When Houston native Travis Davidson graduated from college, he had no intentions of working in the oil industry, but when presented with a job while being unemployed, it was too hard not to take it.
Davidson attended Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) and graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. While attending MSUM, Davidson played on the school’s football team, worked full time at the School’s fitness center and was a certified personal trainer. It is obvious none of these activities or even his degree suggested Davidson would end up working in the oil fields, but that all changed when he moved back to Houston after graduation.
Upon returning back to Houston, Davidson was presented with an opportunity to work as a reservoir technologist through a friend’s father-in-law. Davidson explained how the company was looking for entry level workers with no wife or children, and were willing to travel and spend time out on the road.
At the time Davidson had no idea what exactly he would be doing and it also didn’t help that the title “reservoir technologist” isn’t commonly heard of. He then explained exactly what a reservoir technologist is and why the position is needed in the oil fields:
My company had the patent on a unique chemical that was detected during the flowback of the oil, so completion engineers could see what depths of the oil well were producing the most oil. I would drive and fly all over, all the way from the northern slope of Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina and everywhere in between that there was oil. We would hook up our equipment during the “fracking” and inject our chemical in with the sand.
Although Davidson traveled all over the U.S. for work, he primarily focused on the Eagle Ford Shale. During his time in the Eagle Ford, Davidson worked with many big name companies, such as Marathon, Conoco, Apache, Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger. While in Alaska, he also did business with BP and Conoco Phillips.
Being a reservoir technologist required a new lifestyle and long hours. There were times that he was gone for months at a time because his company was short-handed, Davidson explained. He also explained how his job wasn’t that bad once at the wellsites since he only had to leave his truck every few hours. Yet, shifts were 12 hours or more and sometimes with hour long drives to and from the hotel. Davidson said that every company he came across would always make sure to set him up in a hotel or a camp, and make sure he had the basic necessities. Companies also catered at least two meals a day to the jobsites for those working. According to Davidson, while working in the oil fields he experienced some of the best Mexican food and BBQ of his life. In summary, Davidson stated the oil fields are like a brotherhood and everyone looks out for each other.
Despite working long days and being away from home, everyone was incredibly nice. It’s a brotherhood, everyone looks out for one another in the oilfield. Everyone wants to go back home to see their families and are all working for the same reason to support their families and make it back in one piece. Some of the nicest people I ever met were out in the oilfield, and without having worked with them I probably would have never approached them with their rugged blue collar exterior.
Although no longer working as a reservoir technologist and planning to attend the police academy in February, Davidson did say he took something from the oil industry and the experience he had working in it:
Being young and new to the oilfield, I was out of my element, but it helped me learn to adapt to adversity. You are never gonna know what to expect in the oil field. It’s just like life- you’re gonna have good days and you’re gonna have bad days, you just gotta keep working hard with the end result of being able to support your family and make a life for yourself.