My first experience as a logger

Maersk Valiant student LabourerWhat was your first experience as a logger?

Well, my first experience as a logger… The Interview

I started logging October 1983, just after Australia won the America’s Cup, so it STICKS in my mind like gumbo to steelcaps. My after graduation as a Applied Bachelor of Science(Geology) work had been doing cleaning at a country abattoir for the summer and followed that with a “lighter” job , The Lab Tech, at a secondary school for autumn & winter. During the time there, I spent the years’ assigned budget for the lab- in a month, but after that they were set up properly IMO compared to what I had walked into.

During winter after seeing an ad for ‘MUDLOGGERS wanted’ I had a interview in a hotel room in Melbourne with a shortish English guy, “Mr Smith”, who had a lazy eye I think and a wispy pencil moustache. They were a mudlogging crowd called Gearhart Geodata. Mr Smith said the pay was this and day rate that and afterwards I went to a society I was in (AusIMM) and asked “What’s this crap?”. And the old bloke said, “Take it mate, not much else out there (’83) and it’s a foot on the door”. Mm-okaay then. So I quit the cosy but rather cooler climes of central Victoria for Adelaide and some ensured travel for work around Australia and the world.

My first two week hitch: a [my first] helicopter ride offshore Western Australia to the Maersk Valiant jackup with another newbie for Occidental. Accommodation was good like the food- a surprise. The logging crew there were a bunch of pommy bastards blokes. Andy was the lead hand, a huge pommy bastard bugger, the data engineer, and his logger, Mike. The other shift was Martin the DE and the logger, either Ian [or Trevor?]. I wondered around this amazing Huge Machine, never in my life… The fellas trained me and the other bloke up as sample catchers for two weeks and showed us around and what else the job was. It was top hole, so it was in and out of the logging unit like mad rabbits to the shakers for a few days, getting dirty and wet and TIRED then it slowed up until  to the smaller sample interval depth… The geo was a tanned moustachioed guy that probably would have liked to have been a pro tennis player maybe, but he was okay.

One day the DE and logger left me for a meal. Wow, must have been a slack time in the drilling. There was a call. A muffled voice over the phone line barked “What’s the ECD?”, “Huh?” I answered. “What’s the ECD?”

Bloody hell! Oh oh,  “Uh, um, hang on, I’ll get Andy to call you…”, “WHAT’S THE BLOODY ECD?” and THEN a lot of sniggering could be heard in the background, “You bastards!” I said and I hung up, sort of laughing, thinking that there was a hell of a lot of TLA’s in this new job that I better get a handle on quickly! TLA was another new one on me too- three letter acronyms! Half way through my hitch, the Andy and Mike changed out for Dave and Trevor (or Ian), some more poms, and there is another story of Dave aka Walt aka Pooh there.

Back then, there was a new lot of us starting- the Aussie green hands, about ten or twelve that got sucked up into the Oilpatch with the Geodata crowd. I think I am the only one left out of the lot apart from Trevor- now a twenty five year wellsite veteran. Thirteen years logging and then senior DE, three more in MWD and two with SLB LWD with some wellsite geologist work in between and since. With a ten year break for time with the kids.

Oilpatch work was not always fun nor interesting, but I do like it; the travel, opportunities and people. And the money[Now anyway.]


About tone

Widowed exRigPigGeo 50yr old dad of 4 'teens', is doin' job raisin' kids, misses a lot of things. Family (close and extended) and Friends - an important part in our of life. Likes gadgets, speedsailing, reading (SF), geology/archeology, maps. Coffee monster- burnt out one espresso maker too many. Have to have plenty spare "moccona" in cupboard. Things I miss- Tarn. The rig life and income. A lot of sailing. Tarn.
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One Response to My first experience as a logger

  1. Anonymous says:

    Seems you are slowly but surely drifting into a hermit cum hobbit phase, only thing missing to enjoy your onward trek is Tarn…..and it still hurts…..feel for you…..but look on the Brightside, at least you haven’t been forced to eat broccoli for the last decade….

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