From the mid-1980s to early 1990s, I worked in Chad, Africa, for Esso Exploration. There was a lot of oil there and Esso had a group of ten geologists — me being one of them — who rotated to Chad on a 21-21 tour. We worked on the drilling rigs looking for oil and describing the reservoir. In September 1989, two of my best friends — who were also members of the ten — had just finished up a well and one of them was at the end of his tour. Mark was one of those men, and his best friend, Charlie, was the other. Going home after a 21-day rotation after working long hours on a rig was something we all looked forward to. Mark was pestering Charlie to fly back with him (Charlie still had a week to go on his rotation) because the rig was moving and it would be a week or two before we would be ready to drill another well, but Charlie decided to stay to finish up the office paper work.
That decision still haunts him to this day.More