Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum
As you stand on Galveston's shore and look out over the Gulf of Mexico, you will most likely see them dotting the horizon -- huge oil rigs. Each rig is like a small city with its own population of skilled workers living onboard, operating specialized equipment to perform a very important job. Step into this world at the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum in Galveston, a retired oil rig that has been transformed into a unique three-story museum operated by the Offshore Energy Center.
Why should the average person be interested in the oil industry? Because petroleum-based products surround us and are essential to our modern society. Everyone can list a few uses for oil and gas, but their applications go far beyond heating homes and fueling vehicles. Chemicals derived from oil serve as the basis for thousands of products we use each day, from computers and cell phones to cosmetics and plastics.
Cross the skywalk from Pier 19 and step aboard the rig to begin your tour of three floors of exhibits, interactive displays, and videos explaining the process of collecting oil and gas from under the sea. At the museum, you will also:
- Explore the history and evolution of technological advances in offshore oil extraction, from the late 19th century to the present.
- View actual examples of equipment, such as drill bits, detailed models of various types of platforms, and safety equipment.
- Walk the Hall of Fame, which celebrates the people responsible for innovations and advancements in the industry.
- Learn about the extraordinary efforts taken to protect and preserve the environment.
See what daily life is like for the crew who live for weeks or months onboard the rig. Explore where they sleep, relax, and share meals together. The end of your tour takes you outdoors, to the pipe deck and drill floor levels. Seeing the rigs from a distance doesn't prepare you for the feeling of standing next to the massive derrick and looking 193 feet straight up to the top. Walk along the metal gangways to view displays of unique equipment, including an escape pod, a hyperbaric chamber, an ROV (remotely-operated vehicle), specialized dive suits, and the Billy Pugh basket, used to transport people from the rig to a boat or helicopter.
It’s not every day you get to explore an oil rig, but at the Ocean Star Offshore Oil Drilling Rig Museum, you can do just that. No wonder it’s considered one of the top museums in Galveston! A visit to the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum is one of the most unique things to do in Galveston, and an absolute must on your next visit to this beach town.