Tuesday, January 08, 2013
It's not bad working in Colombia. There are safe areas and there are not so safe areas. I just happen to working right now in an area that is fairly safe. However a few days ago the rebels FARC blew up a pipeline near the border of Colombia and Venezuela. The rig here where I am is not where near there and hopefully that will not happen here. It is about a 4 hour drive from the rig site here to Villvavicencio the nearest good sized town. From Villavicencio it is another 3 hours drive (to 5 hours depending on truck traffic) to Bogota. As I am a foreigner, my company does not allow me to travel on that road, even if I would be with my Colombian workmates. I have to go on the 40 minute flight to Bogota. This is sometimes, not good as on one trip I could not get a flight and has to wait an extra day in Villavicencio. The only complaint that I had with the hotel is that sometimes the water is not hot. I think they turn off the hot water in the afternoon and only turn it back on for the morning showers. The rig is a bit unusual also as there is no hot water. Most rig sites do have hot water. It takes a bit to get used to and is definitely not an enjoyable experience.
Sunday, January 06, 2013
Today was an easy day for me. I am working right now in Colombia, South America. Today the rig had problems with their equipment and so we did not drill anything. They "tripped out to the shoe" meaning they pulled all the pipe out of the hole until they were at a safe place and repaired the "top-drive" The top-drive is the drive motor that turns the drill string and the bit. So today was spent on the internet and watching TV. Easy money
The division that I work for provides directional services and formation evaluation services. Directional services means that as the well is drilled we measure the azimuth of the hole, which is like the compass bearing and measure the inclination, which is the angle from vertical to horizontal. The measurement are taken every 90 feet or 30 meters and from these measurements, the path of the hole can be determined and plotted. In addition we have tools, behind the bit that we can communicate with and can steer the hole in any direction or inclination we want. Before the hole is drilled the oil company provides us with a plan for the hole path, based on where the oil or gas is located, and we then steer the well on this path, something like steering a car down a road. Formation evaluation means that we measure properties of the rock we are drilling to determine the type of rock and whether it has oil or gas. To accomplish this we have sensors in the pipe behind the bit that measures the rock properties and sent that information to our computer systems on the surface. Presently there are many different types of drill pipe tools containing many different sensors and more being developed all the time. The most common ones are as follows. A gamma tool measures the natural gamma radiation in the rock and from this it can be determined if we are drilling in sandstone or shale. Oil or gas is found in sandstone. A resistivity tool measures the natural resistivity of the rock which is really measuring the resistivity of the fluid in the pores of the rock. Low resistivity is water and high resistivity means oil or gas. So now we can see if we are drilling in sandstone or not and if the sandstone contains oil. The third most common type are the nuclear tools. Radioactive sources are put in the pipe which bombard the formation with gamma radiation and neutron radiation. Without going into detail, from this measurement the density of the rock can be determined from which can be determined the porosity of the rock. Porosity means how big the pores of the rock. The higher the porosity the bigger the pore are and the more fluid that is in the pores. Hopefully this fluid is oil or gas. In summary from these first three formation evaluation measurements we can determine if we are drilling in sandstone or not, containing oil or not and form the porosity how much oil is there.
This is the first post of this log. I am an oil field worker and plan to write about my experiences. I have been in this job for the last 27 years and as my job is a little unusual I thought it might be interesting for others to read about it. I will remain anonymous, for reasons that some information may be sensitive. Likewise I will not reveal who I work for, or the client oil companies. I generally work on a rotation, meaning that I travel to a rig-site, work for a period of time, usually 3 or 4 weeks at a time and then travel home and spend an equal time at home. The equal time at home is not always equal time depending on how busy my company is. My company is a major international oil-field service company, meaning that we provide drilling related services to the client oil company.