Midnight Badminton

OK so I realize that I’ve been somewhat of a blogger slacker lately, so I warn that this is going to be an epically long post…

Work has been hectic, to say the least! Winter in the oil/as industry is the busiest time of year as the ground is frozen which makes it possible to move big trucks/machinery into new drill sites. Winter picks up for operations as well because all sites that you can only quad to in the summer are now vehicle accessible, so you try to cram in 12 months worth of work into only a few.

And yes the industry is not as busy as it was a few years ago, activity is picking up, and the company that I work for is suuuper busy! The roads that we drive on are owned by a forestry company, and are packed with large log trucks. These trucks are loaded twice as much as the ones you see on the highway because they don’t have to obey highway restrictions, they’re on their own roads. Because of this freedom, they also love to drive insanely fast on roads that look like an ice rink on a good day. This results in the need for road channels (ie CB radios) and kilometer calling. Basically there are signs posted with the kilometer that you’re on and you call that number as well as what kind of truck you’re driving and which way you’re going (“empty” or “loaded”, think log truck terms). Kilometer calling is super helpful because you can hear where everyone is and so you’re not surprised coming around a corner, head on with a fully loaded log truck. It’s so busy out there lately that they’ve had to create new channels for small roads that didn’t have them before because of all the traffic. Our company has even hired a road cop that shoot radar and ensures that everyone’s being safe.

On one road within a few kilometers there are 3 drilling rigs, 2 completions rigs as well as pipeline digs/tie-ins going on. I’ve been trying to log into my work computer from home to upload pics of the chaos, but it’s being difficult so I’ll load pics tomorrow). So my week has consisted of writing permits, observing ground disturbances and just generally trying to navigate safely.

On Thursday I was driving to a remote site (winter access only) and 3 wolves crossed the road in front of me!! (pics tomorrow) it was absolutely amazing!! when I se things like this it really makes me stop and think about how thankful I am to have this job, it’s definitely a unique experience!!

On Friday I was supposed to go to see a multi-zone frac (we basically inject sand and fluid at very high pressure/rates into the gas formation in order to open up the rock and allow the gas to flow easier). But at 9am the supervisor called and said it was postponed until Sunday. So the operator and I needed to come up with something else to fill the day (besides work of course). We decided to try to thaw out a valve that’s been frozen shut for the past 2 weeks. This is not as complicated as it may sound, basically we wrapped the valve in bubble wrap and suck a hose in under it and the other end of the hose into the exhaust pipe (known as an exhaust hose). We napped waited for about 30 mins for the valve to heat up. When we got out to check the temp, it was still ice-cold?! the hose was really hot near the truck but hardly any heat was making it out of the other end. So the operator logically (don’t try this at home) stuck his face over the hose to see what was up and proceeded to gag and heave while screaming “it smells sooo BAD!!”. I was thinking ‘duh’ when all of a sudden the smell wafted my way and I began gagging and thinking I was going to die! THere was obviously something in the hose that was causing a blockage and a horrible smell! so we shook out the hose and what popped out? mouse shit and nesting scraps!! MAJOR EWWW!! The gagging kicked it up a notch when I realized we had been cooking a mouse for the past half an hour!! Not the best way to start a weekend…

Friday night we went out for dinner with some friends and then saw Sherlock Holmes. The movie was a bit long, but I liked it =)

On Saturday night we went to the school gym with some friends. One of our friends is a junior high teacher, so she’s allowed access at all times, so we went on Saturday night and had the gym to ourselves! it was like we were kids again, it was so much fun!! We played basketball, badminton, dodgeball, and floor hockey. We were there for over 4 hours, and were all a bunch of sweaty messes by the end of it!

Well I’m off to cook a late dinner, finish my laundry (yeah right), and maybe catch some of the Grammy’s. Later kids!

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~ by Richelle on January 31, 2010.

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