Today, I went on a day trip to one of the onshore fields we’re working in. Transport from Port Gentil to the site was via a single-engine Cessna 208B that held two pilots and up to 12 passengers. It is not the smallest plane I have ever flown in. It’s still bigger than the helicopter I took in Congo, but that’s to be expected. Imagine flying over forest, some more forest, and then some lakes. Then there’s a landing strip and an “airport” which is really a single-room building where they weigh bags and people for the flights back in.
This is remote. Equipment predominantly comes in on barges since there are so many water-ways crisscrossing the country. This time of year, the barges cannot be fully loaded since the rivers are so low because it is the dry season. The barges make their way from Port Gentil to a lake near the air strip and from there get off-loaded onto trucks. Roads and well pads are cut into the landscape right up against the forest that is left standing. It’s somewhat surreal to stand on the edge of a location and look one direction to a rig and the other direction into untouched forest. It’s even more surreal to contemplate where this oil ends up going and the time, money, effort and energy expended to get it in the first place. I need to save that for another entry as it’s been all over my mind.
It was a good day trip. It’s always important to see our operations, see our guys in the field, what we’re working with, and get a in-person feeling for the operations. As always, lots was learned, but even more left unlearned. Every day, a little bit more.
The only bad thing about the trip was that a client representative took my pen. He borrowed it to write his e-mail address and then never gave the pen back to me. The thief! Keep in mind this is a Marriott pen that I first took in Houston. It’s been all over the world and now it’s forever lost into the depths of the Gabonese jungle.