It was -30C as I clicked on the “Submit for Review” button for what I thought would be the last Petro Ninja – Enlighten Geoscience Well of the Week for 2022. I was now ready to focus on Christmas preparations. And my mind went back to the one time I had well call on a very cold Christmas Day.
We were drilling a horizontal in the Glenburn Unit in North Dakota. While it seemed hard to pull myself away from family time to take the phone call, I could tell that it was even harder for the people on the well site to know they would not see their family at all that day.
The Wells of the Week tend to focus on geological vignettes (I may be biased but that is because the rocks are always the most interesting subject). In this post I am pondering a different facet of the industry. More specifically the sacrifices many oil and gas workers and their families make to “pull dragons from the ground” (as Corb Lund put it in Roughest Neck Around).
Which led me to do some searching. Of the >600,000 wellbores in Alberta 398 finished drilling on December 25. With the rig crews, geologists, engineers and support services (e.g., water trucks), this was a few thousand people who were not shut down over Christmas. And this does not even consider the people on wells that were actively drilling over Christmas. Not to mention the police, health care workers and others who have to work so we can spend time with our loved ones.
The first well to finish drilling on Christmas Day was 100/02-07-048-08W5/00 in 1954. Pembina must have seemed like a pretty isolated place at which to spend Christmas back then. That well seems like a good example for Christmas rig time.
To wrap up, I have received a lot of kind compliments, comments (and a few corrections) on the Well of the Week. As 2022 ends, I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read these paeans to the Canadian oil and gas industry and to everyone who has helped make these posts better.
All the best for the holidays. See you in 2023.