Over the years, we have featured a variety of stories concerning retired Aramcons from around the world. Hardly ever have we had a chance to feature a current Aramcon in a profile. Today we do, thanks to Kenny Cavender, Badge Number 800236, a 16-year Aramco veteran who first moved to the Kingdom in 2001.
It is almost--but not quite--easier to list the countries where Kenny HAS NOT drilled than to list those where he has.
Since 2013, Kenny has been drilling in the remote area between Shaybah and the borders of Oman and the UAE where some of the sand dunes are over 300 feet high.
The Road to Nowhere
My Real Office
After completing college in 1979, Kenny began his professional career drilling wells in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas and Wyoming. Switching continents, he left North America and headed to Africa, where he drilled wells in South Africa, Gabon, and the Congo. He followed that up with three years of exploration all over Indonesia, including in the rubber plantations of Sumatra in the north. Deciding to give South America a try, Kenny plied his trade in Columbia and Peru. Finally settling in the Kingdom, beginning in 2001 Kenny lived for 12 years at 613 Saihat by the elementary school in Dhahran.
Since 2012 Kenny has worked on a 28/28 schedule. Kenny writes that "While working in the oil field in general and with Aramco specifically, I have been fortunate enough to have worked for and with what I consider to be some of the best people in the oil field. During my time in Saudi Arabia, I have been lucky enough to have been associated with many aggressive projects such as the ones that culminated in the drilling of the two deepest vertical wells ever drilled in Saudi Arabia (record still stands as of today). We drilled the HRUR-2 in 2008 with a TD in 5 7-8” hole at 22,769 ft, and the HBDA-1 in 2009 with a TD in 8 3-8” hole at 23,060 ft, the deepest vertical core was also cut on these two wells. The drilling rig was one of the largest land rigs in Saudi Arabia at the time with a 2,000,000 pound mast and National Oilwell E3000 HP draw works and National Oilwell 14-P-220 mud pumps with 2200 HP, 14” stroke and 7,500 PSI fluid ends and mud lines, on HBDA-1 we ran 17,200 ft of 9 5-8” 58.4 lb. casing with a hook load of well over 1 million lbs. During the early days of my Aramco career from 2001 to 2006, I was in the Ghazal Field where we drilled dual laterals in the Unazyah A & B formations, GHZL-6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 18, 20 and GHZL-22. The Unayzah sand is extremely abrasive and we were in the early days of trial run testing of PDC and impreg. diamond bits before they were dependable enough to rely on, we had some wells with 68 to70 roller cone rock bit runs from spud to TD. The deep gas team of engineers also designed the first successful Level 3 multilateral completion, the program was carried out at the well by former Aramcon Karl Hilthon and me. It has been an experience beyond my wildest dreams…I have only worked for two companies over the last 38 years, Parker Drilling from June 1979 to June 1997 and Aramco from January 2001 to present. It has been a magnificent adventure."
Kenny's colorful history demonstrates for all to see the excitement and challenges that life in the oil fields brings. We at Aramco ExPats say "Thank you, Kenny" for sharing your story and invite more of our readers to do the same.