You can't overcome history and habit

I lived in Tulsa for a while.... in the hallowed area of Getty, MaGee and Philips and the Glenpool field and a bunch of wildcat drillers who made fortunes when oil was $2.38 a barrel and doubled down when it hit $16.  I ate lunch once at the Petroleum Club where the menu purposefully didn't print prices and you had no idea what your bill would be. Truth was then that they took the operating expenses for the day, added 20% to it and divided it amoung the number of plates served. Let's say you didn't go there for a cup of coffee and a cup of soup.

In Oklahoma you had people called "land men". They went around the country side and bought up "rights" to drill...the farmer could own the surface, the land man bought what was underneath. Simply if you had any land whatsoever near a formation that spurted oil you generally got a huge deal out of it..particularly if you had a lot of it. I think it was in that frame of mind that the Gulf disaster was born...and just waited to happen.

Let's be clear. Oil fields are not sterile operating rooms. They are grossly contaminated areas where all manner of chemicals needed in drilling and cleaning up wells, drilling equipment, finishing equipment, etc. are or were just put in barrels and dumped.  There are farms and I've seen them, with capped wells that look like stove pipes every 50 yards in all directions coming out of earth that 80 years later won't grow grass.  Oil people learned to prospect, get the rights, drill and produce or drill and cap and move on.  They are the "liquid coal miners" of the west.

Capping a well is all expense and no profit.  You can't make a dime after you cap so it was done fast and inexpensively with very little thought about aesthetics. The big deal is the drilling...where all the money is spent...and if the damn well became a gyser..well so much the better...oil shooting out of the ground and a few thousand barrels hitting the ground..well son that's a cost of business..lost oil.

Do you think for a second that when BP scoops up the oil from the Gulf spill that it doesn't try and see if there is some way to make a buck from it?


  1. You better stick to advertising. Facts are not your strong suit.

  2. Actually Mr. Anonymous, I've been in the business as has my family for 50 years. I've also worked on several state committees that deal with oil field reclammation and have actually owned a company whose main business was built around cleanup of organics. Lecture not.


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