Big Oil

Spindletop Field

Today is the 114th of something of Spindletop Hill.  It (the hill) rests just outside Beaumont (beautiful hill) Texas and finding that gusher transformed the land from grazing, Texas mud and clay, and a potential Trump golf course into....well ...  just look at the picture above.

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. When oil it $150 a barrel a year ago..Well Shoot!!!.  Now it is in the middle $30s and the boys are capping their wells.

The Glenpool Field South of Tulsa
 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 among 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.

Just some things on my mind.  Go back to your Sunday morning.