Home / Energy / Energy Pipeline: Field Worker Profile – Rebecca Johnson, Anadarko Petroleum

Energy Pipeline: Field Worker Profile – Rebecca Johnson, Anadarko Petroleum

Name: Rebecca Johnson

Company you work for: Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Hometown: I’m a Colorado native. I was born and raised in Colorado Springs. I went to school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. And I’ve been blessed to be able to work in Colorado my entire career.

Where do you live? I moved from Aurora and have lived in Berthoud since 1998

How long have you been working in northeastern Colorado? 11 years. 1998-2004 and 2010-2015

How did you get into the industry?

I really didn’t have any intention to work in the oil and gas industry. I went to CSU and graduated with my degree in chemical engineering. While I was there I was working for a professor doing some research for the computer industry in deposition on silicon wafers. I applied and received a summer internship working for Amoco in Durango. I had the opportunity to work in a new compressor facility and to work on completions. I fell in love with completions engineering and was offered and accepted a full time job in Denver in 1992. I’ve been blessed to work for the majority of my 24 years of my career in completions engineering.

What is your job title and duties?

I’m a project completions engineering adviser. I’m currently working on a small multidisciplinary team to model fracture stimulations in horizontal wells in the Wattenberg Field. I am a part of the completions team that designs and implements the completions for the horizontal wells. I’m been blessed to have been able to work all the parts of this process, from design, to modeling, to supervision on location, to post evaluation, to managing. The best part is being on location.

What is completions engineering?

Let me start at the beginning. We start the process of drilling a well with the geologist determining where to drill a well based on the geology and the rock formations having oil and gas. Next the drilling engineers design and then drill a well down into the ground ~7000 ft down below the surface and then 5000′-10,000 ft horizontally through the rock formation. This is where the completion engineer’s job starts. We test the integrity of casing and the cement behind the casing of the well. Then we design how we’re going to frac the well. This includes a lot of work for the detailed procedure design including perforating (spf, cluster spacing, charges), stage size, plug type and placement, water and sand volumes, ramping and maximum sand concentration, pump rate, coil tubing and tool design to drill out the plugs, and the procedure of running tubing into well. We work with our completion foreman on safety, environmental protection and logistics. As a team we work for continuous improvements on design, reducing footprint, traffic and noise. There’s even more to it, but with all of that essentially what we’re doing is pumping water and sand into the rock formation 7000′ deep at a pressure high enough to fracture the rock. We pump the water to carry the sand. We pump the fine grained sand to hold open the fractures in the rock. Creating these fractures in the rock and keeping these fractures open allows the oil and gas to be produced.

What is the most interesting thing about your job?

I love fracking and the engineering behind it. It’s challenging and that’s why it’s fun. It’s challenging because of the geology. It’s fun to work with integrated team members, like geologists, petrophysicists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers and talk about how the rock changes along 10,000′ of the well bore and how we can change our design to optimize each fracture.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is working with so many great people in the industry. It’s nice to see the people that I work with around the community and to get to meet their families.

What is the hardest part about your Job?

The hardest part has been recently when there has been a lot of miscommunication about fracturing. Since this is what I do for a living, it doesn’t take very long to tell my friends, church family and neighbors the facts. It’s good to see their quick understanding of the process. I would recommend that people talk to their neighbors in the industry, as that’s the best source for the facts.

What do you do in your spare time? Volunteerism, school, sports? My husband is a native also and so we love getting out into nature, walking, hiking or fishing. We spend a lot of time on the weekends with our extended families. Our parents are getting older and so we spend time on the weekends helping them, particularly my husband’s mom in Eaton. We usually walk/run along a river trail (Big Thompson or Poudre River Trail) on our way from Berthoud to Eaton, or we’ll go to a state park after church on Sundays. We are also active members of our church as Session members and enjoy singing in the church choir.

What are your future ambitions in the industry?

I don’t have any big ambitions. It may sound simple, but we’re very fortunate to have the oil and gas resources here in Colorado to heat our homes and provide the fuel for our cars and the plastic for everything else in our life. And it’s a blessing to be able to work and live close to our families in Colorado.

What does the Wattenberg Field and the DJ Basin mean to you?

This is very near and dear to my heart because it’s my home. Northern Colorado is such a great place because there is so much to do. There are such friendly people, nice small towns, bigger cities with everything you need, the rivers, the lakes, the state and national parks, the wide open views of the beautiful farmland, and the mountains.

How do you feel about the current environmental debate going on with “fracking” in Colorado? Again, I think there is a lot of miscommunication about fracturing. Do you know how many wells there are in Weld County? About 22,000. Do you know when the first well was drilled in Weld County? 1970. A lot of my friends and neighbors are surprised that we’ve been drilling and fracking for the past 45 years right here. Most of the wells have multiple layers of rocks that have been fracked, so it’s easily two to four times per well. And we all live and work here, so if there were problems, we’d know. I’m proud to work in this industry and I’m blessed to be doing it in Colorado.

This article was from Greeley Tribune, Colo. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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