Comments: 339 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

ShotgunZen36 karma

Flowback, get off the phone, give me the current rate and watch the damn choke! Coil Tubing here, Oklahoma.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF30 karma

I'm flowing into the pit. Get your lazy ass off your chair and look at it.

And if you try telling me that I'm wrong about my rate I will cut you.

ShotgunZen17 karma

I saw you sleeping in that damn truck and the way I see that stream flowing from that choke tells me that its completely washed out! No way in hell we are still flowing at 3 bpm. Now if you guys buy our crew a steak dinner tonight maybe we will look the other way....

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF16 karma

It ain't washed out, I just ran out of seats.

legalizeskooma31 karma

Petroleum Engineer here. First: I want to apologize for all engineers and how many times we like to change plans. Second: We're changing the frac plan.

But seriously thanks for educating people on fracking. Every time I post something on here I'm called an idiot and downvoted. Have you ever worked in Wyoming?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF9 karma

Lol, my company man was bitching like crazy the other day about his engineers. They couldn't decide if they wanted us to try and flow the sand out, or if they wanted us to just surge the hell out of it.

Never been to Wyoming. So what kinda money does an engineer pull in?

KillaPedestrian10 karma

off topic: what's the meaning of life?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF33 karma


deepsoulfunk9 karma

What is the going exchange rate of blood for oil these days?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF9 karma

1.7 liters per 100 barrels.

Human_Ballistics_Gel8 karma

How do you get into this industry, and learn about available opportunities?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF10 karma

The biggest thing is just living in the area. You may not get the best job right away, but meeting people and networking is everything. I started off as a machinist and hated it, but a friend that worked at my current company told me the boss was looking for people, I talked to him the next day, and started the following Monday.

TalkingBackAgain8 karma

Knowing that the 'Gasland' documentary is a hilarious shambles of lies and libellous slander, how much truth is there in its statements that gas fracking is responsible for pollution of the water table?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF4 karma

The popular mechanics link I posted talked about it a little. I don't have enough info to say for a fact either way.

One thing I can say is that the area I live in is one of the biggest fields in the country, but we haven't had any reports of pollution like that occurring. I think if fracking could cause it on a large scale we would see it here. But again, I think the article mentioned that it can depend on geography.

TypicalGerman6 karma

Your working place looks quite comfortabel. But if I'm honest, I can't imagine that this is a pretty interessting job. If that's not true, what is the most interessting in your job/and do you like it, or would you prefer to do something else.

And obligatory question, when AMA is about work: What's your income?

Thanks for this AMA.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF12 karma

Most days I sit in my truck for hours and watch movies, play games, browse reddit, etc. There are days where I spend my whole shift sprinting back and forth between equipment and swinging a sledgehammer pretty much non stop, but usually it is pretty chill.

I make a salary of $4,000/month, and every 12 hours I'm in the field I get a job bonus ranging between $300 and $600 depending on how much equipment I'm running. If I'm there for 12 and a half hours that's two bonuses.

rgmcl4 karma

So, your bonuses are worth more than your salary?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF14 karma

Oh yeah. I usually lose my salary in taxes.

I think that qualifies as a first world problem though.

Thoughts_impeaded3 karma

Please tell me how to get in and get a job. I have sent out over 70 applications and have construction/hard labor experience. What is the trick? Any tips on what to do?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF4 karma

Man, it's all about who you know. If you don't know anybody it can be extremely hard to get started. If you live in an oilfield area, go to church and meet people. Especially a church that the rich people tend to frequent.

That's your best bet.

