Big Joe & Martin Syria.jpg

This is a very meaningful photo for me. Danny Strong took this photo of Joe Carpenter, left, and Martin Kelly on the right in eastern Syria in 1995. They're all at the bottom of v-door and up wind. The Shell well they were on is blowing hard behind them, as estimated 45,000 BOPD at this moment. They are preparing to skid the rig away from the BOP stack

to begin capping procedures.  

About a week after this photo was taken they were finished and released by Shell. They three of them went down to check on the capping stack and diverter lines one more time before leaving for the airport. Under the stack, it suddenly fell over from exessive vibration, an explosion occurred and the three of them, and two more Syrians were burned to death instantly. 

Joe and Martin and Danny were my friends. We had all of us been on a fire just 5 weeks prior to this Syrian matter. When the call came in from Shell, Martin called me from Houston to see if I wanted to go with them on this job.

I  had to beg off because I was drilling a well at the time. 

They never came home.