An Old Oil Hand by Ken Bailey


Out here in the wild and remote west we appreciate our oil hands and roustabouts. They work hard and have worked hard since the beginning of the oil industry. Did you ever wonder how they managed to climb on the oil pumps and wells when the heads were huge? Ken Bailey had an enlightening conversation about just that! Check it out. 

An Old Oil Hand 

Ken Bailey
Photo by Ken Bailey

Photo by Ken Bailey

I was talking to one of the "old hands" from Rangely last night, and he mentioned that one of the jobs he used to do in his Rangely oilfield days (if I understood correctly) was this -- he (and others) had to clamber up the walking beams of even the huge air balance pumps and hand-guide the giant horse-head into place when the servicing was done and it was time for the well to go back into production. The huge pumps came even larger than the one pictured here, and it's horsehead could be almost as big as a small school bus. Not for the faint of heart, oilfield work is!