Home Featured Suicide in the Oilfield – Purpose & Hope

Suicide in the Oilfield – Purpose & Hope


by Lori Pope

I was talking with my sister who works for Weatherford and sells thru-tubing and she mentioned to me that there had recently been 3 suicides in our Houston area oilfield community.  She continued on to tell me about how everywhere she goes these days, she encounters fear and insecurity and acknowledged that this is no way to live.

My heart broke hearing of these tragic suicides and knowing that behind each one, was the sense of absolute despair and hopelessness.   These are hard times we are in right now and no one really knows what the future holds, but still… LIFE IS PRECIOUS and worth living.  There is ALWAYS HOPE, but sometimes we just don’t see it or know where to look for it.

By our very nature of being human, we are resilient, but WEThe Strong, The Proud, Hardworking, Oilfield ARE without a doubt the MOST resilient species on earth.  We can NEVER GIVE UP, we can NEVER SURRENDER!  The oil economy DOESN’T CARE if it loses another soul, but our Oilfield Family cares, I care and God cares.  We were all created with great purpose.  Many of us are still seeking to know what that purpose is.  Times like these can test our strength, our love and our faith, but can also be the cause of re-discovering ourselves and what is most important in life.

CS Lewis wrote; “Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.”

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor said: “What is to give light must endure burning.”

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time” – Thomas Edison

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me.”

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do!”

If there is one kind of man-kind on this earth that can survive these hard times and come out stronger, it is my brothers and sisters in the oilfield.  We are an Oilfield Family and a force to be reckoned with and now more than ever before, we have to be there for each other as sources of inspiration, hope and love.   We are here for you and want to continue to inspire you and encourage you.  Reach out if you need us!

With deep love and dedication,
Lori Pope
Oilfield Families of America

(See Suicide Prevention Hotline info below)

Need help? United States  1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

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  1. I am so glad you guys wrote this piece. I have been so worried for all the other families. My husband lost his job last week. I have been worried about suicides because of these layoffs. Not to mention the way it all goes down is so demoralizing.
    Thank you for all you do.
    Annie Powell

    1. Thank you Ann for reaching out to us. We are too concerned about each and every family affected by these very demoralizing times. We hope to continue to show our support for the people we love – You! Blessings to you and your family, hang in there!
      -Lori Pope

      1. i want to tell everyone out there about how I felt. Start off I’ve been in the oil and gas business working for the past 32 years. I come from a 4th generation of oilfield workers. I can’t complain, the oilfield has been good to me and my family. Even in ’85 ’86 I still had a job. But in February I lost my job. I will not sit here and lie to you. I have had ups and more down days this past 3 months. I felt things like ( is there something wrong with me, or to old, too much experience that the companies feel like they can’t afford me or is it just me they don’t like). Believe me you can come up with all kinds of stuff just sitting with nothing to do. You can work on anything cause that cost money and that’s money that could help carry you over for another month. So you just sit there applying for every job you can find. You do your networking with friends that may be able to help. The worst thing is that you find a company that is looking for personnel and even talk to you about it. But that seems as far as it goes. You try to call them, email them, and even text them with no response. You just thought you were low before that happens. Then your really low. Banks calling and creditor are call seems like every 10 minutes. I can tell everyone here that I’ve been at the bottom and have even had those thought of ending my life to release the pain. Staying drunk for weeks at a time. All I could thing about is why would I do that to my wife my kids and my family that I know love me. But I want all of you to know that I have over come that part. Now I’m pissed off and I’m not going down without a fight. Trust me. They can come and take it all because at the end of the day it is only material things. You need to look to the ones that love, believe, and care about you. It’s just a job and believe me we over extended ourselves and it just ” stuff”. It not going to bring you happiness or joy. It’s your family, wife and kids that are there for you. If you say you don’t get alone with them. Listen me and my sisters have not talked for 5 years but I called all of them and they are trying to help me as well. Here is what is say. Tomorrow is a new day, get up and start beating the bushes and keep applying. If you look at it like fishing and you leave your line in the water something is going to bit on it. I feel for the families that have lost someone over all of this cause I’m living as we speak. You have to be strong. It will turn back around and when it does you will have more work than you could ever imagine. I believe that God will hear our prayers. So to end its not the end of the world and you ARE A VALUABLE person. You ARE needed not just work but you families need you. And if you don’t get a call back of a email it’s just because they are weak people. Why would you want to work for someone that can’t even tell the truth. What funny is its really easy to say ” we are not hiring at this time “. It not and there just spineless. So pick yourself up, brush off the dirt. It going to be ok. Thank you all for the hard work we have done to bring this country of ours to #2 in the world of production of oil and gas love to all my oil and gas families

        1. You hit that right on point man. That’s the way I felt and your right it’s all materlistic crap.

    2. My husband was laid off from the oilfield going on 3 months and it has taken its toll on our household. Today I actually had to voluntarily return one of my vehicles because we no longer can afford the note. Although my husband showed no emotion I know it hurt him to see me giving up my car. That’s material we can get pass the car but what I pray we get passed is the emotional stress this lay off has caused. We have three kids and I worry that it will start to affect them as well. My little has already began to question why we can’t travel to go see her grandparents anymore…. I pray for all of you.

  2. Thank you for the encouraging words. It is true that times are tough, but the darkness is just before the dawn. Let us not give in to despair and hopelessness! Let us never surrender to the negative thoughts and fears for those are intended to destroy us. Rather let us hold fast to our Savior and trust in Him. Remember that no matter what we go through, He has a plan for our life!

