The Boogie Man
The Boogie Man works in the oilfield, seven days a week, always in the dark of night when nobody is watching. You may not see the results of his mischief or hear about him from other operators for months at a time but he is always there, lurking, ready to pounce when you least expect it. He terrorizes the oilfield in such a manner that his work cannot often be physically explained.
He enjoys his job, Mr. Boogie; he's good at it. When he returns to his lair at daylight he writes his dastardly deeds down in a tally book, smiling the entire time. He's busy; its important to keep records.
Imagine gauging the well, above, one morning and the next morning you find it looking like this. The saddle bearing has vaporized and fallen to the ground taking the entire walking beam and horses head with it. All of this barely missed crushing the flowline to the tank battery, which would have caused a giant mess. All you can do is stand there in awe and try to understand the physics of how that could even possibly happen. There is really only one explanation.
Its hard to explain an overnight visit by the Boogie Man to the home office without attaching photographs to the reports; a lease operator must always carry a camera for just this sort of stuff.
I've seen pumping units turned upside down, spun 90 degrees, even 180 degrees so they're facing the wrong direction, walking beams twisted into pieces of pasta, vaporized electric motors turned into undiscernible heaps of charred metal, the rubber belts not even singed, and tail bearings thrown off in the pasture 60 feet. I had one get hit by lightening one time and cook all the grease out the bearings and oil out of the gear box. The damn thing looked like it had been sand blasted so...we repainted it.
Mr. Boogie can mysteriously pop the tops off tanks like they were beer bottles, split their seams and knock holes in them so their contents will drain into firewalls or across locations.
Occasionally, when he's on a roll, he'll just mysteriously open a valve and let shit run everywhere. When you grasp the only way that could have happened was because of the Boogie Man, your hair stands up on end.
I had a valve mysteriously open once, in the middle of the night, naturally, and the rancher drove up the next morning to find the disaster. His little white poodle jumped out of the pickup truck, into the firewall full of crude oil, then his little black poodle jumped back in the pickup to sling oil all over the leather seats. You can imagine what THAT phone call was like. I had to write a BIG check for that.
On the left the Boogie Man loves to work unbelievable carnage on heater treaters; that's one of his favorite targets.
Another cool Boogie trick is to buckle flowlines buried 3 feet under ground, completely out of the ground. Its always fun to drive up to your lease in the morning and find it looks like the geysers at Yellowstone.
On the right, it wasn't enough for the Boogie Man to blow this entire damn tank battery over, he had to pick a night with a roustabout pickup under the tanks to do it.
I am sure he had a big laugh about that, the sumbitch.
Eight inches of rain in six hours, out of nowhere, so much rain the only way you can get to your well to check it in the morning is in a damn boat ?!! Gimme a break. If that doesn't make you believe in the Boogie Man, nothing will.
When he gets bored jacking with all your surface equipment, or the weather, the Boogie Man will disappear for a while to mess with some other poor fellas stuff, then come back to your stuff with a vengeance and take a big 'ol dump on your wells.
Metal as thick as a slice of bread will mysteriously break, or disintegrate into thin air and cause the release of stuff that makes a big mess and REALLY costs money...
He'll turn a really good oil well into a water well over night, like it was nothing, and won't even leave a note to tell you how to fix the damn thing.
Engineers and geologists will always have rational explanations for these sorts of things, the fact is they don't see what the Boogie Man can do and they never have to explain it to a surface owner, or clean it up, or write a check for it.
Operators and all field hands know; there is nothing mythical about the Boogie Man. He's real. More than one visit a week will start to fray the nerves of any operator. You'll start to wave off phone calls from your pumpers, out of fear, and it can get bad enough to want to start day drinking.
Sometimes the Boogie Man will crawl in your well and wreak havoc down there, in the dark, where you can't see. OMG... he can flat do some damage downhole. You have to put a rig on the well and start pulling stuff out of the hole that looks like this in the photo, above.
I mean, really...look at THIS stuff coming out THIS well. What in the hell is it ?!!
Its Boogie Man stuff, that's what!
In Louisiana they call the Boogie Man the Loup Garou, a ware wolf, but make no mistake bout it, its the same dude.
When he gets bored with the routine domestic terrorism stuff, he then turns to getting others to his work for him. He can speak to animals and has magical powers over them. He'll teach horses to jump cattle guards and turn a herd of wild hogs into a tank battery to completely plow the ground up into something akin to a land mine exploding. He can part barbwire fences like the Red Sea. You'll drive up in the morning and the rancher's cattle will all be standing in the middle of the highway with this big shit eatin' grin on their faces as if to say lookit' us. Somebody let us out! Guess who gets blamed for THAT? The oilman, dat who.
The Boogie Man can talk cows into doing really stupid stuff...
After he has done as much damage as possible to a lease, just before first light in the morning he'll vamonos for home and always, I repeat always... leave the gate open on his way out. He's got all the combinations written down in this tally book, the cleaver wank. Ranchers hate having their gates left open and the Boogie Man knows you'll get a big 'ol ass eatin' over that. Its a fitting way to end his work night.
"The Boogie Man showed
up again last night." "Oh shit."