Contractors Unlimited Aberdeen Harbour

Working in Aberdeen


Aberdeen, located on the North East coast of Scotland, approximately 130 miles north of Edinburgh, and 530 miles north of London.


Because Aberdeen is the Oil and Gas capital of the UK.
All the major players and many of the minor ones have offices in Aberdeen.
Oil companies such as BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Total, Chevron and service companies like AMEC, Halliburton, PSN, Aker and The Wood Group are all there. Nearby Westhill is home to Acergy, Bibby, Subsea 7, Technip, Baker and Schlumberger.

What You Need to Know

Potential clients are likely to be located in one of four main areas:
Central Aberdeen: ExxonMobil, Talisman and service company Petrofac are just three of the oil companies who have offices in the city centre. Drilling company Transocean is also in the centre. All are within walking distance of the train station and ideally located for lunchtime shopping. A bit further out, at Rubislaw, adjacent to Anderson Drive Chevron, Marathon and ConocoPhillips have offices.
Altens and Tullos to the south-east: The Altens skyline is dominated by Shell's offices. Near neighbours include AMEC, Wood Group and KCA Deutag and is an ideal location for those who intend to drive from the Scottish central belt and beyond.
Dyce to the north: Dyce, home to the airport and heliports is about five miles from the city centre. Although it does have a train station, it is in the wrong place for most of your potential clients, so driving is recommended. These clients include BP, in their new headquarters, PSN, Aker and Halliburton. Dyce has a small selection of shops, banks and pubs.
Westhill to the west: Rapidly expanding Westhill is about five miles to the west of the city centre and is home to Subsea 7, Technip and the newly built Acergy offices. Westhill has limited accommodation options, nightlife and shops, so most contractors live in the city and drive to Westhill.
Worth noting: Many of the engineering contractors have more than one office eg. PSN have their main office in Dyce, but have people located in other offices in Altens and elsewhere. Be sure to check at your interview where you will be working.
Thursday night is late night shopping in the city, consequently traffic can be a bit of a headache - especially if you have to negotiate the Haudagain Roundabout.
Rented Accommodation is easy to get - lots of contractors have gone down the Buy To Let route, though a minimum 6 month lease is common. House sharing with other contractors is common. Tuesday is accommodation day in the local daily newspaper, The Press and Journal.
Travellers: The large numbers of contractors in Aberdeen are known as Travellers, working in the city, but returning home at weekends. This is very common in Aberdeen and most clients take this into account allowing for mid Monday morning starts and early Friday finishing times. Make sure you discuss this at your interview.

How to Get There

By Road The main road to Aberdeen from the south is the A90. A dual carriage way dotted with speed cameras every few miles. From both the south west and south east, join the A90 at Perth then follow it around the edge of Dundee and on to Aberdeen. Allow 3 hours from either Glasgow or Edinburgh, depending on traffic. Travelling from Edinburgh, follow the M90 to Perth. If from the Glasgow and the south west, take the A80 and M80 to Stirling, then the M9 and A9 to Perth.
By Air Aberdeen's International Airport, located in Dyce about 5 miles north of the city is served by , British Midland, EasyJet, and many foreign carriers, including KLM.
By Rail The station is in the heart of the city, and is served by Scotrail, GNER, and Virgin Trains. Scotrail's service includes The Caledonian Sleeper, which (unsurprisingly) travels overnight and is scheduled to arrive before 8 am.

Must Haves

The first thing you will need is a map showing Aberdeen.
An Ordanance Survey Landranger Map No 0038 from Amazon is ideal.
Then you will need a city map. Chose from either of these offered by Amazon, (click the icon for more details).

Must Do's

See the Northern Lights, or to give it its proper name, the Aurora Borealis. Aberdeen is far enough north to catch this spectacle. If you are lucky enough to be there when a show is predicted then try to avoid the city's light pollution and drive out of town for a decent view.
Go on a whisky trail. Take a trip to Speyside, home to some of Scotland's most famous whiskies, visiting some of the distilleries on the way. So pick up your copy of Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009 and make sure you have a non drinking driver!
Get on yer bike. Aberdeenshire is one of Scotland's top spots for mountain biking. Check out Cycle Grampian for more info.
Play a round of golf. The city is golf mad. There is sufficient daylight in the summer to allow you to play until after 10pm.
Plans have recently been announced by US billionaire Donald Trump to build a world class golfing centre a couple of miles north of the city.
Fishing on the Rivers of the Dee and Don surrounded by the beautiful countryside of Aberdeenshire.
Skiing in Aberdeen at the dry ski slope, or at the Lecht, Glenshee or the Cairngorms, all within a few hours drive from Aberdeen.
Watch a football match - head for Pittodrie. Aberdeen FC are arguably Scotland's 3rd biggest side.
Eat a Rowie. A very popular local snack. This flour, yeast, salt and butter bun, often dunked in soup or tea is available from any self respecting bakery in the city.

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