What goes in, must go out… repeat as needed…

Being a gate guard is like watching people on a carousel. They get on… they get off… repeat as desired. In the case of my granddaughter, Katelyn, this process can be repeated often. In the drilling fields, this is not desirable.

I’ve noticed a pattern emerging here. I’ll explain…

We have two wells on this ranch. Both are scheduled to frac consecutively. For the last two days we have been very busy with all kinds of traffic. All things big and small have come through our gate at all hours. Last night they started the serious job of fracing the first well.

Sunset at the ranch--can't get this view in town!

Yesterday we noticed that quite a few of the sand trucks were leaving… without unloading. We scratched our heads and figured we’d learn what all that was all about in due time. And we did–later.

Turns out that the item used to set the charges used in the fracing process got stuck somewhere down in the well hole. They tried unsuccessfully to fix the problem. And that means really bad news.

Now they’ve shut the well down until another company can come out and correct the situation. Soooooo… everyone is filing out just as the came in. In a steady stream.

We are finding this all so fascinating! For example, the big house trailers they brought to provide quarters for the workers, will be going out tomorrow. All of the fracing equipment trucks (must be 20+) will be heading out too. Sand trucks are all gone and portable lights just left the gate.

From what we understand, the “fix-it” company will be here in a day or two and it may take up to a week for them to get to “Mission Accomplished.” In the meantime, things will quiet down around here until… until the whole thing starts all over again.

Can you imagine what the scenario is if this happens again to this well or the second one?

I’m begining to understand (I hate to say this) why oil and gas companies need to make big profits. They have big, big expenses. Even when a well turns out to be a winner, and many do not, getting it to the ultimate level of production can be frought with expenses… huge expenses.

This has been a real eye openener for us!

Remember, we were originally told we’d be here for 3-5 days… well, it could be much longer than 3-5 weeks before this ranch reaches the point where they no longer need a gate guard on duty. Works for us!

The biggest thing we can all do is say a prayer for is the safety of the brave workers on these rigs. Today we heard what one of the dangers could have been to those guys at this well. It can be a dangerous job to be sure. We are also thankful we are a safe distance from these well heads.

This is a very interesting job and we are enjoying a ring-side seat! I do have to say though, that we are starting to feel a bit like Pavlov’s dog. I just heard an elevator ring on TV and put my jacket on and grabbed the clipboard only to discover there was no one out there. Oh yes, it was the TV show. Last week the San Antonio RV Show was being advertised and everytime it came on they honked a horn loudly. That horn always made me jump up and look out the window. Soon Bob was doing it too. Gesh!

Till next time,




4 thoughts on “What goes in, must go out… repeat as needed…

  1. Sounds like you guys are having loads of fun. we were on a gate at Big Wells last April and they fraced two wells at the same time behind that gate with two frac crews at the same time plus 2 oil lines being welded up plus a fence crew. I think that was the worst gate we have been on in just over a year. We had a long walk to the gate there and it had to be opened and closed for every entry as the ranch had both cows and Horses. I think that the horses had been at one time feed from the back of a white truck. And every white truck that came to the gate, Yep here came the horses.
    While there I think we had two different Hang fires fires but they just put every thing on hold and as you said sent away the sand trucks. then they brought in the coil Tubing crew to fix the problem and in a couple of days they were back at the frac work.

    • Yep. We’re waiting for the coil tubing crew now. Don’t know if it will be tomorrow or the next day. Pretty much a ghost town around here right now. Sounds like these things happen quite frequently… eh? Thankfully we are on a hunting ranch so no cows or horses, but we do have to open and shut the gate for every entry & exit so the deer stock will not escape. Fortunately for us, they are not fracing both wells at the same time. That would be a nightmare!

  2. Yikes to the stuck chargers! This is, without a doubt, a dangerous industry. We pray for all the guys on our site every day.
    As for Pavlov – Oh, I SO get it! Operant conditioning at it’s best! 😀

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