In the 1997 movie Volcano, the following dialogue happens between the two main characters:
Geologist Dr.: I’ve never tracked lava under a city before. I don’t know what it will do with man-made tunnels to travel through.
The Head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management: It doesn’t matter. I have to deal what’s in front of me right now. I don’t have time to read a file on geological theory.
Geologist Dr.: Well, somebody has to.
The Head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management: I can only fight what I can see.
Parallels with well cementing
The movie wasn’t that good, and the special effects weren’t all that great, but being an engineer and a movie fan, I like to see plots where some form of engineering or knowledge is used to solve impossible situations.
When I watched the dialogue mentioned above, I realized that the argument in the Volcano movie could as well be pretty much applicable in a well construction environment. For sure, we can picture who is who!
Now, I have used this movie’s argument to help me define the role of the well cementing technical expert.
A cement technical expert needs to bring to the attention of the man in charge of well operations, what is not apparent to him. We, as cement experts, do that before (during design), during (execution) and after (evaluation) the cement job and it goes beyond knowing what is written in books.
It demands that we play a role similar to a character in a book that is being written. A book, with a series of chapters where the scientific method shall be continuously applied, sometimes filling the gaps in experimentation with case histories and educated guesses… Nonetheless, we create questions that require a conclusion.
Well cementing support for all
One of the cementing expert’s most important responsibilities, (sometimes forgotten), is to ensure a team improves their knowledge of cementing…
I have said many times before, my target at each job site is to become obsolete. I believe that in well construction we have to be increasingly effective and more efficient every day. That is only possible by helping others quickly reach stage 3 of the learning curve, and then by providing proper programs and leadership to either maintain motivation or kick off a new learning process.
At stage 3, the cementing expert should be no longer required. However, in the oil industry as a whole but particularly in drilling (a little less frequent in work-over) there is a tendency to ‘reset’ the learning process, but that is another topic.
Consistent with my beliefs about this essential task, I have created this site to support people looking for answers in cementing. This includes anybody in a drilling or work-over team, students, trainees, etc.
My commitment to you:
- I will answer questions and provide guidance in cementing within reach of my abilities and time. All questions and answers will remain private unless specifically authorized by the submitting person to allow public publishing.
- I do not intend to alleviate your responsibility to improve your knowledge of cementing, by reading books, articles, training, etc.
- If I do not know the answer, I will let you know and help you find it.
- I will liaise with my friends, including drilling engineers, operations leaders and drilling fluids experts, to provide an integrated approach to any problem (your authorization will be required).
- Public answers will be open to comments by anybody willing to participate.
- I do not intend or want to remove your responsibility for whatever you do.
- If you are employed, be aware that I would keep all conversation confidential unless you say otherwise. However, please be mindful of your confidentiality agreement with your company or agency.
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