This was a great little rig; it had a kick-ass de-sander that enabled us to maintain mud properties and hole stability at 60-75% of usual mud costs. Its bit hydraulics were terrific and I never had problems logging or shooting cores behind this rig. It was well maintained and so clean you could drop a white bread sandwich on the dog house floor, pick it up and finish eating it. Everybody on this rig always had a smile on their face, no cell phones in the damn hands, and always, I repeat always said thank you for the work when the plug was bumped. Aubrey Gibson pushed this little rig for a while.
By nature, I am a tree hugger. I never saw any reason to knock down 100 year old live oak trees if I did not have to. Depending on whose rig I was using I would build locations and mud pits around trees. It irritated the hell out of my dozer operator, Joe Ditta, but he was great at it! We got to where we could leave trees right by the stairs going up to the rig floor, to block the sun from windows in the dog house, leave shade over the top of mud pumps, right in the middle of a location if need be for esthetics. We pre-determined lanes for forklifts to offload casing, back logging trucks into V-doors and sometimes I'd make cementers rig up 50 yards away...all to save trees. Landowners loved it.
That was all cool when it was dry; not so much when it was muddy. I drilled a well down in a hole one time, the road off the hill down to the location was windy, around lots of big trees. It started raining and never stopped; the road to the location was so muddy we kept having to dig the mud out to get to dry ground, before you knew it the banks along the road were 5 feet high and it was like the sled run in the winter Olympics. Once you got IN the road, you could not stop sliding down hill; you banged up against the walls in your pickup and when you slid out the bottom it was all the way into the drilling rig.
We ended up tying cat line rope, like a big net, between two trees at the bottom of the run to catch pickups...like planes landing on an aircraft carrier. I NEVER saw rain like that...and that entire location was slicker than green grass thru a goose. To log the well we tied a dozer winch line to the logging truck and lowered it down to the location. I stuck a D-6 over its tracks on that well, then almost stuck a D-7 trying to get the D-6 out. We had a winch truck on location that got stuck so deep you could not open the doors to get in the cab. Thankfully it was a dry hole. It took 3 days plugging that well and moving all that shit out of there. The winch truck stayed planted on that location for two weeks.
There are good dry holes and they are bad dry holes. A good one terminates the prospect, the geological idea, and its... over. There was no fault, no structure, no oil and gas shows, the sand was not there; nothing turned out like you thought it would. It happens. Its dark down there are hard to see what's going on.
A bad dry hole is one where there is just enough reason to keep going, piss some more money off, and still end up with the same results. Sometimes it takes two or even three dry holes to condemn a prospect.
The worse dry hole you can drill is one you actually set pipe on and try to complete, to no avail. Man, you can flat waste some bucks on one like that. Those are the ones that will mule-lip you.