Broseidon163 karma

How's life?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF6 karma

I can't complain.

grbl13013 karma

I have an immense respect for what you guys do. I'm going to school to work in land and deal with leases, but my job is nothing compared to having to work out on those rigs. If it's not too private, are you working out in the Permian? How long are some of these frac jobs taking with all the horizontal plays in Texas?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF8 karma

Yeah, I'm based in Odessa/Midland. All the wells I have been on are horizontals, and the frac can take forever. We had on start on the 5th and it is still going. I think it is like 28 stages and they screened out on the very first one. It was so bad they actually had to bring coil in to clean it out.

grbl13013 karma

Oh my that's a huge lateral. What's the going rate for a frac job like that?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

I'm not sure, I've never seen frac's ticket.

rvp-3141 karma

99% sure we are on the same job.. I'm on the other well monitoring the frac. Wireline/tractor guy

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

What is the lease?

rvp-3141 karma

Sale ranch

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Ah, nope. Haven't even heard of that one.

ultrafil3 karma

I've had a few friends who were rig workers up here in Canada (Alberta), and I've heard stories about the self-destructive nature of working there... they get paid very well for the work they do, but it's hard work and you're in the middle of nowhere, so the pay mostly goes back into drinking and drugs and whatever else you can spend money on when you can find some free time.

How does working on a rig in Texas differ (aside from the heat)? Decent pay? Lots of partying? "Live fast and die hard" attitude?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF4 karma

I actually don't work on a rig. The rigs do seem to attract that type of person though. Everyone I know who worked on a rig loved their beer and drugs.

Rig hands usually start at around $15-$19/hr. Not very good for the work they do and the conditions they do it in. Fuck that.

igamereddit3 karma

How many times per day do you introduce yourself, "I'm an oil man"?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF3 karma

Lol if I didn't live in the same town as 50,000 other oil men I would.


RDBlack2 karma

Pressure Tester here! How's it going oil brotha? My question is, how long have you been at Flowback and do you enjoy it? Have you tried other oilfield related jobs? Are there any you want to try? Thanks and stay away from that H2S crap! Good luck!

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF3 karma

I've only been doing flowback for about a year total. I tried a couple of other jobs for awhile, but I hated them. I love this job just because you never know what your day holds. It gives it some excitement. Working in a shop doesn't give you that.

I wouldn't mind getting over to well testing though. Less work and more money (if you are at the right company).

chiefmixalot1 karma

Ya but no one respects testers

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF2 karma

Shit, I don't give a fuck. I'd take me a weight bench, a grill, my computer, ps4, and have a blast lol.

notfurya2 karma

How many times do they have to pull the drilling pipe out to drill and frac a typical well? and how long does it take to pull a couple miles of pipe... change the bit or end equipment the replace it down the hole?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF2 karma

I haven't been with a pulling unit that had to do it, but when coil has to come out from the bottom it can take a few hours. A pulling unit would take WAY longer, which is one of the reasons I don't see them very often.

notfurya2 karma

So your referring to the coil method where the pipe is not joined in segments? If so... how many times can you pull the coil and replace it before fatigue builds up in the pipe?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF2 karma

Correct. And I'm not sure how many times they run the coil before they begin worrying about that.

I was on a job a few weeks ago where the coil fucking popped open, so it definitely becomes an issue.

Reapon2 karma

What companies do you generally do work with? I wrote a lot of the automation code for a few frac companies in the Midland area.

Edit: which frac companies I meant

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF2 karma

With frac I have only worked with baker and Halliburton.

gingernigga2 karma


DownvoteMe_ISDGAF7 karma

I don't have a clue honestly. I haven't worked with anyone who has a relevant college degree.

gingernigga2 karma


DownvoteMe_ISDGAF7 karma

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I haven't worked with anyone who needed a degree to get their job.

The people I work with that have degrees are in the oilfield because their degree doesn't pay as much as they want.

The people who do need a degree to get their job don't typically come out to location. They are cooped up in an office somewhere.

rant__casey2 karma

Where in west Texas are you at?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF3 karma


rant__casey5 karma

Enjoy that Hell buddy.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF7 karma

Haha it ain't that bad. I wish we had more restaurants though.

