I decided that I was bored and that I need to kill time, so I'll just write. So I think that I've been here on the rig for about eight days and I suspect that I'll be here for about three or four more. It's really not that bad to be honest with you, other than the occasional boredom. In fact, I've actually been healthier out here than I am on land. I exercise after my shift everyday, I read before I go to bed, and I get at least a solid six hours of sleep each night. Honestly, I prefer being out here on the rig as opposed to being back at the base.
I guess it was yesterday or the day before (I had to ask someone what day it was during lunch, I found out that it was Saturday) that we finished our first downhole run. Quite exciting, right? Fuck yea it was exciting, it was finally time to go up to the drill floor and take apart our tools until the next run. Maybe I should first give some background info. You see, we here in SLB D&M (Schlumberger Drilling and Measurements, one of the many oilfield service divisions within the company) have these things called tools, and when I say tools, I'm not talking about air compressors and socket sets; our tools normally weigh around a metric ton (1000 kg), are approximately 4, 6, 8, and 9 inches in diameter and around 6-10 meters long. We have various other cylindrical objects that we place in the BHA (the Bottom Hole Assembly is the section of the drillstring from the bit to the beginning of the regular drillpipe sections containing our tools, in sum our tools are normally 200-300 meters long) in order to fulfill our contractual obligations to the client. Our contractual obligations to the client normally consist of drilling a well while taking downhole measurements to analyze the rocks and fluids in the direct vicinity of the borehole. Hope that helps. Ok, we were finished with our first run into the hole (which lasted about 50 hours) and we were going to be using the same drillstring in a couple of days (which at this time is going to be in a couple of hours), so we just needed to break the BHA at a couple of joints and stand it up in the pipe rack for the time being. Now my dear friends, this is where I was able to fulfill one of those inner desires to actually know what it's like to be a roughneck on an oil rig. It's funny to me, all of your life you see these romantic depictions of AMERICA: the cowboy on the cattle drive, the iron workers on the skyscraper skeletons in NYC, and the friggin roughneck slingin' pipe on the oil rig. I knew that I had fulfilled something necessary in my life when I grabbed on to those chain tongs wrapped around 8 metric tons of metal, and busting my ass with 5 other guys who I couldn't even speak with, while slipping in the mud that was spilling out of the pipe to get that damned joint undone. Good moment.
Anyways, I'm not exactly on top of my game right now, the words just ain't flowin. But...
I can't leave before I mention this. You see, I can't drink the beer here in Indonesia, it leaves me feeling a little worse than I would feel under equivalent consumption levels back in the US. I have only made the mistake of over-imbibing the Indonesian brands three times since I have been here and each time, I have paid dearly. The pain is so severe that I decided to do a day-after fast on one occasion, and not to move on another occasion. The beguiling situation of the painful Indonesian beer was finally deciphered for me this morning by a kind gentleman during my midnight breakfast today. Drumroll please. The reason it hurts so bad is that my body is being preserved as I drink... that's right folks, these jackasses put formaldehyde in their beer as a preservative.
Take care, best wishes.
"When we are not sure, we are alive" - Graham Greene