Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center
Welcome aboard the Ocean Star! Whether charting a course for entertainment or education, visitors embark on an industrial-strength voyage of discovery within a modern museum setting. The only known facility of its type, the Ocean Star offers the opportunity to physically enter the world of the offshore oil and gas industry. Built in 1969 by the Bethlehem Steel Yard in Beaumont, Texas, the Ocean Star worked in the Gulf of Mexico until 1994. Acquired in 1995 by the Oilfield Energy Center, she was refurbished, rebuilt, relocated in Galveston, and opened as a museum in 1997.
So much of our modern society relies on oil and things made from it. We all know that oil is an essential ingredient in gasoline and other fuels, but it’s also used to build roads, manufacture tires, and is a key component in anti-freeze and brake fluids. In addition to helping us get around, hydrocarbons play an essential role in the production of everything from computers, cell phones, prescription medicines and eyeglasses to shampoos and lipstick. Without a steady flow of oil, we’d lose a lot. Luckily, we have an industry with the tools and technologies to meet the world’s demand for oil and gas. At the Ocean Star Museum you can learn how hydrocarbons form and what it takes to extract them from the earth—from people and processes to tools and technologies.
Within the renovated three-story interior of the Ocean Star innovative displays show the evolution of offshore drilling. Technological advances in the exploration for, capture and transport of oil and gas are illustrated in multi-media presentations and interactive exhibits.
Exciting videos, photographs and intricate scale models of the various type of ships, drilling rigs, offshore production facilities and other equipment used to extract hydrocarbons from under the sea dramatically illustrate the when, where, and how of the offshore industry from the late 19th century to modern times. Detailed models of the ocean floor teach Gulf Coast geology, and ecology exhibits illustrate the many steps taken to protect the environment. The Life on a Rig exhibit shows how rig workers live on a daily basis in their floating home, with ship-style cabins, recreational areas and kitchens known for their exceptional food. A Hall of Fame features industry pioneers, and a careers exhibit includes an interest profile quiz and a hands-on, hats-on display of uniforms.
Outdoors at the Ocean Star, metal gangways and decks rattle underfoot, and the heft and height of the rig’s decks and on-board equipment are stunning. Standing on the drill floor, it’s 193-feet straight up to the top of the derrick.
Step aboard for a decidedly unique learning adventure. Audio tours are available for those that prefer a personal tour guide, and offered in English, Spanish and French. Discount rates are available for groups. Additionally, the Ocean Star offers programs for students, scout troops and educators. Please call the museum or visit our website for additional information.
Galveston, TX 77551