Rig 162 is the first of the new builds to officially begin working as part of the Cactus fleet. The first spud was March 19 in the Permian Basin for Callon Petroleum. As with any new build, there were a few kinks that needed to be worked out, but Superintendent Jeff Montgomery believes they have all been worked out.
“It takes time, teamwork and effort to introduce a new build into the field,” he said. “We have good crews working on this rig who have figured out the issues. Anything that has been implemented on this rig will certainly be retrofitted to the other new builds coming out.”
This is the second Cactus rig for Callon Petroleum. According to Montgomery, the company feels that Cactus is a good fit and was willing to adopt the new builds as part of the partnership.
“Callon Petroleum has the same values as Cactus,” he said. “They like the way we treat our employees and they like the way we respect the equipment. We work well together.”
A little over a third of the Cactus fleet is currently working in the Permian Basin. That means a good portion of crews, support staff and field service personnel are traveling to West Texas and New Mexico regularly. Montgomery oversees eight different rigs in the area.
“Trust is important,” said Montgomery. “Cactus trusts me and I trust my crews. You have to or this won’t work. They are in charge of multi-million dollar equipment. I simply can’t be in eight places at once. It can get hectic, but I trust the support structure.”
Montgomery has worked for Cactus for four years. In fact, he pushed with Rig 162 toolpusher Dusty Gardner on Rig 156.
“Dusty is a good guy,” he said. “He’s a hard worker and very organized. He has an open door policy, which helps everything run a lot smoother.”
Gardner has worked a little over five years for Cactus. He is eager to spend his time on the new builds and continuing to learn about the technology.
“It’s clear to me that this is the future,” he said. “I want to know the latest technology. Drilling conventional compared to drilling AC is daylight to dark. But I want to know how to run every inch. I did it on Rig 156 and I plan to do it on 162.”
Gardner also thinks that trust is a huge part of what it takes to be successful in the oilfield.
“Cactus respects my opinion,” he said. “And we have a great working relationship with Callon Petroleum. They trust us to get the job done.”
Gardner had one last piece of advice to offer fellow Cactus employees.
“At one point I was pushing on 156 with Jeff,” he laughed. “Be careful how you treat people. They could be your boss one day!”