Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It must run in the family....

In 1922 Bill's Grandpa John lived in Kansas...  that's where Bill's mother and aunt were born.  Not long after that, John moved to Rattlesnake, New Mexico to work in the oil/gas field.  Bill has traced his family history quite a way back and the most interesting things are the "stories" that go along with the facts.

Rattlesnake is quite a name for a town, isn't it?  It's located not far from Four Corners, where NM, CO, UT and AZ come together.

Bill's Dad and maternal grandfather both worked for Conoco for a while....  more in the production end than the drilling part.  Bill's dad went on to work for Mountain Bell...  and for a time Bill also worked at Mountain Bell, installing phones.

When Bill started college in Las Cruces, he knew he wanted to work outside.  He majored in geology and after graduation went to work for Ohio University, in the geology department.  He worked the hydrology workshops and when a big drilling manufacturer donated a drilling rig to OU he was the driver/driller/etc.  He drilled gas wells on campus and monitored their output.

Our daughter, Celeste, moved to Texas after graduating OU a few years ago...  she started out at a communications company that went belly-up....  She then went to work for a company that was in the oil and gas business...  supplying parts and supplies to the oil field.

The other day, Celeste took us on a tour of the plant where she works...
That's Bill and Celeste...  standing outside one of the huge buildings that builds equipment for the oil field.

Celeste takes orders from companies that want specific components on their rigs...
This is her office...  that diagram is the beginning of..

This particular piece of equipment is for fracking...  
Fracking wells is very controversial in many parts of the USA now, but it is a common practice in the business so the equipment is being manufactured.

The production line is amazing!  I think it takes around a month to 6 weeks from start (bare trailer) to finish (ready to roll).
There are around 120 employees at this plant working on various stages of the jobs.
This is the layout of a wiring board...  I can't remember how much wire goes on this but....

This board is only half the size of what is usually installed.

This rig is almost done....
The company that ordered this even specifies the paint job...  they have a particular color of paint that identifies their rigs.

The cost of this rig (not including the truck) is $1,000,000.
A lot of work...  a lot of technology...  a lot of equipment go into it.

Celeste orders all the parts and components to build the rigs with "3 axles" at the rear.  There are also rigs with 4 axles.

These are all finished rigs, waiting to be picked up.

It's funny to listen to your kid talk about filters, pumps, cables and stuff like that...  especially such a "girly" girl as Celeste is.

But she and Bill talk the same language ...  wouldn't her Great-Grandpa John be amazed at the oil/gas industry these days!

That's All for Today!


  1. Sharon,

    From Moose to fracking in 6 weeks. Nice informative blog today. I wonder how much the insurance is on a rig like this?

  2. Your daughter is quite impressive! You must be very proud of her and the work she is doing.

  3. That's pretty cool! You have quite the daughter there!

  4. Kudos to your daughter! My sister built harnesses for many years back in the seventies. We had a collie dog at home. You could look back along ten feet of her harness and see dog hair waveing. I think about that being installed in today's ultrasensative equipment.

  5. It's great that girls can now get the chance to do jobs that interest them. A| pity so many places in the world still limit opportunities of women. It was good to read your post.

  6. It's wonderful how we can connect with our ancestors like this. As for that rig, I'd like to place an order for 5 please. Can you have them sent to my apartment here? COD?

  7. We were very disappointed to hear this last week. Fracking is going to be allowed in NZ. Doesn't sit well with the knowledge we are earthquake prone but scientists and bureaucrats have given it the OK.

    Family history is so much more as the stories unfold. Genealogy is not my thing but I love the way family stories bring history to life,


  8. Glad you pointed out today's blog, father, like daughter! If Bill ever decides to come out of retirement, I'm sure he'd enjoy that plant...or the Rust Center with Danny. ;-)

  9. Fracking is music which maybe will shake the bed from time to time one way or another sooner or later its coming so stop protesting you do gooders . The facts are simple no oil from the arab state means they have less revenue to build bombs and means we don't need to bother going there ever.