘It is still common to be the only female…’
While the offshore drilling industry now employs a very small percentage of females, it is still common to be the only female on a rig with, at time, up to 180 males on board. In An Inconvenient Life, Amanda describes what it’s like to work in this environment, and the challenges people face when they constantly travel long distances to work, to the remote areas of the world.
Are you interested in learning more? Contact Amanda Barlow on Facebook and order a copy of An Inconvenient Life below: