Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bulk Plant...it is what it is..

So today we worked in the bulk plant. We had to start our day at 7 (I think lots of parts of the yard do but lab let us come in at 8...I think because the morning prep work and paper work was not intern friendly) and we finished at 6. By finished I mean they let us go because they hadn't used us for anything all afternoon and in spite of having more work to do, we were probably irritating to look at perched atop palates of additives. Anyway... We spent most of the day waiting. "Hurry up and wait" is the theme of the oil and gas world. We made several (I forget exactly how many) batches of cement for the cementing department and at the end of the day we also filled a truck with liquid nitrogen for the coil tubing department. Mixing cement means getting a recipe and dumping bags of additives into a hopper that feeds into the bulk tanks. All the additives mix with the cement from the bulk tanks and transfer to and from a couple of the empty ones a few times to get them mixed to a homogeneous blend. We just helped empty bags into the hopper.
Loading additives into the hopper. It gets messy real fast.

We also swept the shop a few times as it gets pretty dusty with all the bags being ripped open. We also helped hook the hoses to the trucks that took the cement to the jobs. That is trickier than it sounds because the hoses are heavy rubbery numbers with iron wings to screw them to things. Sometimes it takes two people to do it. I did it by myself pretty quickly once which made me feel like a beast.

Like I said, we sat around a lot today because they recently hired a bunch more guys for the bulk plant and a move to day/night shifts is imminent. There are more than enough people to get things done so the little intern girls get to watch. Because it's hot we're pretty ok with this (but it was fun to get dirty for a change...I'm sure I'll eat those words later).
Anjelica, modeling our dirty blues. Work it girl!
Today we met:
Mario--a Mexican man who's basically second in charge (in charge of us interns and the guys lifting sacks into the hopper). His English is dicey but we get the point most of the time (he uses a lot of charades). He keeps things going in order and make sure we measure things up right. He's also got mad forklift skills. Seriously he whips that thing around with such precision!
The one and only Mario. He was making fun of me by striking poses while I took pictures of other things but then this is what he gives me when I point my camera at him...

Justin--nice guy, has a couple little girls and his fiancée is working nights in the dispatch office.
Nick--also nice. An Arkansas native.
Will--very new (a week I think), nice, and learning along side of us. Receives most of Mario's life lesson style speeches about how to do things and why we do them the way we do. This means he is the cause of at least 1/2 of Mario's little dance numbers which crack us up.
Andy--He says in the air conditioned cube in the corner of the shop, running pumps and giving signals. Don't know much about him but he seems nice.
Several other guys who's names I never heard or forgot--all seem pretty nice. I think they are going easy on the only two girls in the shop. I'm only vaguely offended but the heat makes it hard to notice.
Will, Mike, and... Brandon? I hope that's his name...

The guys try to include us but at some point it's hard to do that without stalling the process and we respect that. Tomorrow I'm going to try to weasel my way into the cube to see what goes on in there. I have to try to learn something good to put in my journal. Also it's air conditioned which I don't hate.

By the way...here's the lay of the land...

That's the main building (offices, dispatch, mechanic's shop) and part of the yard. Just beyond it near those trees is parking lot. Slightly to the right...
...is the rest of the yard... lots of trucks. All large and special purpose for the most part. That's basically the yard but there are a few more trailer-y buildings behind the main office building (like the lab...).

And if you turn around in that spot... the bulk plant! Over yonder is the cube and just beyond the fork lift is the hopper. Also notice all the palates of additives for the cement we make to the left. Outside behind all this is the series of big tanks. I don't know why I neglected to photograph that... tomorrow!

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