From Aberdeen to Zaire

The Fateh field, Arabian Gulf, Dubai

From around 1979 until 1987 my work in the world's oilfields took me many places. (For a trip around some of them see below).

Starting off from the 'worm' position of 'mudlogger', I reached the dizzying heights of 'MWD tool operator' - all completely meaningless terms, I appreciate, to those of you reading who are not 'OFT' (oilfield trash!).

Sharjah, UAE - First gas/oil discovery well

It's probable that 'oil riggers' have one of the most obscure, colourful and yes crudest languages in existence! The majority of the vernaculars originate from the Deep South states of Texas, Lousiana et al.

Perhaps due to some peculiar orientation of those folk a staggering number of the terms connotate rig tools and equipment with animals. Examples include: the possum-belly, fish-tails, cat-heads, the monkey-board, goose-neck, donkey-dick, mouse-hole, rat-hole and worse!

Tri-cone drillbit

Rig job titles are a mystery unto all outsiders as well, ranging from the tool-pusher through roughneck, roustabout, mudman down to the lowly tool-handler. The rig environment also is seemingly filled with illicit substances. 'Dope', 'joints' and 'acid' are to be found liberally around the place!

So here is a brief tour of the world courtesy of the oil biz, some rigs and places ...

Arabian Gulf, Egypt, The GOM, Malaysia, Zaire

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