Monday, April 6, 2009

Tulsa Training

I have barely even had time to think in these past few weeks, much less post!!

I am currently in Tulsa, OK, training for my job. I was supposed to be in Bakersfield, CA, by now for some on-the-job training. I was going to come back to Tulsa for school/training in a few months, but my segment's schedule got changed so that we are doing our "on-the-job" training AND school here, although we won't actually be going out on real jobs. I think we'll be here for another 14 weeks or so. Right now we're still living in a hotel because they haven't had room to move us into the apartments. I guess the late schedule change meant that they had to put us where ever they could find room on short notice.

I am really enjoying it so far. It's certainly not easy, but I like what we're learning, and I like the people. Our first class ended on Friday, and we start the next (harder) class tomorrow. Let me see if I can explain what my job will actually be. First of all, Schlumberger is an oilfield services company; they don't actually own any oil. So the oil companies are out clients. I am in the Wireline segment of Schlumberger, and we come in to the life of an oil well right after it has been drilled. Wireline lowers tools into the well and collects data from them (this is called logging a well) to help the client make decisions about how to produce the oil . This might sound straightforward, but there is a lot that goes into this process. In the last few weeks we've been doing a lot of classroom work. We learned about some of the different tools and how they work (physics!), and we learned the basics of the software that we'll be using to prepare the data for our clients. It's completely different from any other software we've ever used, so it took some time to figure it out. We've also had a little bit of practice out in the field, although just at the training rigs and not actually at a real site. But it was still really cool. We worked in groups of five under the supervision of an instructor, and we practiced connecting all the tools, lowering them into the well on the cable, controlling them from a truck on the surface, and monitoring the data being sent back from them. Then we went inside to put all the data together in a package for the "client" (our instructors). The whole process took about seven or eight hours, but I'm sure it will be quicker once we practice more and get down the rhythm of what we're doing.

I haven't had much time to explore Tulsa, but it seems cooler than I thought it would. Some of us have been to a country bar called Caravan a couple times, where there's a big dance floor and line dancing. We've been out to dinner a lot because we don't have kitchens at the Best Western, and a few of us walked along the river yesterday, which was nice. The weather has been weird, but I guess I'm used to that from Ithaca. Since I've been here we've had a few hot days (in the 80s), a day with about six inches of snow, a few heavy thunderstorms, a tornado watch, and pretty much everything in between. I'm hoping it will get warmer soon and stay that way.

I really miss my friends, but I've definitely found people here who I get along with really well. The sad part is that we'll all be going our separate ways after training is over (though that is still a few months away). The company is huge, with locations all over the world, but I do have a feeling that, just like the rest of the world, it is small in a way. I'll probably end up working with some of these people at some point because we will likely be advancing in the company at a similar rate. Good thing I like them!

I need to get some sleep for the first day of my next class tomorrow! I got 10 hours of sleep last night, but I still don't think I'm caught up, and this week will be just as bad as the last few!