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Kuwait Oil Lakes

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posted by Jay on September 14th, 2009 at 8:23 PM

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Jim Jackson said that the job in Kuwait after the war in 1991 was more fun than any of the other assignments that he had because of the fine people he had to work with. After the fires were long out, Kuwait Oil Company wanted to drill horizontal wells to replace some of the wells that were lost due to the war. A rig was selected to do the first well and a Canadian Drilling Superintendent named Ray was going to have the privilege to drill the first horizontal section ever drilled in Kuwait. In the morning meeting, the drilling manager, Mohamed, asked Ray, “Have you ever drilled a horizontal hole? “ Jim Jackson answered before Ray could respond, “Not on purpose”, Jim said. The meeting was ended with much laughter; Ray was chapped for months.
All of these guys were great. I also worked with Ray in Saudi Arabia at a later date for Aramco. Ray had always been a great hand. Dean at one time had a Scottish bit salesman named Allen who brought a whole pig into Kuwait in a bit box from Abu Dhabi for a Bar-Be-Que. There was NO pork in Kuwait. Dean has now retired.
Mr. Ray returned to Kuwait from retirement to help rebuild what he had already built. He had already spent a lifetime in Kuwait. When he was working for KOC as the drilling Superintendent, he could and would bite your head off. All salesmen were terrified of him. When he returned for the firefighting efforts he was a completely different man! Mr. Ray was a tremendous help in the Post Capping efforts due to his past working knowledge of these fields. There has never been a nicer man born. Mr. Ray’s son also joined us there. Paul and Billy Ray were in town as the Drilling Superintendents. Big Earl was one of the more colorful people that we had the privilege to work with. Big Earl had a son that lived in Dubai, named Floyd. Floyd would put a smile on everybody’s face when he came to visit. Big Earl and Faye had another one of those homes where a working man was always welcome. Barry, Wedge and Paul sat on the rigs drilling new hole. Jim Jackson’s brother Don joined us for the workover side of post capping. The next time I saw him was with Mike Budrow in Well Control School in Houston. Bob Billups made sure that they had the proper materials to work with. Most everyone worked for O’Brian, Goens and Simpson from Houston, except me.
Jim Jackson was driving to the Burgan Field to the rig one day when a 90 ton crane in front of him lost control and drove into an oil lake with at least 4 million barrels of live oil in it. Fire had been everywhere a couple of months before and we didn’t need another big one. Jim said that if this thing caught on fire you would be able to see it from Sour Lake, Texas. This one was just about ready to go. Jim raced to Santé Fe Rig 19 where Mike was the tool pusher. After informing Mike as to this crisis, Mike jumped into the front end loader and followed Jim back to the accident. They tried to get the driver to turn the motor off and climb out of the crane. Most of the laborers were from Pakistan or India. Some were challenged by the English language. Crazy Americans yelling didn’t help the situation. The driver finally abandoned ship but when he jumped off of this very expensive crane, he left the motor running. It still sat in the middle of the lake. Knowing that a fire could start easily this way, Super Hero Jim and his sidekick Mike sprang into action by hooking onto the crane with Mike’s frontend loader. They pulled the crane to safety averting a terrible tragedy. Life was good. Everyone was safe, happy, and full of laughter. They rejoiced that there would be no fire.
Huh oh, here came the little Pakistani driver’s boss, big time upset. You could tell by how loud this guy was that he has no idea what he was doing. Most of the time you have some loud mouthed boss, he’s an idiot. This was one of the big guns from the construction side of things, not the drilling side. After letting everyone know just who the boss was, he opened the door on the cab of the crane to turn the motor off. The cab had been in the oil lake and was filled with oil. If you have never seen anything like this before, it was worth waiting for. This guy had a business suit on with brand new exotic skinned cowboy boots. He was the only person that didn’t think it was hilarious…… Justice prevailed once again!

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