Many of my cousins' kids went to work on offshore rigs
I am not naming the oil companies because they do not deal with the public and you would not know them.
So you think my family are red-neck trash? Well, they are red-neck trash with PhDs.
Everyone I have met from the roughnecks to the engineers are mighty fine people. They work because the money is fantastic and they want something better for their families. They do not all have college degrees and some are barely out of high school. My heart went out to the eleven men killed and their families. But rest assured they did not suffer. Some were incinerated almost instantly.
Are you aware of where our domestic oil and gas reserves are located?
There are some pretty big deposits in California in Los Angeles. The residents are totally clueless. The wells are all over neighborhoods and there is even a refinery. I flew over the Pacific recentlyand saw an enormous methane gas bubble reach the surface.
The oil industry is close knit unlike any other. If anyone gets into trouble, people and equipment are rushed in to help from all over the world. I bet no one remembers the horrific story about the North Slope offshore oil rig. In America our Coast Guard also rushes in. Why? To save lives.
This industry is enormous and probably the biggest in the world. When an offshore well runs dry, huge salvage boats are brought in not only to dismantle the rig and platform but to cap the well. Divers with incredible equipment go to the bottom to work on the wellhead and other equipment. Dangerous? Very. These ships have decompression chambers for their divers.
In 1970 there was a tremendous well blowout just to the north of Shreveport in (what else?) Oil City. Well, a bunch of fools (including me), decided to drive up there to see the well. We were on a road near the well. The first thing was the tremendous roar of the fire. It sounded like a thousand blow-torches. The fire lit up the sky for miles around. We finally reached a spot where we could see it. The fire reached far above the derrick and there was a crater where the wellhead was. The fire was so intense, the derrick was beginning to sag around the wellhead.
We tried to get out of our cars. It was so hot that it started to blister the paint on our cars. No one could stand the heat but for a few seconds.
I had seen enough. We were outta there really fast.
Another tidbit: All of you get angry when the price of gas goes up or is scarce. There have been no new refineries built for over 15 years. 'Not in my backyard' is the reason. Then one of my cousins who works in a refinery told me that refineries don't make just one product. They make many. Production is stopped to refine gasoline for every state's laws. Production is changed over and over to make the many products their customer (you) demand.
In 2005 I returned to Shreveport for a scientific lecture and conference at LSU-S. On Sunday I drove out to the astronomical observatory we had built in 1964 and was amazed. There were pipes and valves everywhere on the ground. I was seeing deep, deep gas wells. It was remarkable.
The oil industry is constantly inventing new technologies. There are many, many universities that employ oil business and technological experts.
Last word, the President, CNN, MSNBC, and all the yakking heads on TV WILL NOT get this fixed. Do what you feel you can do. It will take all of us.