Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Good to Go, Almost

   Well, the first survey out at Natural Soda went very well. The tool performed flawlessly, and we were able to verify the location of the baking soda well to within the customer's requirements. There is a second well on the pad that they had originally wanted to survey as well, and the company informed me that it would be a day or so before they were ready. After waiting around all day the next day for the job to start, the company man told me that we would be ready sometime Sunday around 2pm.
   I phoned out to location Sunday morning, and was told that they wouldn't be ready for me until at least 8pm that evening. Now, the night before, I had checked into the few remaining ski areas still open in Colorado, and decided that if I was going to go skiing, I would need a full day. When I got the news that the job was delayed, I decided to go check out Loveland Pass ski area (about 2 hrs drive from where I was staying). I didn't really intend to ski, since it looked like $40 for a half day ticket, plus another $17 to rent gear, but when I arrived, a guy in the parking lot gave me a lift ticket for free! I guess he had purchased a multi-pack, and since Loveland was closing the next weekend, he wouldn't be back again before his ticket expired. That was enough to convince me to give it a go. I hit the slopes around 1130, and skied for a few hours until the wind and rain and snow got the better of me and I decided I had better head back for my 8:00 job.
   I arrived on location with time to spare, but shortly after I arrived they were cleaning the hole out for us to run our survey and they got their drillstring stuck! The tubulars they are using on this project are so small that if they were to get stuck while running our tool, they wouldn't be able to get it out. Natural Soda decided that the risk of losing a $200k+ tool down hole was not worth getting a survey, so after waiting on location all night we were released.
   Hoping to catch a Monday flight home from Grand Junction, I got packed up fast and got ready to high-tail it back to my hotel and then on to the airport. I figured I had just enough time to get packed, showered and make it to the airport in time for the last flight of the day. No sooner was I ready to go then I got a call that I had to head to another project in the area where they were having problems.
   I am not the first person from engineering to visit this site, but it seems that previous attempts to help them with their specialized project have failed. I analyzed the problem and spoke with a few people back at ATA and now everything is good. Sadly, it took just long enough that there was no way for me to fly out until this morning.


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