This post is purely self pity and I apologize right now. I haven't posted here or at the other sites I visit much in the last week because I have reached one of those points in life where you feel you have just been beat down to the point that you have no energy left.
I am an Operator for an Independent Oil Company. I have worked in oil for over 30 years, starting as idiot, and moving though Rig Operator, Field Supervisor. Operations Manager (till the new owners bankrupted the company), then to a different company as a Site Operator.
The company I started with, Manley Oil Company in 1979 as a job till I figured out what I wanted to do. It was a family run business going into the 4th generation. The rules were simple. Treat your employees well, pay your debts, and prepare for the worst.
Oil, historically, has been a cyclical business. Bust periods, followed by short Booms. There were times where there weren't enough dollars coming in, even though production hadn't changed, that payroll couldn't be met. That goes back to the Manley rules. You kept your employees because in time things will turn, and you paid your debts to your customers, because it's their money and you took on the responsibility. The prepare for the worse was covered by a massive "War Chest". The Manley's set aside a large amount of monies during the good times, invested, but liquid to cover the busts.
All the Manley's passed on, the last way to young at 42, and we were bought by a small "investment" company. They listened to overly paid consultants rather than the people who had worked the field for decades and in less than 4 years managed to destroy a 116 year old company, thirty years of those were shared with me so to watch it go under was like a death in the family.
Shifting money to other parts of the company, overpayment of know-nothing consultants, and insisting the inadequate equipment recommended could be made to work, somehow, on top of record LOW OIL PRICES dried up all assets and killed us.
Which brings me to the reason for my malaise.
The company I now work for, is a little bigger and pays better. The problem is that after three years I am seeing the same pattern that wiped out my last company. Maintenance has be deferred for years, basic regulation requirements have been fudged, and even when the price of oil was at $60/bbl. we were told there wasn't money to buy needed minor equipment.
Two months ago the sh*t hit the fan and we had an injection well go bad. You may have heard it on the news "The Blob That Ate L.A.". That was my company. "deferred maintenance" had caught up to us and we started pumping water and mud up in the middle of a street in downtown Los Angeles.
We haven't produced a drop of oil from my site since, and the workover crew (@ about $18K/day x 6 days/week) don't know if they can fix the problem.
Moral sucks. Of the 6 guys that work at my site, the new foreman is struggling to deal with the problem, the guy who got passed over for foreman is pissed and looking for a new job, the guy who's in his 70's is going to retire in June, the guy who had a new job 6 months ago and was convinced to stay is now wondering why, I'm working with a bunch of dissatified people, and the guy under me is an ass with no experience and argues about every step of every project.
I actually love working in the industry, I enjoy fixing things and making them work the way they are suppose to. But losing my old company and then watching this one rapidly disintegrate has worn me to a nub. I am looking to make a big change in my life. I need to go to a company that wants to do things right and I feel this is my chance to get the heck out of Kalifornia. I've had it with the PC crap, the taxes and living in what is becoming more and more a Socialist over-regulated society.
I want to live in the land of the free, and with my business Texas looks like the place to go. I have started perusing the industry sites for an Operator's position around Dallas (I'm a little leery of the Gulf coast and hurricanes). If anyone knows someone in the oil biz, I'm a dedicated worker with 2 sick days in the last 5 years and I usually have to be told to take my vacation or lose it.
I fell better getting this down, but I gotta go back to work tomorrow.