Life with the Big Blue

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Marmul, Oman

  • Marmul, home of the company's 2nd base in Oman. When I first knew I'd be sent here instead of Mexico (due to visa processing complications), I thought of it as just another remote desert location that nobody wants to go to. But now that I've spent about 2 weeks here, I wouldn't mind working here for a few years.

  • In a way, this remote PDO post is like Dhahran in the 1950's or Haradh nowadays, just an oil camp with a number of pumps, rigs, hoists, and an ugly small town surrounding it.

  • The closest major Omani city is Salalah, which is a 3 hours drive to the south-west. You could spot Marmul (mid-south, above Salalah) on the map shown below.

Breathtaking Scenery!

The logo of PDO (Petroleum Development of Oman) at the entrance of their Marmul camp. Sometimes it makes me realize how great Aramco really was compared to other national oil companies.

Marmul's bar in disguise, dubbed: the White House by the Mutawwas, Code named: Rig#1 by the sarabeet.

I arrived at Nimr Airport (one hour drive from Marmul), which was my frist experience landing on a gravel air strip! Not a good idea to cut costs, if you ask me!

Baggage Claim, Passenger Pickup, and Car rentals, tourist info.....etc.

  • The weather here is really nice, contrary to what you would think of a desert location in the month of August. It could be 1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon on an August day and you'd still feel alright walking outside. I think it's the elevation that's bringing all the fresh breezes.

  • I like my Omani coworkers. I never knew Omanis were this cool. I get their jokes, they get mine. It's like mixing Saudi with Yemen then adding some African influence as garnish.
  • The engineers I work with (1 Canadian middle-aged guy, a Vietnamese dude, an Indonesian bro, and a Nigerean lady) are alright too but they're too busy to be nice and helpful. There's SO MUCH to learn and you really need to ask many questions to know what's going on!

My Vietnamese friend Viet (aka V6)

My operator buddy Nassir al-Tubi (aka 2 piece)

Another cool operator: Mohd. Al-Mahri. His first language is Mahri which sounds like arabic in reverse. Bellah ma ythakkirkum b'shabab althugbah? Just add 6agiyyah+thoob+kabak thahabi+ditsin 3alaih sticker "special",,,, and u've got urself a typical Saudi street cruiser. He told me Saudi Jawazat guys wouldn't believe he was Omani when he was crossing the infamous bridge to Bahrain.

  • Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to see Muscat. I arrived exhausted on the night of the 23rd of August then had to leave to Marmul the next morning. Check out the trashy hotel I to had stay at in Muscat (Ruwi Hotel).


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