When Vitalii Dmytruk became Chief Drilling and Workover Engineer at Poltava assets of Enwell Energy in 2016, it was the second time he joined the company. But this time, faced with exciting projects and world class equipment, he’s not going anywhere.
“Each well is unique,” Vitalii declares. And you can trust him on that: throughout his 20 years’ experience, he has worked at more than 30 fields and faced many different challenges.
Rather than choosing his profession, his profession chose him: he was raised in Ukraine’s drilling town, home of UkrBurgaz company, the drilling division of PJSC UkrGasVvydobuvannya, the largest gas producer in the country. From a young age he has been surrounded by people who dive deep inside the earth, extracting its treasure.
“I was a student when I got my first job,” recalls Vitalii. “At first they wouldn’t allow me to the drilling site because I was under 18. When I finally got there, the sight was truly amazing.
“As a young boy I ended up working with tough drillers in rough working conditions. This job is physically hard, you stay there round the clock, and let’s put it this way, there’s a lot of adrenaline. It would get scary sometimes, but I have always wanted to be a drill man, and that’s what really matters at the end of the day. You wouldn’t be able to make it in this profession otherwise.”
But it was after joining the team of a particularly charismatic and experienced toolpusher that Vitalii became consumed by his work. “He was a decent and respected man, and he was looking for a team that would match him. I’ve learned so much from him. It was pretty much a professional education without any arrogance or pressure. Frankly, over the years there hasn’t been a single moment when I’ve wanted to say ‘That’s it. I’m quitting!’”
Vitalii literally reaches deep inside the earth. He recalls that he started with a 2,300m well and later reached a depth of 5,750m while directly taking part in the drilling. He has since managed projects drilling wells over 6,000m deep. “At 5,000m depth you can see nothing,” he says. “You navigate by senses exclusively.” When the work was particularly busy, he would drill up to 100,000m of well in a year.
The team of drillers work round the clock, which means their manager has irregular working hours. Vitalii travels back and forth between the sites, checking how things are going and actively participating in the work. “You want to make sure the team is taken care of and the working environment is welcoming,” he explains. “Although this job is quite stressful, our environment is full of peace and people appreciate it.” He is very serious about using personal protective equipment and following health and safety rules.
At this stage in his career Vitalii is motivated by more than simply the pleasure of being a driller. “At a professional level it is exciting to me to get familiar with equipment manufactured overseas, to learn how it operates and how it is made. We had two field trips to manufacturing plants. We are talking about devices that are either not available in Ukraine or that have just started being used here. And I am already familiar with such equipment, pretty much from the day it was born.”