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Allocating authority in the oilfield is paramount to an individual operators sanity; you simply cannot be multiple places at the same time. If you could you would get to watch people dragging ass while they charge you $800 an hour; its best to avoid that completely. You can always hollar your heart out back in the office when the bill comes in.

So, you put the best people you've got into the worse places and hope for the best.

It doesn't always work out. There will be calls from field people that an operator gets in the office that will absolutely make your hair stand on end, like Buckwheats. Fires, spills, nobody showed up, cows walking around the pasture with thread protectors stuck on their legs. cut locks on cattleguards, landowners standing in the road with guns, 20% increases in estimated costs, missing fingers, oil transports stuck in the mud, stolen trailers, downhole issues that will baffle your mind, wells turning to water over night; the list is long and it is gut wrenching.

If shit happens there is no place, I repeat NO place it can happen more often, and where it costs more money, than the oilfield. If you can't learn to roll with the punches as an operator you will be an old man by the time you are, 40 and dead from a heart attack at 50.

And the day you think you've heard, or seen it all, you haven't.

So if you are on the phone with a guager in Frio County who is trying to explain to you what the Boogie Man did to your pump jack over night and your secretary comes in and says Jake is on the phone calling from Goliad County and says hes in a nine-line- bind, you tell Frio you'll call him back and take Jake's call. Before you pick up, however, you reach for your vast container of Tylenol. Being in a nine-line-bind is about as bad as it can get. Its akin to getting a call from the police department, or the ER at a hospital. This is the adjective that people use to describe a problem that invariably leads to day drinking.

The most memorable nine-line-binds I've been in all had to do with having drill pipe stuck. Lots of drillers think if they can pull on hard enough, as in nine lines in the traveling block, they can get un- stuck and twice for me that meant pulling the derrick in on top of all the hands on the floor. Yes sir, those are very precious memories.

Somebody asked me once what the term nine-line-bind means and this below is all I could come up with.

I'm not entirely sure WHAT nine-line-bind means, or what it's origins are, its just bad. It can pertain to just about anything. It gives me the Willies just thinking about it.



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