Give me a Brazilian steakhouse and I'm good.

rant__casey1 karma

Yes Brazilian steakhouse is good. I live in Amarillo and the company I work for has some guys down there doing work for about a week. The hotel prices are STUPID! Also I heard that the school district is at capacity and cannot take anymore students.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

I'm surprised they haven't started building more schools.

AngryBeaverThrownout2 karma


DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Normally I would completely agree, but if you are turning children away from schools you are going to have problems.

houston11881 karma

Get your Norriseal, Fisher, and Kimray from me and we'll get crazy on some Brazilian steak!

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Lol, I don't know what any of that is.

houston11881 karma

All the valves and regulators on your separators etc!

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Ah, we don't do well testing unfortunately. I wish we did.

EsCaRg0t1 karma

You probably know one of my brother-in-laws; they're with Cameron.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

I almost worked at Cameron, but ended up not going because they said I would have to start in the shop.

Any idea what they are making?

BourbonAzul1 karma

I almost went to work for Cameron this summer. They only pay $15/hr, but you get paid 24's. 3 weeks on site, then a couple day off.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Not bad

anahuac-a-mole2 karma

You show up at a friends wedding. There is a jar and a notepad. The jar has a label asking advice for the newlyweds. What do you write to them?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF4 karma

Don't have buttsex.

EsCaRg0t3 karma

Oilfield mud isn't a good lube.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF4 karma

You just haven't been using it right.

[deleted]2 karma


DownvoteMe_ISDGAF3 karma

It depends. I was on location for 4 days straight last week and only getting a couple of hours sleep each night, but that's because we were so busy that there weren't any crews for relief. That doesn't typically happen.

Since I'm salary I don't really keep track of how many hours I work each week though.

Darkjediben2 karma

Hey what the fuck, you're just gonna leave wireline out of your description altogether?!

Just another reason to dislike you frac motherfuckers...

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF3 karma

Good thing I ain't frac then ain't it?

abluesguy2 karma

Do you have the key to the v-door?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF5 karma

I don't work on a rig. But I can take you snipe hunting if you want.

Itsalrightwithme2 karma

How much disclosure is there on the composition of frac fluids? How are MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet) concerns addressed?

Do you do any kind of logging before or after the frac job?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF5 karma

I've never asked to see it. I'm sure the frac crew knows what they are throwing in there, it would be listed on the containers. Probably a MSDS around somewhere.

I personally don't do any logging about the frac, but there is a trailer full of people at computers during the job so I'm sure they do.

rexlibris2 karma

Roughneck in to rough trade? ;)

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF2 karma

Lol what?

grape2apple1 karma


DownvoteMe_ISDGAF7 karma

I can't speak to what they had back then, or what Saudi Arabia does, but our wells flow much more than 17 barrels a day. They wouldn't drill if that's all they got. It costs a huge amount to complete a well.

WickandKrista2 karma

I inspected a well last week pushing out 1700 barrels a day. Not the highest I have seen but pretty impressive for the area.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Yeah, 12,000+ seems a little high to me. More than 8 barrels a minute of oil?

EsCaRg0t1 karma

Use any Parker products?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Not that I'm aware of, but I could be wrong.

Draconus1 karma

How is your phone and internet?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Right now the internet is pretty shitty. I'm in the middle of nowhere.

Meijin_Kyokko1 karma

Nice, I ship your frac sand too you, railroad conductor here

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF2 karma

Damn, I was just talking to someone the other day about conductors. What the hell do you do while the train is going? Play on your phone, or is there work that has to be done?

Meijin_Kyokko1 karma

Phones are a big no no while in motion you never know when a manager or a member of the FRA is sitting at a crossing waiting for you. While in transit the Conductor is responsible for everything but movement that's the engineers job. We communicate to dispatch frequently along with running on board train diagnostics and responding to track side detectors. With long Frac and oil trains due to the sheer amount of cars it also has a greater chance of something like derails happening due to crappy track all over the states so were on constant alert because its our ass on the line if something happens.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Do you do the same route over and over, or do you at least get some variety?