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11-13‬ NIV)

  3. This isn’t the first downturn in the oilfield and certainly will not be the last. It is, after all, a very cylical business. While I am sad that 3 people chose suicide, I would imagine that there were other issues in their lives and losing a job wasn’t so much the only reason but maybe the final reason life was no longer worth living. This too shall pass.

  4. RIP Jeff. I’m sorry that we did not realize what you were going through. Maybe one of us could have done more to help you. Prayers for all of your family and friends.

  5. Just wow…. The struggle is so real and so hard but my husband always reassures us we are gonna be OK…. Thanking the men and women of the oilfield… And to those that have been cut offPlease hang in there we will get thru this my family

  6. Being from the old school Oil Field, am second generation oil field. My dad started in 1920 and worked until he was 65 years old, never worried about being layed off, work hard and be loyal to your company was his mind set. I went into business, a service company to the Oil Field, My dad could not understand that. Go to work for a major company, be loyal and work hard and you will retire in good shape. My company was doing great until the oil bust in the mid to late 1980’s but I survived, now another one. WHY? The reason that I can see is the Lack of loyalty of the Major companies to their employees. Just last year, there was a talk of a lack of qualified oil field hands, now the ones we did have are being layed off.

    1. I was a loyal employee 19 years and 11 months with Weatherford and laid off in December, who said loyalty pays? They waited until I returned home before telling me as no one was man enough to tell me to my face
      And to add insult to injury I gat the duty costs when my belonging were shipped back to my home!!

  7. Me n my rig buddies have felt this bust every thing has slowed except the bills they keep comin, we just keep pushing thru. More days with family n friends. We may b down nut never out. God Bless us all

  8. It’s so hard out there right now my husband was laid off after 11 years of working so hard. It’s hard to see him unsure of the future but as long as we stand together we shall overcome it. Thank you for sharing this post we needed it.

  9. My husband,father,and brother were laid off. It’s been hard no work!
    Unemployment running out. We have da other and family we will rise above and move on. May god watch over us and help all through this hard time!

  10. Demoralizing to say the least. As oilfield workers we are tough and resilient. We’re human also, don’t matter how tough we are we become vulnerable and susceptible to these kind of things, but it is our responsibility to remind one another how tough we are, and remind one another that we will pull through. Keep your eye in the prize everyone, we’ll pull through.

  11. Looking back for those that were not in the Oil Patch at that time, in 1979 we had a very bad shortage of Gasoline, long lines with limits on how much you could buy. Was there a shortage, I tend to believe NOT. Had a job doing work on a large tank farm, 6 one million gallon tanks, 3 had regular gas and 3 had premium gas and all full. That included all pipelines coming into the tank farm and all leaving the tank farm. But they got what they wanted, an increase in the price of gasoline. Yes, they blamed it on the Saudi’s. Forward to the 1980’s, so many small to medium oil companies were finding new reserves using borrowed money. The Major’s lost control of the Domestic Reserves, how do you stop that problem. Easy, create a Glut of Oil, oil price’s drop on Wall Street, when it gets low enough the Banks start calling in the money they had loaned to these small to medium companies. The result, the Banks try to sell the Oil in the Ground, the major’s are not buying, the banks fold and the Major’s then buy that Oil in the Ground for Pennies on the dollar. Now, here it is in 2015 and we again have a lot of small to medium companies with a lot of Oil in the Ground, found on borrowed money and we again have a glut of oil and again they are blaming it on the Saudi’s. Why blame the Saudi’s, because our Government can not do any thing about what the Saudi’s do with the price of Oil. The majority of oil traded on the New York Stock Exchange is DRY Barrels of oil, you buy a contract and hope to sell it before you have to take delivery of the oil. Just my experience after a life time in the Oil Patch, but still love the people in it.

  12. Thank you guy so much for writing this post it means a lot to me and my family I recently got layed off from QCP and it has been so hard for my wife and I we have 4 children I’ve been looking for a job but haven’t heard anything yet iv done wirline,rigging,&production,if anyone kno of a company looking for a good hand I would greatly appreciate it and if I hear of anything I’ll post it on my Facebook Fill free to look me up.Again thanks for your words of encouragement it’s been really hard but we kno it’s all going to work out so to my offshore brothers who maybe have the same problem keep your head up GOD BLESS

  13. I hate the fact that I have to read about everybody’s struggles. But I am relieved that I am not going crazy and the only one thinking and loosing things like all of talk about. I guess I am somewhat fortunate no wife and kids to support but fully understand what people are saying about the banks and creditors calling. I paid my bills for the last how many years on time and almost always more then the balence. And that has helped me some. But I know have to move cause I can afford the place I am in anymore and am trying to get rid of truck that I can’t afford anymore. I have exhausted any contact that I have made in my years in the oilfield. But no luck yet. Nobody want to hire right now. This is my first hardship in the oilfield I have heard many talk about it before but never experienced it before. But now I fully understand. I am trying to keep my head up and not get to down. And w. Wilson. I understand what you mean about being drunk for weeks. And you wonder why this and that. I feel like an inmate with all this te to think up stuff. I always thought this job would be here. We are drilling for something that is consumed everyday by the millions of gallons or cubic ft. Whichever you are drilling for. So just like so many I set my lifestyle up around what I was making. It made sense. Most people do but wow when it is gone it is gone. And I know really realize it is feast or famine. And j like most have lost some touch with friends and family cause of the job and no one is to much help right now. So I am just trying to live day by day and out in apps or resumes where I can. But no response or phone call yet. But all I can do is try. Thanks for this post again at least I don’t think I am going crazy and the only one with similar thoughts. Good luck to all.


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