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Meet Margrethe Sandvik, Rig Manager

Read to learn more about Margrethe’s role and career, how she earned two degrees while working and her love for extreme sports!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I live in Norway and am currently rig manager of the Transocean Endurance. Early in my career I had to choose between starting technical college or going to University. I picked University and completed my studies while working at Transocean when I had time off. Now, I have a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering and master’s degree in subsea asset management from the University of Stavanger. 

What has your career progression been like at Transocean? 

I started with Transocean in 2005 and was lucky from the start—I worked with an excellent crew on the Transocean Leader. Initially, I was hired as a roustabout and then was moved to the drill floor. Later, I was transferred to the rig safety and training coordinator role, and then became an operational planner on the Transocean Arctic when Equinor started that position. I had a short onshore stint as HSE advisor before I went back offshore as operational planner. 

In 2011, I started as assistant rig manager. In 2016, around the time of the downturn, we only had one working rig left in Norway. I was furloughed and had fun and traveled for two years. During this time, I also ran a greenhouse/plant sale business on the side and had my first child. By 2018, I was back on the Transocean Arctic, and then I gave birth to my second daughter a year later. After maternity leave, I returned to the Endurance and eventually became rig manager.

What did you learn working offshore and how did it benefit you in your current role? 

During my time offshore, I learned the importance of teamwork—everyone onboard plays an important role in delivering safe and efficient operations, every day. I have so much respect for the work our offshore team does—especially the senior drillers. The technology we have on the drill floor now is far more advanced from what they worked with 15 years go. I admire and appreciate their ability to learn and grow with evolving technology. The lessons I’ve learned offshore have benefitted me a lot in both my professional and personal life. As a female in the industry, I stood out from the other crew members, but I’ve always felt like I belonged. 

What was your favorite part about your job offshore?

I really enjoy the different tasks. Not one day is the same, and that really keeps me on my toes. There is always a new challenge to overcome, which means constant opportunities to learn and grow.

What is your life like outside of work? 

When I’m off work, I’m usually with my kids. I have two daughters, a three-year-old and a four-year-old—they are so much fun and take up most of my time! 

We also have a small farm with cows. They’re an old breed that is almost extinct—there are only 280 left in the world. So, it’s more of maintaining the breed and selling livestock to others, because these cows are in high demand. They are smaller, lighter and more sustainable because they don’t need as many imported resources, like corn. We have them living up in the mountain for four months of the year—they are there just roaming free. When I do get free time, I enjoy skydiving, skiing, and mountaineering. I currently live in Voss, Norway, where there is a big community of people who enjoy skydiving and extreme sports.

What is your favorite extreme sport and how did you get into it? 

I found my love for skydiving by accident. I signed up for this course at 4 a.m.—it’s early (or late), but it’s the perfect time of day to make bold decisions! I had already told so many people I was going to do it, so I couldn’t back out. When I got there, I thought ‘fine, I’ll do the course. I’ll do one jump and if I don’t like it, I’ll go home.’ I loved it and have been skydiving ever since! It may sound cliché, but it’s like flying. The feeling is so freeing.