And how does sleep work on a longer trip? Are there bunks in the train, do you get dropped off at a station for a hotel?

Meijin_Kyokko1 karma

It all has to do with seniority if you can hold a route you can have until you don't want it anymore, me being new I'll bounce all over Colorado Wyoming Texas and Nebraska with my central hub being Denver

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Sorry, but I have to know. What do y'all do about sleep/shifts?

txs23001 karma

Lots of STDs going around?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma


MrFeexit1 karma

I know first hand that sometimes setting up a drilling rig on a homeowners land can be pretty contentious. Have you ever had any scary run ins with unhappy landowners? (If not then you have not met my brother)

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

I actually haven't run into any landowners

jaronkenney1 karma

Well Tester from Alberta here.

I envy your chair placement.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Eh, I'm chilling in the truck today. The chair is there just in case.

throwme19741 karma

My brother (and roommate) is a Mud Engineer (makes it sound like he works for a cosmetics company). What type of schedule are you guys running? His company does 2on/2off, but it seems like he never gets his full two off.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF2 karma

We are on call 24/7, so it really varies.

RHCP4Life1 karma

I'm going to be graduating with a Petroleum Engineering degree next spring. I was unfortunate enough to not be able to get an internship this summer. Can you offer any advice on how to get in the industry with little to no experience?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

In my experience it is all about who you know and networking, but you will be in a drastically different situation.

BourbonAzul1 karma

A couple questions if you don't mind. Due to the boom and bust tendencies of the oilfield what is your endgame plan? If Odessa/Midland busts will you move your family to follow the work? What are your thoughts on the people/culture in an oilfield town? If you're looking for good BBQ in Odessa, Shane's Metal Shop Grill has a good brisket.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Save as much money as I can, and if I'm not in a situation to walk away when it busts I'll try to find another job elsewhere.

BNLforever1 karma

Do you ever sit back and think about how Texas is over an ocean of water that will one day cave in and bury the state and then go "welp back to fracking" ?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF3 karma

Be a little more subtle on the metaphors next time, I have no idea what you are trying to say.

MastrMat1 karma

Flowback hand here. Judging by your iron I think we work for the same company. Granted I'm sure we're not the only ones with red pipe. Watched any good movies lately?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

I doubt we work for the same company, nobody I know used reddit lol.

No good movies lately.

nmerrill1 karma

Been wanting to ask this for awhile now. I have a pretty cushy job right around $100k/year. I live in south Texas and my friends are making tons of cash in the oilfield. Most of them are either ex-military or straight out of highschool(re: no discernable skills or education). I have an EE degree and specialize in industrial controls. Would it be worth it to shop around for an engineering position? Would the pay outweigh the schedule and lack of social life? Would i apply as an engineer, or some sort of technician? I honestly have no idea what y'all or an engineer for y'all makes. If it was around $150k I might be interested.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF1 karma

Man, on that I don't really have much knowledge. I doubt you would have too hectic of a schedule though. I'd look around at least, you never know.

BlameOmega1 karma

My neighboorhood had a rig come in about 500 feet from the street. They had to get variances and shit. My question is: How close is too close?

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF3 karma

I wouldn't want a rig any closer than 2 miles from my house. Too many dangers for it to be that close to families.

thatbitchattheIRS-1 karma

Hi there! I am wondering if you could provide me a contact number of someone in Ventura County California. My family has recently executed leases and I am curious about a drilling timeline from execution. Or... Are you able to give insight to that even though you're in Texas ? I have any questions and have not found much in line. The company involved will not answer anything due to disclosure issues... Thoughts? And huge thank you in advance.

DownvoteMe_ISDGAF3 karma

It varies a lot by location. I couldn't even begin to try and guess.

Then you have possible unforeseen situations. Maybe a tool drops downhole and has to be fished out. Bad weather could delay it a few days. There's a hundred things that factor into how long it takes to completion.