Offshore Drilling, California

Hello, I am new to this. There is lots of noise going on in blogs and forums and BS from the politicians about what we can drill and what we can’t drill.

But if I may, let me tell you something that I lived and today suspect. In 1968, I went to work in the offshore oilfield about six miles from Santa Barbara, CA. in a field that is called the “Dos Cuardras” field (if memory serves me). I started working for an oilfield sevice company (mostly offshore work) and then landed a job as Platform Production Operator’s helper. After about a year I moved to a brand new platform and subsequently worked there for almost 10 years, holding several positions. I was there when the “Big Spill” occured. I watched the media come out and interview us later and make a mockery out of our industry. The TV reporters would interview all of us in the crew, but when the interviews aired, the questions they had asked us didn’t line up with our answers.

When you are 20 something and believe in basic truthfullness and have high moral values, it became a hard fact to swallow when “we” figured out that the media didn’t like our industry and was set to destroy our way of life offshore. Most of us later ignored the people who would eventually gain ground against our industry and lobby the ignorant Congress to end the prolific oil and gas production our employers were enjoying. I saw wells flowing at 2000 barrels a day, I learned more in several years about great oil production than I would have ever learned on-shore back in my home state of Texas.

In 1977 I went to the Gulf of Mexico and worked there for a year and then went back to my “home” platform. I helped build another platform “next door” to the one I spent so many years on. About 1980, I started my own offshore service business and worked all up and down the California coast on platforms owned by every major oil company. I was busy making a living for myself and all my employees and wasn’t paying attention to the price of crude oil or to the political movements to shut us all down. By 1986 the handwriting was on the wall, crude oil had sunk to a 10 year low (when I started working the oilfield, there was a national ceiling price of $2.50/bbl). The price in 1986 didn’t get all the way down to $2.50, but it was bad enough for the companies that I was working for asked me to start training their people because the “majors” were going to cut the contractors back. For me, it was time to go back home to Texas.

Ok, now you know where I was and some of what I saw, but here’s what I haven’t told you. When the moritorium on new drilling was set in place, there were several platforms that had not drilled all their “slots”. A “slot” is the mechanical opening through which a well could be drilled, pipe set and supported, flow could be directed to a manifold. Every platform is designed for so many wells and there are “slots” set up for each one.

Now go figure. If the drilling ban for offshore California was lifted tomorrow, how many platforms could get a drilling rig set up and start drilling their empty “slots” within a year? How many of the old wells that were drilled back in the 70’s could be re-entered, redrilled into a different zone and be productive within a year or two? When I left California in 1986 there were about a dozen working platforms in Federal waters and I would suppose most are still there. Still sitting with empty slots or wells that have gone dry and can be re-worked.The oil fields that we were producing in the 70’s were huge, some maybe were what they call elephant fields today. The fields were not all completly drilled up because of the moritorium. It could be that there is still lots of oil left, I can’t be sure, I am not a reseviour engineer.

But just suppose. If the drilling ban were lifted today and every operator between Long Beach and Point Conseption just rigged up to start drilling the un-used slots and re-drill the wells who have gone dry, you can be assured that oil would start flowing within a year or two, maybe sooner. One thing you never want to do is place yourself between an oilman and a well that might have production potential, you will get run over.

The next question to ask is how many older platforms are still setting somewhere (West coast, Gulf coast, East coast) with empty slots or played out wells that could be producing new crude oil with a year or two? Don’t let the feeble brains in Washington DC tell you what the American Spirit can or cannot do. If there’s oil left behind in some or all these fields, with platforms already set, it won’t take very long to add a couple (or several) hundred-thousand barrels a day of production to our supply. Pelosie, Reed and all the rest of the nay-sayers, can only fathom the American Spirit from their own pathetic experiences of life. You know where they came from, they were the 60’s hippies, what else can you expect from them except gloom and doom?

I say, lift the drilling ban for ALL offshore, including the rich oil deposits off Western Florida (right up to the beach!) and then someone needs to spend a little money and send everyone in this country a picture of the wasteland tundra of ANWAR where we can also find oil.

Take names. Any one opposed, receives their oil, gasoline, heating gas, propane at the end of the line. Anyone opposed to drilling everything we have NOW, get’s to freeze in the dark.

Oil and Gas deposits do not belong to everyone! Not any more than the sand surrounding my house belongs to everyone. The company’s that buy the lease, pay for the geology, pay for the drilling, pay for the surface equipment, pay the land owner for damages, pay the royality owners, pay for the compressors and pumps and the pipelines, pay the people to keep up the production and maintenance…THEY OWN the oil and gas. It does not belong to every American just because it is under the American soil. If anyone wants to be an oilman, get your money out. Risk YOUR money on one good well after five or ten dry holes. Then you can OWN some oil. Until then, anyone who doesn’t have a stake in this business, needs to keep their nose out of our business and get out of our way! And that includes the likes of those idiots in Conrgess.