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Geronimo !

This is a hiccup that occured in 1975 in downtown Los Angeles during a plugging job. Its not uncommon for this to happen for a number of reasons, mostly complacentcy. It is, afterall, supposedly a depleted well awaiting the 'ol cement tombstone and nobody is expecting pressure.

But often wells will appear to be dead as a doorknob only to come alive under a production packer, or once a sand bridge is washed out of a well in preparation of setting the bottom plug...there is a big gas bubble down there that doesn't want to pop. Its just the oilfield.

In this video The derrickhand in the racking board hangs in there a long time thinking the well will blowdown and die, but it never does. The well appears to make a slug of sand and gets a little stronger. He seems to have had enough and hooks up to the geronimo line and bails out. He can use his safety harness as an extra precaution and geronimo lines often have a sort of sled, with a hand break on them to control your rate of decent.

Been there, done all that, but the well I was on was blowing harder and launching rocks the size of silver dollars high in the air that were bouncing off the crown and hitting me in the hard hat. It started to make less water, and more gas and so I figured it was time to vacate the premises. I didn't think I had time for the proper hookup so I just hooked my legs and hand-lined all the way down to safety. I had me some beers at the joint THAT night, yes sir.

One of my all time favorite things to do was on a well pretty much just like this was climb into the rod basket above the tubing board and lay down 8,000 feet of 1 inch rods with a crane and a choker, about 15-20 at a time. I ate enough sand that day to plug me up for a week. It took about 2 hours to do that and when I climbed back down the derrick the soles of my work boots had been sandblasted as slick as tennis shoes. With the rods all laid down we could drive the rig away from the well, lay down the derrick, skid the pumping unit back with a dozer and "leverage" a TIW valve on the blowing tubing.

The rest of this Los Angeles story is below, from another post on oilystuff years ago...

If for some weird reason you enjoy having the general public on your ass, and lawsuits behind every pumping unit, try operating oil wells in downtown Los Angeles. Better yet, try having a blowout; that should keep you busy for awhile.

This blowout occurred on October 2, 1975, a little southwest of Watts, east of the 405 and south of the 105, and made mostly muddy water. Nobody had time to wait on blowout control folks from Houston to come to the rescue, not with the Los Angeles Times breathing down their necks, so they capped it themselves... then pressure-washed and repainted the entire neighborhood, I am sure. Probably twice.


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