Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Monday, May 7, 2012

Changeover Pad A to Pad B -- Sun & Mon., May 6-7

Cotulla, Texas:
Sunday: Bob had most of the traffic today, that is until he went on his two-hour walk. My shift started. For over an hour, a large semi-cab hauled four huge pieces of equipment from one pad to another, the company men were going back and forth, and more equipment got hauled to the other pad. Then...nothing. It has been quiet for the rest of my shift! 

I feel like Bob's doing all the hard work being on day shift. That will most likely change when they start working the new wells.

Pad B

Harvey Smith Rd. -- south

Harvey Smith Rd. -- north

Caliche dust
Here I am at the check point.
Monday: The middle of the night was extremely quiet; in fact, Bob's shift which usually has lots of crew checking in at 4:00 a.m., was quiet until after 6:00 a.m. 

One of the big rigs stirring up dust as they moved it from A to B pad.

I tried to get a picture of the big moon, but this camera is not up to the task.
 Then... BLAM...chaos. BIG equipment being hauled from gate to gate, 18 sand trucks arrived within two hours around 10:00 a.m. to noon, water pumper trucks arrived. The heat plus blowing dust and sand were merciless. Bob was beat by the time I took over. 

Bob was ready to hop in the shower to wash off the grit when the power went out. We called John, our maintenance man, who was here within 1/2 hour. He found a burnt out fuse, got the generator working again and we turned the A/C and other electrical back on. The AC had been on ten minutes when his son showed up to check the oil in the generator. Off went the generator. Oil was changed and topped off, but a small hose clamp needed to be replaced. His son didn't have the part. We left the generator off while we waited for John to come back to replace the clamp.

We had A/C and power for about an hour. Bob took his shower, went into town and, you guessed it, the power went off again. I am sitting here in semi-darkness waiting for John to come back and figure out what is the problem. No AC, no power except my cell phone and computer which are running on batteries. We do have limited battery back-up power but no generator of our own.

The wind is blowing dust around like crazy. The sky clouded up, it's getting very dark to the northwest. Looks like we may have thunder and lightning tonight. Rain is forecast for tomorrow. Another new challenge, from what we've heard, is the mud that forms when this caliche dust gets wet. Apparently the mud is very sticky, gloppy and really messes up the inside of your trailer. We'll do our best to keep it out. Ha!

We've been here five days and even the guys working the site say we have one of the worst sites...REALLY dusty. If our rig is THIS dusty after five days, I can't imagine how we'll ever get the sand and dirt out after 2-1/2 months.

John is still working on the generator. It's 9:00 p.m. and pitch black. We have NO security lights at the gate. Lightning blossoms in west and northwest sky. Plus it's a hell of a blow outside. Dust is gritting up my keyboard. I had to open the windows because it's so hot in here!!

Now rain has started.

Must go. Battery power is low on computer and our computer card. Could be an interesting night if the generator does not get fixed. Note: Generator melted something so it's dead. No power here.


  1. Wow, I admire you guys for taking on a job like this. Now I know it isn't something we would ever want to do! I think the worst part would be never being able to leave the rig at the same time.
    Are you having second thoughts yet?

    1. No second thoughts, we had an inkling of an idea what we were getting into from reading gate guard blog posts. It's all part of the adventure.


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