We’re sure you’ve heard the phrases “faster than the speed of light” or “as swift as an eagle”. But, in our opinion, these figures of speech don’t even begin to describe the speed at which the crew, full of heart and hustle on Rig 137, drilled their last three wells in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.
With operators feeling the pressure to cut costs, find efficiencies and reduce rig counts, times like these call for reliable drilling crews with equipment designed to outperform.
Brett Vinson, Staff Drilling Engineer for Murphy, explained,
“In low commodity pricing, this is the kind of work that stands out and gets noticed by management. Even with everything working against us, performance like this is still achievable.”
Drilling their first record well in 6.33 days from spud to release just wasn’t fast enough for the crew. They knew their rig was capable of even more, and sure enough, they were right. After drilling their second record well in 6.25 days, the team skidded over and did it again, drilling their third in just 5.98 days.
Chad Smith and Scooter Ebarb, Rig Managers of the fastest rig in the Eagle Ford Shale, gave us the goods on what it took to get the job done safely, efficiently and, in the spirit of well-known metaphors, faster than a bat ‘outta hell.
Hard work and a little competitive spirit
Back-to-back-to-back records aren’t achievable without a lot of hard work and friendly competitive spirit. Both, noted Smith and Ebarb, aren’t hard to find on Rig 137.
“We’re fortunate to have some awesome guys on the rig. Guys that have great attitudes and love what they do for a living…. Rig 137 is full of competitive people and that’s helped us get where we are today in this competitive industry. We have a lot of pride in our rig and we don’t mind showing it,” boasted Ebarb.
Unwavering commitment to safety
For the crew on Rig 137, record breaking wasn’t the first item on their radar. Keeping everyone safe meant more to the Rig Managers than breaking performance records.
“We try not to just push performance. We push safety. We push planning. We push organization. If the cards all land right and records are achieved it’s great, if not, that’s okay too….”
“Our pride is in the amount of time we have worked safely. Breaking records is just a bonus,” described Smith, modestly.
It’s no secret that our crews are committed to looking out for one another just as they would their own families. In addition to having the tools and knowledge to complete their jobs safely, creating that family-like bond on the rig proved, yet again, to be equally as important on the crew’s home away from home.
“When you have a family atmosphere on the rig, it makes a safer workplace that is less likely to have an accident while performing at these speeds,” noted Ebarb while describing the crew’s safety performance.
Heads-up planning and organization
If you want to achieve something great, you have to know what roads you’re going to take to get there. Being competitive in nature and knowing what their rig was capable of, the crew was constantly planning and thinking of ways to stay ahead on each well they drilled.
“We have all been given a great opportunity to take advantage of working on a rig that is capable of drilling record wells. It is up to everyone on the rig to take advantage of that by effectively planning the operations, sticking with our plans and maintaining the equipment,” explained Ebarb.
Teamwork and upper management support
One of the most important parts of building an effective team is making sure everyone feels appreciated and that they are part of something important. That appreciation was felt by the whole crew, both from the leaders on the rig and in the office.
“A simple pat on the back of a good Floorhand, Motorman, Pithand, Derrickhand or a Driller goes a long way on a drilling rig….”
“These guys will bend over backwards to outperform because they know they are appreciated for doing so,” said Ebarb.
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Just as athletes fight to stay atop the podium, Ebarb, Smith and the rest of their team don’t plan on surrendering their record anytime soon. In fact, Ebarb is confident this is only the beginning of what they’re capable of.
“We have already shattered every record Murphy has in the Eagle Ford Shale from moving the rig to pacesetters and, now, fastest well ever. We plan to continue performing this way and don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.”