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Back @ 1983 I was elected to supervise the drilling of a +/- 930' deep gas well for my employer, Texas Oil and Gas.  Well was a few miles up the Guadalupe River from Victoria, TX.


Met the contractor in Nursery, TX.  He was from George West, TX and had a "geranium" rig. He had been drilling for uranium around George West, TX. It was a water well rig redesigned to drill gas wells.


We got 'er done.


But while we were rigging up and I was digging the "mud system" with a backhoe, I noticed two sacks of gel in the back of his truck.


Had to ask....why didn't you bring four sacks?  Do you think two is enough?


He took a drag, and said.........I thought four would be excessive...........


We got the well done.


End of story.


No.....there was a one day shut down for a wedding at the Bwana Club in Corpus Christi...but that's another story..........



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Deeper, here's one for ya. In 79, a company called Lone Star Drilling contacted a few of us & put a proposal to us for working for a percentage of the well. It was in a proven field surrounded by existing producing wells. We went for it. OK, we just get surface set & the drawtool takes a dump. OK? We hung the blocks & pulled the line off the drum and used a D8 dozer to hoist the blocks. Scary, huh? We drilled this well that way to a td of 4900 feet. Set casing, the whole 9 yards. After we rigged down, we tried to find the guy we made the agreement with. Long Gone Tom. Upshot of it all, we drilled a well for nothing. This all happened at Christmas time. I know, SUCKER !!!!. Nevermore. Jim.
Dang!!! That is one kick a@@ oilfield story. I have used a dozer to lift the pipe on a well that was blowing out, just to get the tool joint out of the BOP, but I ain't NEVER tripped pipe with a dozer!

Would love to know where you performed this miracle. Please respond to this post.

Deeper, we pulled this miracle off 14 miles north of Andrews TX in the mabee field. I'm ashamed to say. It was a lesson well learned.
Its on your resume.

You stuck it out.

That's worth something.

Kern River field, Bakersfield, CA. I abandoned a well that was 108 years old, was a high producer at one time, and it was all of 129' deep, about 40 yards from the Kern River. Well was drilled in 1892!
You have me beat down. I humble myself////////

I re-entered a well drilled in 1931.

My best, and it pales by comparison..

Thing that pee's me off, the mud that was left in the hole......for @ 50 years!! Was better than the mud I sold 'em to kick 'em off.......

It had an 11.2 Ph after 50 or 60 years of laying down there thinking about its final destination......

Karl I do not believe the well was drilled initially. I am pretty sure it was one of the old hand dug wells, that produced high enough to drill it deeper, and add casing in the early 1900s.
As far as the first "oilfield" I read that the first "commercial" oilfield was actually 7 miles southwest of Placerita Canyon. I would of course have to go back to my books to find exact location, depth and all that. If you want it let me know. For all of you who dont know about Ca.. wells, we have probably the shallowest in the world.
Karl also as in Ventura, our ancient Indians dug up asphaltium from the banks of the Buena Vista lake. Of course it happened all over Ca. The Indians also used it to seal their wicker water jugs, grain plates, and made bowls from the oil. Not to mention they would fletch their bows, and secure the arrowheads, tomahawk or stone axes etc. etc. etc....
When studied it is amazing how much oil has always been used for and always will be. Screw the Bio Diesel! They can have it, but Petroleum can never be replaced!!!
Another item produced out here from wells is Mercury. I have not worked on one in a long time, and I dont want to! Have you ever worked on a mercury well?
Hey Scott You are,nt just whistling dixie on Ca shallow holes I started in 80 on small but fast double, we turned many a field into swiss cheese yea buddy avg well 7-8000 on and off location 7-9 days Bakersfield one week Chico Ca the next week.....Spent many a weeks at the Buena Vista Resort camp ground......Lived in Morro Bay for about 8 mths 1985 commuted to Taft and Bakersfield daily. Worked Paul Graham drilling out of Rio Vista..... I understand the company that bought out Gary drilling down there has an office up here near Sacramento "Ensign",may be wrong.... Lasted worked for steel fabrication company up here in Sacramento. Worked for Cal -Pac out of Ojai they had nice Rigs my first intro to diesel electric SCR house 4 12cyl cats back then that rig had all bells whistles good times. Read your previous article on the tss tss tss tss is that the telltale sound of a washout?????? Screwdriver was good we also used to use old mud viscosity funnel maybe thats why Im hard hearing on right side.
Dang Steve...this brings back memories....

An aluminum (or tin) hard hat worked just as good as a vis funnel...maybe better.

I remember when Pop had to give his metal hard hat up because OSHA said it would conduct electricty......like a plastic one full of sweat wouldn't....but its hard to give up something you've worn for 18 years....it had "JED" engraved on the front...done with a flattened ice pick by his day driller.....and the "D" was extra fancy because he used the "D" from the Dallas Morning News for a pattern.....

He had a young derrick man about that time that wore a stethoscope around his neck when he was on the ground. Try it some time if you want to really listen to a duplex pump. Takes some getting used to. You can hear stuff in a pump you don't wanna hear with that thing....

I've used the stethoscope trick before. We used to have one hanging on one of the pumps all the time. You could usually tell what the problem was before ever having to pull it apart. Hell...we don't even have a duplex anymore. Instead, we have three awesome triplex pumps. Easy to work on. We can blow a swab and have another one in there in about eight minutes! A valve may only take a few minutes on a bad day. I was talking to a hand on our rig the other day and he had never even heard of a duplex. Crazy huh?
Well if you worked in Taft you know those wells out there are anywhere from 600-5000'. Cant walk 10' w/out slamming into another well, hard as hell to figure out which way you are gonna rig up. Which is why they call it a single field. My dad drilled out there on a single punchin post holes every 24-36 hours.
Do you work for Paul Graham now? My old pusher works for him in Rio Vista up to Willis I believe, maybe even further. CAZA bought Gary Drilling, and Ensign bought CAZA. They are drilling Elk Hills them and H&P are punchin those 14000' wells at the the new find, Gunslinger lease. Ensign has also broke into the production side of things, they have like 2 workover rigs in the Northern gas fields, and 2 or 3 workin for OXY.
The really shallow holes though are at Kern River, McPherson, Poso Creek, and Buena Hills has a few shallow and alot are deep, well deep by CA standards. Alot of these hands think anything more than 3000' is deep. Its all good duty out here though.
Hey Scott never worked in Taft in travelin while working in Bakersfield driving from Morro Bay drove through that area highway 46 ,58 most drilling Bakersfield and surrounding areas Firebough lots work there. Your right on Caza before Ensign before Casa........ Hexadyne....out of Woodland.... The deepest well that i was on in Cali i think was Firebough 13,600 for Cal-Pac at about ten thousand we hit this HARD drilling think it was some type (chert) could not get through it used various bits. Finally had company called Hughes Christiansen brought out this Diamond bit landed in field next to the rig by helicopter. After all the prodical on the bit we made it through thats one hole i can remember well one of the deeper ones.......Good duty either way,Your right


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