Congratulations from Aberdeen Drilling School to Ron Wood, a Drilling Supervisor with BP’s BKR Rhum Development Team, whose perfect 100% score in the “Principles & Procedures” paper of the IWCF Well Control exam entitles him to a £250 reward - and membership of the Drilling School’s exclusive “100 CLUB”! Ron has kindly given ADS some highlights of a very interesting life in the oilfield and how he got there: Family: Ron lives with the love of his life, Julie. Between the two of them, they have six children - James (23), Alex (20), Iysha (12), Calvin (15), Jordan (11) and Nathan (13) – and a grandchild Spencer (2). Route to the oilfield: Born and raised in the Blackpool area, Ron left school at 16 and started his working life as a dustman for Wyre Borough council. This job lasted 3 months during the summer of 1974. In Sept 1974 he joined ICI as an Apprentice Fitter, training up to repair pumps and compressors, etc. He completed his apprenticeship in 1978 and became a Mechanical Fitter. Before leaving ICI in 1983 he worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer, having gained his HNC in Mechanical Engineering. Ron joined Shell International as a trainee driller quite by accident! The job ad he read in the newspaper asked for a Mechanical Engineer - not a Driller. However, the application form stated “Trainee Driller” so, after some thought, he decided to apply for the job – he was, after all, “used to drilling holes in steel!” During the first interview, the “Driller’s” job and the possible travel involved sounded quite interesting so he decided to give it a go.
He started with NAM in Holland “roughnecking”, then worked as an Assistant Driller with QGPC Offshore in Qatar before becoming a Driller with PDO in Oman. Ron came to the North Sea in January 1989 as a nightshift Drilling Supervisor working on the Sedneth 701, West Stadrill and finally the Tern platform. He was promoted to dayshift supervisor within the year and worked for Shell on various Semis, mainly on HPHT wells in CNS and then on platforms from 1992 until 1995.He left Shell in 1995 to work as a consultant Drilling Supervisor, consulted for Amerada Hess and BP Exploration until BP offered him a staff position in November 1998. Since joining BP Ron has worked on the ETAP project, Miller platform, various Southern North Sea projects, West of Shetlands, Angolan Deepwater Exploration in Blocks 18 and 31 and the Devenick / Rhum HP/HT exploration / development projects. He will be returning to Angola later this year (2005). Interests: “Keeping Julie and the kids happy” Football (supports Blackpool Football Club) Windsurfing (but only on holiday these days) Avid collector of soul music records.
Dislikes: Prejudice, racism and greed “Being in the red!” Memorable moments while working in the oilfield: Trying to get a Kelly cock stabbed while the well was blowing out up the drillstring in Oman Tackled a kick on the North Cormorant after having only been on the rig 20 minutes! A well started to flow while running sandscreens and then had to strip in to bottom to kill the well Watched the Iranian Rostan platform burning in the Arabian Gulf after it was bombed in about 1985/6 whilst working offshore in Qatar Played football for England against Scotland live on TV while working in Qatar in 1986 (expatriate match) Had his record collection confiscated at the Oman / Abu Dhabi border when moving country. Managed to get them back after some time Passing his Shell Rounds 1 + 2 and, of course, also getting 100% in his IWCF exam at Aberdeen Drilling School!