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In Kurdistan for Gazprom Neft

May 9-June 15, 2017




KS Drilling Discoverer-1 at Khazir River

Kurdistani Iraq

This wellsite was overrun by ISIS July 31, 2014...all were evacuated safely

My wild-ass luck, I left the wellsite in the afternoon hours of 30 July.

I'm writing the story.






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From the Tuxedo Archive....


Geology. This is what I do. I sniff rocks. Expound upon shale and sediment. Get all gooey when confronted with what most people call a "cliff". I spend my working day smudging my eyeglasses on a microscope, pondering pyrite-filled burrows left behind by sea-creatures who ate mud when dinosaurs were watching their version of The Simpsons (The Pachycephalosaurisons). Somewhere down in that pile of stone are the clues and traces which tell me there's something worth burning, and that which ends up going up your furnace chimney or out your catalytic converter a few months later. Of course, the Kyoto Jitters make that last sentence taboo. Oh yes, stick it where the sun don't shine, Paulitician. You Too, APEGGA.  Between the two of you, geologists will become a rare breed.

 Geology and the earth sciences have occupied nearly 40 years of my life. I was always interested in the rocks, from an early age, cutting my teeth (and abrading my shins) on the red sandstones around my home in Nova Scotia. After the Ocean Ranger sank in a storm in 1982, I went back to school at Acadia University and ultimately attained a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1992. Starving and destitute, I ended up in the oil patch once again, with the my fifth, sixth and now seventh decades spent chasing drilling rigs around Canada and overseas in Cuba, Sudan, Libya and the last seven years in Kurdistan. Is the search becoming desperate? At times it seems so as more and more prospects end up in remote and nearly impossible locations. At times, a project can last for months...resulting in a condition whose symptoms include fear of traffic, confinement and crowds. A jam session after a long well is culture shock...

There are, of course, things to avoid doing while getting to that jam...

 ...I put this in to remind my field colleagues of the hazards of driving on winter lease roads...

 My 1981 Ramcharger after arguing with a loaded water truck...


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Seeing My Last Days

In the Patch

February 2016



Edward G. Domeij


You left your mark, Brother

Go in Peace, we'll carry the mantle.


This one is from 2005...a bit dry on the oilfield invention watch.

The Ultimate Freeze-Proofer

Here is something invented back in February 2003 and refined over time to the Rube Goldberg device seen here.  The basic device is an integral glycol bubble jar and calcium chloride dryer, with a diesel condenser loop added on the downstream side.  Oh yes, and a dust filter to prevent calcium chloride dust from getting down the polyflo into the flame arrester in Total's wireless unit.

The device has worked for two weeks straight in -35 degrees C without any difficulty.  The chloride is installed inside an athletic sock lowered through the top filler cap.  The sock can be withdrawn, with clumpy chloride, and replaced, without dismounting the unit.  Glycol is replaced by blowing backwards through the polyflo and replenishing through the filler cap.  The steel pipe from the trap can be insulated in very cold weather with foam pipe wrap from Rona.


One other note. If any of you have occasion to work with a fellow named Ron Ranger, be careful. Lower than a Snake's Belly. The man has no honor, preferring to stab in the back rather than be a Man and address the issues face-to-face. Methinks there weren't any issues to begin with.

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