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Identified Flying Object

Boots & Coots, Inc.; 1994. Amoco, Peters Estate #6, Muy Grande Field, Duval County, Texas. Photo by Mike Shellman

The blowout occurred when rams did not close properly around a tool joint and the Hydrill failed. The kelly, still hung, was cut at the top of the kelly bushing by "sawing" it in two with a swab line and two swabbing units. The DP and BHA fell downhole. The rig was then skidded back away from the well with a single D8 dozer, the drilling block and eight lines strung back to substructure and a dead man buried 30 feet in the ground. The entire rig slid back like it was on a sheet of glass.

The old BOP stack was then unbolted and picked off the B-section with a crane. At lift-off the ring gasket spun out in the flow and got launched into orbit, never to be seen again. I was just lucky to have caught it in this photograph.

Below, with the BOP off, the well unloaded its remaining OBM.

Above, a Wellcat assembled capping stack was then picked up with the same crane and snubbed down to the wellhead, bolted up and the well put on diverter.

Once on diverter, B&C was released and Amoco killed the well, fished the DP and completed it. Within a week of being released a big job came in down in Argentina and in a few days later, one in Bolivia that I made.

The motel we stayed at in Freer had cockroaches six inches long. They flew from wall to wall like bats when the lights were turned on. When we went to work in the mornings I'd always leave my room door open hoping the sumbitches would fly to Mexico. They never did but the door wide open was an invitation for penche scorpions as big big as horny toads to crawl right in and lay in bed waiting for you to go nighty night again.

Every plate of enchiladas served in Freer came with two fried eggs on top and a wad of chopped green onions on top of that. Buena comida, esta.

Funny the shit you remember about jobs.

The ring gasket photo made it to several magazines, including World Oil.


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