It takes a 90-minute helicopter flight or a 24-hour boat ride to get to the Perdido platform — named after the Spanish word for “lost”. And it takes a workforce of approximately 170 people to keep Perdido up and running. They work 12-hour shifts for 14 days followed by 14 days off back on land.

They live on the platform, which has its own water treatment system, restaurant, recreation room and fitness room. Staff cabins have TV, telephones and Internet access.

“It's like living in a motel in a small busy village,” says former Offshore Installation Manager Arthur McAlpin. “Everyone knows each other and looks out for each other. The lobster is great too.”

The platform incorporates extensive safety equipment to protect workers in this remote location. It has the largest rescue boat used on any Shell facility with room for 24 people, blast-resistant living quarters and ten times more fire and gas detectors than other installations in the Gulf.

Perdido’s helipad accommodates two helicopters carrying up to 22 passengers each, more than double the capacity of helicopters typically used in the Gulf. That makes it possible to evacuate workers faster ahead of a hurricane.

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