4 things I learned from the Mud Logger “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on reddit.com

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Reddit.com, the self-styled “frontpage of the internet” has an interesting section called “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) where celebrities or professionals make themselves available to questions from the community.

Yesterday, a mud logger in northern Oklahoma did an AMA, and opened up about a number of things, from how he got his job to how he passes the down time on slow drill days.

Most of the answers about money have been deleted, but it’s still interesting and informative.

How mud loggers describe what they do:

A mud logger is the person who actually analyzes the samples. While they are drilling, the cutting come up and are separated out, and i took samples of those, and looked at them under a microscope, and logged the formations and rock types we were drilling in, in order to help the geologist determine where we are, and get an early look at if the well is going to produce or not.
As an MWD/LWD hand, i am basically the navigator while we are drilling. I work closely with the Directional driller. I monitor the tools downhole, and give the information to the DD who uses it to actually steer and drill in the direction we need to go…

They have the internet (I was worried – they are often in the middle of nowhere after all):

Yes. I’m not sure if i could do it without internet honestly. And we have satellite TV out here, so i still get to watch football, and other sports. The internet is terrible, its satellite internet so there is a delay in it. So there is no way to do things like play xbox live or anything like that, but it is sufficient for surfing the web. Some of the guys out here play WoW, and i used to play Runescape a little when i first started to pass the time. You can definitely tell there is a slight delay, but you learn to deal with it.

They like to talk shop (a brief back-and-forth with another redditor):

What basin are you in?
I am actually a mudlogger and on tour right now. When I checked your proof, it took me a little bit to make sure that you weren’t on the same rig as I am.

Haha yea that would have been kinda awkward. I am working in northern oklahoma on a rig. What area are you in?

I’m in the Permian Basin, sliding between SE New Mexico and West Texas (occasionally). I’ve been down here for about two years now, and mudlogging for a total of just about two and a half. I started out in North Central Pennsylvania.
I was actually up in OKC a few weeks ago for a meeting with Devon. Beautiful city.

Yea, Devon and Chesapeake have done a LOT to making OKC such a nice city.
I have only ever worked in Oklahoma, and the panhandle of Texas. Usually drilling through granite wash. What are the formations out there?

Generally speaking: salt, sandstone, shale, and limestone with some dolostone, depending on where you are in the basin. With it being an ancient sea bed, it makes it relatively easy to navigate. However, there are a TON of plays that are going out here, just in the Permian Basin. If I count right there are 7-8 formations that are producing out here.

Family life is hard:

Family is used to it (not married, no children, so im talking about parents and siblings) but it does get hard on holidays. Oil doesnt shut down on holidays, so i have been working on Christmas, thanksgiving, easter, and new years for the last 2 years….
My friends hate it, we used to hang out all the time, but not its only a couple times a month.
My SO is indifferent about it. I mean obviously we would love to be her more, but it is really nice when we do see each other, its always special. She is still in college, so she has plenty of time to study, so her grades have definately increased a lot, which is nice.

A quick search pointed me to earlier Ask Me Anythings from a Geologist and a Petroleum Engineer. Also, you can check out our previous post on 4 Mandatory Skills for the Modern Mud Logger.

Your Turn:

What do you think? Are you a mud logger, and if so does this match with your experience? What would you ask a mud logger? Leave a comment below.

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Eric Roach

Eric Roach is the editor of Drillinginfo's blog, which was selected as the Top Oil & Gas Industry Blog based on visibility, engagement and relevance. He also prepares a weekly newsletter of top industry news for blog subscribers, and would be grateful if you would subscribe and tell your friends. (There's a box on the upper right of the page where you can subscribe).