First big oilfield job and oil based drilling mud... I was a little nervous lol

So I was ridiculously nervous about this job. We cleaned the inside of the substructures on this drilling rig. They were about to move and we’re getting ahead of cleaning the oil based mud off of it because of the higher cost of cleaning after they shut down to move. It was a nasty mess but I think it was a success. I already have 2 other big jobs this month with this company because of it. The other hands on the rig kept talking about how the other company they have been using sucks and that they don’t clean it near as well as it is now lol. Being my first job there, I didn’t know what to expect but those comments let me know we did ok! Here are a few pics for anyone interested.


Looks good. Did you have to take a bath in gojo when you got home? :joy::joy:

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Probably alcohol lol

Looks great. What was your method? I live in oil country and have been thinking of breaking into the market. Maybe even get a steam truck for winter work, wellhead cleaning etc.

Lol it’s funny you say that. The first day I just had a FR tyvek suit over regular clothes…bad idea… it was cold that day and the wind was blowing through the boxes we were in… had to keep the hot water flowing to stay warm lol. So that’s the day I put a bottle of dawn in the shower :joy:


I’m working on building another trailer that’s doesn’t have the signage and stuff that my commercial/residential trailer has. No need for it out there. But this job I just added another gun on my 3500psi/8gpm unit and it worked great. If you don’t have a dedicated soap pump, I strongly recommend getting one… I couldn’t imagine using a pump sprayer or x jet. They paid by the hour but if you get in and get out they are more likely to call you back. We used a crazy good degreased made locally and soaked all the surfaces (and there were a lot of I beams and tight spaces) and let it sit for about 10 min. Then came back with hot water and washed. Then when we got to the bottom we did it all again because it blew the little specs of oil all over the top boxes. We soaped the last time and then kind of soft washed it all back to the bottom… they were all amazed lol… apparently cleaning crews that actually leave things clean are rare… bad for them, great for me lol. Good luck! Where are you from??


Yeah I was thinking of getting a hot 5.5 machine for that type of work, or even a steam unit. I thought 8gpm might be a bit much but I suppose with two operators at once it would be great. Im actually up in Canada in Saskatchewan. Although its not as busy here as it was when oil was $120/barrel, theres still alot of activity and plenty of drilling rigs/service rigs that need to be cleaned, plus all the other lease equipment. Would be extremely lucrative if I can get my foot in the door! Also would turn my 6 month a year business into all year.


Great work. I’m actually surprised theses oil companies aren’t required to hire hazmat technicians or environmental companies for this type of work. There is a whole sector for this type of work in Louisiana but it requires a good bit of training and certifications.


Nice job.


I’m in Louisiana also. And actually I am a hazmat tech… but that’s for my full time job lol. They actually require you to have a super vac truck on location if you are doing oil based mud tanks… and those jobs pay a lot but they are a huge mess. To do tanks, you have To have a min of confined space awareness and quite a bit of equipment… in gathering all the equipment right now but there is nothing about confined space rescue equipment that is cheap lol. I’m new at it but I’ve done my research. Feel free to message me if you have any questions or would like to know what little I know lol

I worked in the hazmat field for 6 years. The work sucks and so do the hours. I hate cleaning tanks. #6 oil was the worst. It’s great money. I would imagine even more so if you’re working for yourself. What area of Louisiana are you in? I’m in NOLA

I’m a firefighter full time so I have a lot of time to dedicate to this also. I’m in northwest la. North of Shreveport a bit.

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I did some industrial fire fighting training. It was brutal. Couldn’t imagine it as a full time job. Respect :fist:

Ive been going back and forth on entering that arena as im 3 hours from countless oil rigs and have tons of friends who are still working them. Any pointers on getting “the in”?

Looks good! I ran a crew doing this. Of course, we had half a dozen HydroVacuum trucks as well so we did pits, frac tanks, etc. The best advice I can give you for oil based mud is don’t let that stuff sit on your skin for too long. There are chemicals mixed in to thicken or thin out the mix and they can be very caustic. It’s nasty stuff amigos. Also, and this is a HUGE problem:


A lot of these hands nowadays are geeked up on that dope and they kill people all the time on the roads around the rigs. Not to mention how unsafe most rig sites are. Watch your step and always holler out headache if you drop anything!


Yeah I’m staying away from the frac tanks. Most companies that have those here are cleaning their own. I actually have a waterbed based mud tanks job today. But the company man keeps pushing back the time I need to be there so he can make ties everything is out of my way and they are ready to start cleaning… guess he doesn’t want to be hit up for that standby time charge lol :joy::joy:

My only point for getting “the in” is that once you get it, you have to keep up that reputation… cause once you’re out… it’s crazy hard to get back in