Well, it’s boondoggle time again Posted by: McQ
on Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I always kid the nice folks at the American Petroleum Institute who take me on these trips (and yes, they pay all the bills) that I enjoy announcing them because I relish being called a "shill for Big Oil".
That's something Nancy Pelosi calls people when she's irritated at them for wanting to drill here and drill now for more oil. Consequently, I accept any title which raises Ms. Pelosi's ire and blood pressure.
In fact, about 31,000 producing wells in Kern County provide 66% of all the oil produced in California, 10% of the total oil production in the entire United States, and about 1% of the total world oil production. If Kern County was a state in its own right, it would rank right behind Texas, Alaska and Louisiana as the fourth largest oil producer in the country. Kern County is also home to 18 giant oil fields that have produced over 100 million barrels of oil each, including four "super giants" that have each produced over 1 billion barrels of oil. Among these "super gaints" are Midway-Sunset . . . the largest oil field in the lower 49 United States, and Elk Hills . . . the former U.S. Naval Petroleum Reserve.
More here. Scroll down and check out the pictures (especially the "oil lake").
So I've seen a billion dollar deep water production platform (Chevron's Blind Faith ) - which, btw, is in the Gulf pumping oil to beat the band - and I've seen a very high tech refinery (Conoco Phillip's Billings, MT refinery). And now I'm going to see an on-shore operation in a mature field where they're still producing beaucoup oil using new techniques. I'm going to learn about those techniques and how they're paying off in good old fossile fuels.
So I'm off tomorrow, ATL to Phoenix and then on in to Bakersfield. A full day Friday and then the red-eye back that night. Yeah, I could have stayed over, but then I'd spend all day flying back on Saturday. I'd rather do the red-eye.
Anyway, report to follow - and this time, if my freakin' camera does what it is supposed to do, some pics. I have the very worst luck with cameras on these sorts of things and, quite frankly, I've never been much of a shutter-bug. Too busy gawking before I realize "hey, that would have been a great pic".
I'll try to get something up on other stuff on layovers and whatever other little bits of time I can steal.
Hey, maybe if Pelosi reinstates the ban on offshore drilling, we can use the modern day horizontal drilling techniques to reach that oil; the bridge we need until the alternative energy sources are economically viable.