Dropped Object Stories

Dropped Object Stories

Submit your dropped object for the chance to win $1,000 for the charity of your choice and appear on this page. The stories will be judged once every quarter and we will need two independent sources to verify your tale.


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The Best Dropped Object Story We Have Heard To Date

By Mark DeRouen, 5D Oilfield Magnetics

During the course of my oilfield career over the last 33 years I have heard some fantastic stories about things that have been dropped into the wellbore; this is the best one so far in my mind.

In 2012, an international operator was drilling a well in the continental United States on a land rig. The BOP stack was set and was about to be tested.  Prior to testing the BOP stack, the Koomey unit bottles were being charged to operating pressure with a cylinder of compressed nitrogen. Somehow, the nitrogen cylinder was knocked over and went into the wellbore!

Luckily the cylinder went into the wellbore valve first and was retrieved with one trip.

The Most Expensive Dropped Object Story: “The One Million Dollar Washer”

By Mark DeRouen, 5D Oilfield Magnetics


In 2003, I was working in Africa doing 28 day on/ 28 day off shifts.  Just prior to finishing a shift, a well that was undergoing a completion procedure had a packer failure; the packer was set but wouldn’t hold a backside pressure test. As such, the operation was suspended.


The well completion was pulled after the appropriate fishing tools were shipped into the country, which occurred during my time off. After I arrived back in Africa for my next shift, the company completion engineer came to my office and asked if I wanted to see a “One Million Dollar Washer”. He pulled a small, slightly disfigured washer from his pocket; it turned out the washer was lodged in the packer, and this had kept the well from pressure testing. The operation to fix the well cost approximately $1 million USD!


I asked the completion engineer if I could have the washer, but he wouldn’t give it to me.