Thought some oldtimers would enjoy the description from the early days. I missed the very first offshore activity in S.E.Asia, but when I got involved in 1974 it was still very much the "Wild East". (Aside for a short spell as Navigator on American flag boats in 1970)
By the time I set foot on the rigs and platforms in the North Sea the Norwegian Authorities had realized that leaving the Oilco to run the operation and safety as they pleased was not a good idea.
The eye opener was the "Bravo Blowout" on the Ekkofisk Field in 1977: http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/ekofiskb.htm
And the capsizing of the Floatel Alexander Kielland in 1980: http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/alk.htm
In the first case it was found that the highly paid Expert in charge had been to a one week Vetco School. Before that he had been a Short Order Cook in New Orleans.
In the second case the OIM, (who by Norwegian rules was a Master Mariner) had no special training to be in command on a floating structure of this kind, or on spread mooring.
The good thing is that these two accidents did change the way things were done on the Norwegian shelf, with requirements for formal training and certification for Offshore workers and for Master Mariners who were to serve as OIM of Mobile Offshore Units.