Offshore Words Glossary

This page is a glossary of words used in the offshore oil and gas world.

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Glossary of Offshore Terms


The metal framework used for drilling offshore, for lifting up the pipes, connecting them and lowering the pipes down. It is a large metal frame tower, not to be confused with a flare tower, the Derrick is on drilling rigs, flare towers are on rigs when all the other infrastructure is in place.

large oil gas frame
Look for tall frame on the drill rigs

Flare or flare tower

High metal frame tower used to burn off unused hydrocarbons, it is burned as high as possible to keep the ignition as far away from the rest of the rig and the workers on it. Flare towers are not just on rigs they are also on refineries, gas plants etc.

fire stack oil and gas
View from the bottom of a flare tower

This image is perfect because it has both the derrick and the flare tower in the same photograph

what is the difference

Mezz deck

A Mezz deck is short for mezzanine level, this is an elevated platform that sites somewhere between the main floors.


Green hat


The colour of hat they give to new people that arrive to an installation(another word for rig) is green, they may not still use the colour coding system but the expression is still there, “that guy is so green” meaning he is new.


Annulus is the gap or space between the inner pipe and outer sheath/layer of a pipeline. You may wonder why there is an ‘annulus, but they use this to detect any gas that may pass through the pipe wall, indicating that the pipe is damaged.  The gas can be detected from either end of the pipeline.

pipeline offshore annulus
Annulus is the space between the inner pipe wall and the outer pipe wall