A couple of weeks ago, we met Aaron Zurfluh, an Albertan now drilling in Saudi Arabia. In the international atmosphere on Rig 128, Zurfluh and Haider Almoosa have become good friends and co-workers. For them, coming from opposite sides of the world holds no barriers.
When they met a few months ago, the two men hit it off immediately. Now, they work together, eat together, and are friends on Facebook.
Today, we get Almoosa’s take on drilling in his home country, with people not just from Canada but from all over the world.
On meeting Aaron Zurfluh
He says he came to the rig because he likes a hard-working environment, and because he was inspired by other family members who have worked in the oil industry.
“I think Aaron and I hit it off because we respect each other, we work safe, and we have a good work and after-work relationship,” said Almoosa. “We get along because we know, respect and understand each other.”
They do seem to “get” each other. For example, Zurfluh thinks Almoosa would make a great Driller, but said that Almoosa may not be able to “sit still long enough.” We asked Almoosa if he agreed with that assessment.
“Yes, his assessment is correct,” said Almoosa. “I don’t like to sit still and work as a Driller, as most of the time. I prefer to work all over the rig site, and not just in one particular place.”
Plenty in common
Both Almoosa and Zurfluh have a background in farming, another point of connection between the two – even though farming is very different in their home countries.
Almoosa said he and Zurfluh often discuss their farms, what they have in common and what aspects are different.
“As I have not seen what farms are like in Canada, he shows me pictures of his farm,” said Almoosa. He added that he is thinking about visiting Canada, which would give him the chance to check out a Canadian farm in person.
The livestock is very different in the two countries. Instead of dairy or beef cows, for example, Almoosa’s farm has horses, camels, sheep, goats, donkeys and other animals.
The horses are, perhaps, the most interesting of the livestock breeds.
“I have some beautiful Arabian horses – 21 at present,” he said “I buy and sell horses several times a year.”
“They are different from other breeds, because they are ideal for travelling in the desert. They are bred for speed, and some are bred for beauty.”
When he’s not on the rig, he’s usually on the farm with his family, and occasionally takes holidays to other countries such as United Arab Emirates.
Willing to try anything
Because the rig is home to people from many different countries, the chefs prepare all kinds of foods from different cultures.
Almoosa is pretty much willing to try any kind of food, much like Zurfluh. He likes the variety available, and he tries all the options.
“It’s all good, and the difference from the rest of the countries’ foods is in the taste and style in how it’s prepared,” he said. “It’s a different and nice experience to taste all the different, exotic dishes prepared here.”
Almoosa added that he enjoys meeting and working with people from many other parts of the world.
“It’s a very good experience to meet new people, get to know them, and to know about their cultures and history. Even though we are from different countries, with different dialects and cultures, to me all of us are the same on the rig. We are a big huge family.”