They Run In Packs . . .

First off, if you saw the blog yesterday where I talked about it being a slower day with only XXXX vehicles, the number should have been 95. I put the XXXX in as a placeholder until I verified the actual number and then forgot to update it. Sorry ‘bout that.

I finally got a chance this morning to drive back into the site and see how things are laid out.

This is the RR crossing that I mentioned yesterday. The first gate where the guys are standing is actually a cattle crossing gate. The train crossing is back by the Stop Sign.

Whitsett Gate RR Crossing

I got a chance to talk with John and Rhonda, the couple that have that gate, and they said that from the time you can see the train coming over the slight hill until it passes the crossing, it’s only 28 seconds. Not a lot of time for a big truck to have to slow down for the hill and the crossing and then make a sharp left turn toward the wellheads before they clear the RR crossing.

Rhonda is in the orange vest and the two guys are pulling a 12” diameter flexible water hose underneath the cattle guard. This will bring water from the fracking pond down to the sites where the actual fracking will be done.

This is the manmade fracking pond, done by making a big hole, lining it with plastic, and then keeping it filled with water.

Whitsett Gate Fracking Pond

Despite all the hype, most fracking is done by injecting water, sand, and a small amount of detergent down the hole to put pressure on the oil-bearing shale rock formations to cause it to expand and crack open, releasing more oil. The oil in shale rock is not found in big pools, but is contained within the rock itself, holding it kind of like a sponge. Fracturing (or fracking) it allows the oil to be released and recovered.

And as it turns out, there’s an awful lot of shale oil in Texas and elsewhere in the US. And the world, for that matter. In fact enough to dwarf what Saudi Arabia and Middle East have.

This is the tank farm for the producing wells already in this area.

Whitsett Gate Tank Farm

All of the operational wells here feed into these tanks and then are trucked out. But not for much longer. They are almost finished with a feeder pipeline that will connect the tanks with a main pipeline to take the crude directly to a refinery.

And this is us.

Whitsett Gate 3

That’s the main highway right out in front of us, so hopefully we won’t have 6 flats like we did last year driving on all the bad backroads.

We set up the canopy in front of the rig this time due to the size of the site, and the fact that our new canopy is 13’ x 13’ instead of 10’ x 10’ like last year.

One thing different here from last year is the way the trucks come through the gate. It’s like they run in packs. We’ll get nothing for 15 minutes and then 9 vehicles will through, one right behind the other, like they plan it this way. Still haven’t figured out why it’s like this this year.


Thought for the Day:

Never do your enemy a small injury.



2 Responses

  1. It is interesting to see your posts about what is going on. I have a nephew in Oklahoma whose fiancee’s family are in drilling and well logging and I have heard the term ‘fracking’ used. My nephew spends a lot of time on drilling sites doing the logging. Also here in CA I have a friend who works for a company that is working on some type of device/software etc. that can register seismic activity and transmit info. He has been in Texas a couple of times setting up and testing the equipment.

    I now have a little better understanding of why fracking can be a good thing in addition to hearing and seeing a lot of the opposition to it.

    I shared the info about the EZ up that you mentioned with one friend who does a lot of radio activity and he said it looked like something he might want to purchase. He is a stage manager for a stage of the Baker to Vegas relay race and that stage is operational for about 12 hours from noon until around midnight. The afternoon is really hot and that is one of the stages where they usually have some transports of race participants who succumb to the extreme heat and dryness.


  2. Could you give me any information on the misting and fan system you used while gate gaurding? The system you used, the fan that would work best, and did you use a pump from the water tank? Thank you. Barry.

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