It’s Been a LONG Week and It’s Barely Started

I’m getting too old for this, I think.

From – Oil and Gas Journal. Strangely enough, I worked on projects for this plant about 15 years ago, and have been in it many times.

Any of you have those crazy weeks? I’m not working two jobs (although I did back in my college days), my sons are grown, I don’t have a huge yard to take care of. Where is my time going?

I’ve not been writing on the blog much lately. I had a bit of spare time to work in this morning, so sat down to write. You know what? You won’t be interested in what has been on my mind the past few weeks. Unless you are in my business, you couldn’t possibly be interested.

(I had to step away for a minute. I’m moderating a technical session at the national gas processors association convention last week, and two of the speakers didn’t quite make the deadline of March 15 to get their papers to me. Dude, you know this talk is next Tuesday, and you were notified LAST JULY that you were selected? Remember getting the 10 emails with all the information? No? Why is this my problem now? I know you’re busy. Show me someone in this business who isn’t.)

I was busy in most of 2012 getting our new processing plant designed, built, and on line. (I’m the natural gas processing business, with a focus on very high CO2 streams that are normally not economic. We have patents. If you’re super bored you can read a B-level synopsis here). Last year, the reason I could take so many cool trips (the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon; side trips to Chicago and places to visit friends; 12 days sailing around Italy and Montenegro; a week in Croatia) was because our operations were running smoothly, and we were WOD: Waiting on Doug, our business development VP.

This works for me.

(Excuse me there for a second, I needed to respond on where I can go on a two-day fact-finding trip to Rock Springs and Casper. After I get back from the aforementioned convention but before the trip to Dallas for another technical/business review, and please don’t conflict with my long-planned long weekend to NYC, please???)

Doug got busy. As the veep of engineering and design, I’m knee-deep in drawing reviews, meetings with the engineering and construction departments, trips to field locations to scope out sites for the facilities, meetings with the Bureau of Land Management (for the Wyoming plant); emails and conferences with the contractors that build the processing equipment; calculations and paperwork for file for the environmental permits (two different states, with different requirements); more design reviews. That’s for TWO plants. In two different states, with different design requirements. Process safety management work to comply with OSHA and RMP regs to comply with the EPA. Coordinating with: the instrumentation and electrical design team; the guy who is trying to locate power and fuel for the plant (including surveyors, ROW negotiations, pipe design); the accountants and accounts payable to set up codes for the projects; metering and contracts with the pipelines and trucking companies who will purchase and transport the product; the oil producers who are producing and recycling the CO2 – our customers; Railroad Commission permits to operate; figure out purchase and sales tax codes in states I’ve not worked in

A not unworthy goal.

before; metallurgy requirements; and researching methods of hydrate prevention. And because Doug got REALLY busy, I’ve got a team working on a +/- 10% cost estimate to build another one of our plants, but four times larger than we’ve every looked at before (please have this by early June); and meetings in which we are continuing to negotiate for two more plants with a new company. For those keeping track – that’s two in construction, one getting close to contract, and at least two more than I’ll start managing preliminary design and cost estimating within the next two months or so. There’s a good chance we could be building three plants at the same time, or MORE.

(My broken ankle? Thank you for asking. I did manage to get into the orthopedic doc to see about it: I only rescheduled the appointment one time. I also worked in my annual dermatologist visit, which was last done over two years ago, and my periodic mammogram. What do you mean it’s been seven years? I did one right after I started this job! Oh, yeah...)

Of course, those plants that are already operating? Can’t let those go, they are paying the bills. My boss and I are the ones that are called upon when there are  operational issues, design changes, upsets, or debottlenecking. We’ve got smart people running the plants, but they sometimes need  technical expertise to solve problems. So, there’s that.


I’m not whining, even though it may sound a bit like it. I just find that 2014 and 2015 will be the busiest I’ve ever been, and while I’m excited about the great things we are going to do, I’m somewhat overwhelmed.

(Oops, just had to answer some questions about how pressure and composition affect the production levels, and why getting waxes and ashphaltenes in the gas gums up our TEG-based dehydration. This is the third or fourth time we’ve had this conversation. It’s OK. Teaching others helps me learn it better myself.)

I can’t imagine doing any other job. I love this.  Occasionally I don’t have time for other things.


So, what have you been doing lately?



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2 replies

  1. I’ve been enjoying hearing about how busy you are! Actually success leads to little free time, but I’m so proud to have such a smart and successful friend.

  2. opps forgot to include, inspiration for my daughters and other young women.

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