In Local News

There are several Whataberger locations in the area. This story did not occur in my shop, but the shop a few roads down from us.

http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20120927/ARTICLES/120929686?tc=cr

In other local news, life offshore is not all glamor and glitz. This morning DWShorty messaged to tell me that a helicopter was broken down on the helipad at the rig. This was supposed to be his carriage home. Instead, he is presently waiting on the rig for a boat to come. The boat will carry him to another rig, where he will catch an afternoon flight to come home. Meanwhile, the cleaning crew on the rig made his bed and told him not to lay in it…. This forced DWShorty to sneak into his room to lay down and wait for the boat.

“I human. I deserve bed.” -DWShorty

Meanwhile, Beverly and I came up with a list of #DeepWater problems… These are funny because most people working in the oilfield never see the luxury of an offshore deepwater drillship. Which is more or less like an eery horror movie of a crappy, crappy, cruise ship. But you have to work.

Yeah I only got 12 channels on the flatscreen in my room #DeepwaterProblems

I ordered my filet medium rare. Pretty sure that was medium #DeepwaterProblems

Grabbed a whole box of candy for the unit. Didn’t have snickers, so I had to settle for Butterfingers #DeepwaterProblems

Had a failure that was less than $500,000 red money. We call that success. #DeepwaterProblems

Wait a second… you expect 4 people to share one room? #DeepwaterProblems

Is that quote less than $1 million? I think I’ll sit at home #DeepwaterProblems

Got the shakes. Haven’t had a beer in 4 days #DeepwaterProblems

I eat four meals a day, three plates a meal #DeepwaterProblems

I have to carry two laptops. My luggage weighs more than me #DeepwaterProblems

How many catered meetings with sandwiches to I have to attend per day? #DeepwaterProblems

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Welcome Back

I find myself offshore, again, for BP. Yesterday, the lady at the heliport told me, “you just came in Thursday”. Indeed, lady, I did. I worked all weekend to turn around my equipment for another job. On Sunday, four of Houma’s seven crews loaded out and left the yard. Two were already offshore, and one is preparing to leave soon. It is a busy time in the offshore world.

This week, our journey takes us back to the Discover Enterprise. All the galley staff and roustabouts keep telling me “welcome back!” My crew is Daffy Duck, and Harry1. Today, Beverly joined us.

I just saw a herd of dolphins outside. I counted 12.

“If I had a daughter, I’d want her to be like you. IF I had a daughter. I don’t. I have a dog. You remind me of my poodle.”-Harry1

“What am I… a dinosaur??!” – Spike Panda, after getting a plate of mostly vegetables at lunch.

It’s Actually Corn

Hurry up and wait. This is the name of the game. We’ve been on stand by on this rig for 6 days now. Originally, we were supposed to log 5 days ago. Nothing happens on time or according to schedule in the oil field. As a result, I’ve had lots of bonding time with my crew.

“Why did they send two teenagers out here to run the wireline??”-Dishwasher

This rig has two pre tower safety meetings and a weekly safety meeting. The captain on a rig is called the OIM, offshore installation manager. At this week’s safety meeting, the OIM did magic tricks and called himself the Offshore Installation Magician.

Noelle and I walking down the stairs with the captain:

“I haven’t done these tricks in 11 years.”-OIM

“Were you a magician in a past life?”-Me

“Haha, yeah. I used to do tricks in the bars for young ladies.”-OIM

Wells are filled with mud. It can be oil based mud, water based mud, or a brine. Different additives achieve certain mud weights or properties. Sometimes, the mud can be corrosive, and you have to wear a slicker suit when on the rig floor.

Noelle’s husband also works for Whataberger, but in a segment for drilling and measurements. It’s similar to what we do in wireline, but they stay on location for a lot longer and do not use a wireline. Anyhow, he was explaining to Noelle that in the well he’s on, there is corn in the mud.

“Like a corn based additive?”

“No, IT’S ACTUALLY F&*%KING CORN!!”

Warp Speed

Hurricane is over. Rigs are back in position and working at warp speed. After a super fun week off, I am back to work.

Presently, I am offshore for BP on a rig called West Capricorn. All the previous BP jobs have been on Transocean rigs. However, this is a SeaDrill rig. So far, all toilets are functional.

This is the first job I have made offshore with my crew and equipment that I did not prepare myself. Instead,  I met Noelle at the shop 4:30 am Thursday morning, and came offshore. Noelle has written the following incident reports about me:

Brief Description Engineer observed sticking a knife into a toaster
Detailed Description An engineer was observed sticking a metal knife into a toaster. She was attempting to remove a piece of toast that was stuck. The other engineer and the operators intervened to explain the electrical shock hazard and she agreed to refrain from using a knife as a toast retrieval device in the future

and….

Brief Description Engineer using hands to retrieve cookies
Detailed Description An engineer was observed using her hands to pick up cookies from the cookie jar even though it was explicitly stated during the two previous pre-tour meetings that tongs were to be used to pick up cookies. Tongs should be used instead of hands to prevent the spread of illness.

In other recent events: I have taken two violin lessons. They took place two weeks ago and I have not picked up my instrument since 😦 As soon as I get back to land, I will practice furiously for two days, then call my teacher.

I signed up for the Rock N Roll half marathon in New Orleans February 24th. Training will begin…soon?

The Aftermath

Our hurrication ended Friday, as we drove back to Houma. On the drive, we encountered blown over trees and signs. As we drew closer to New Orleans, more damage from hurricane Isaac came to view. Trees had knocked over power lines. Water had covered roadways, driveways, and properties. All along the road, hundreds of power line forklift trucks drove to begin restoring the community.

When passing by a group of these trucks or seeing them merge onto the highway, we honked and waved. DWShorty chanted “Heros! Heros! Heros!” Nearly 1000000 homes/people have been without power due to the hurricane. These power trucks come from across the country to help in the aftermath of storms. Barring the inevitable power outages, the city of New Orleans saw minimal damages. The billions of federal dollars put into an improved levee system were not spent in vain….

However, the real devastation was deferred to surrounding communities such as Slidell. These neighborhoods are merely collateral damage, as the flood prevention system can keep water out of one area, but ultimately, the water has to go somewhere. 

The sad truth here is that wealthier areas take priority. The French Quarter and historic attractions in New Orleans had power restored quickly, while nearby residents are going on several days now with no power. The tourist areas are up and running quickly, as the economy is largely dependant upon them. Even locals are forced to go out to eat in these areas, because they are the only places with power. Natural disasters create a financial hardship on everyone, not just the government agencies. The hardship is endured long after the storm passes.

In Houma, several local businesses experienced flood damage and will be closed for several weeks. Parts of Houma went about a day and a half with no power. There were road closures due to flooding across the area. My apartment and vehicle endured no damages, though there are a lot of leaves everywhere.