Working both drilling rigs and fracturing
I mentioned some companies offer many types of trucking services instead of being specialized in one area. I spent one winter season with a fluid hauling company that did this.
I was required to operate vac trucks, haul water, frac oil, other fluids, and also end dump truck driving. The company also had hot oiler trucks, and pressure trucks which I didn’t have the pleasure of operating.
Sometimes I’d be servicing a drilling rig, and other times I’d be involved in the fracturing process. You get to see a little of everything, and if you have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, your versatility will earn you more money.
Bulker work makes up a very large portion of the off road trucking jobs in the oilfields. Tank truck drivers, pneumatic bulk work (cement and frac sand hauling) and dump truck driving jobs are all in high demand.
Superfracking started in recent years and has pushed the requirements of frac products to new levels. Hundreds of tons of frac sand needed to do a job how now becomes thousands. 400 BBL Tanks set up on location have been replaced by c-rings, lakes and man made ponds for water requirements.
There was a time when we went to a new frac location every day and now you could find yourself servicing the same lease for weeks.
In its most simplified form, completions is a term used after drilling is completed to prepare the well for production. We mentioned fracturing service companies a few times and completions is where the majority of their work comes in. They also provide cementing services needed during the drilling process for the casing but it’s a smaller part of their business.
Trying to talk during a fracturing job is like standing beside a shuttle launch and carrying on a conversation. The pumper units on a large fracturing job can have the equivalent horsepower of a Saturn rocket launch. We’re talking about the noise of 20,000 horsepower or more.
If you get involved in the fracturing and well servicing side of the business you can expect to haul:
- Cryogenics like Co2 and nitrogen
- Bulk transport work (fracturing sand and cement)
- Frac oils
- Machinery and fracturing equipment
- Wireline trucks
- Hot oilers
- Picker trucks and cranes
- Storage tanks and other vessels needed on locations
- Pressure trucks
- Vacuum trucks
- Acid trucks
After the well is producing, there can be a substantial amount of production work. We mentioned before about the various products that can be produced from a well. (Oil, water, crude oil, condensates, etc…) Gas wells are tied in directly to a pipeline and move through processing plants along the way. Oil wells usually flow into a tanks system to be picked up on location and delivered to midstream pipeline facilities or rail yards.
Production runs are among one of the steadiest paying oilfield jobs. If you’re looking for consistency, this is one of your safest choices. We mentioned before about steady money over sporadic ups and downs with a higher wage. Well this is a great example.
The down side to production runs is you may find yourself working on Christmas day. They don’t shut down the wells for holidays. On the fracturing and service side, things are usually shut down over the Christmas holidays. Working through the holidays on the drilling side is hit or miss depending on where they are in the process.
There is also “Infield” work moving products from lease to lease if you don’t like much highway work. You could see plenty of highway hauling crude oil to midstream facilities or rail yards. Midstream facilities are where the oil is introduced into the pipeline system. Rail yards are where unrefined crude is shipped to other places in North America to be refined.