Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Vast Spiderweb of Pipelines

Having tired a bit of the news lately, I've been looking at more industry sites. My newest find is OilOnline. "Your on-line source for the oil industry."

I don't know -- I guess I'd heard of off shore drilling plenty -- just never really thought about what this would mean.

"Strip away the water and sands from the Gulf of Mexico’s Outer Continental Shelf, and you’ll find a vast spider’s web of pipelines – some 28,000 miles of pipe crisscrossing the Gulf from Texas to Alabama. Although deepwater pipelines currently account for a small fraction of the total, that’s where the industry’s focus has been for the past decade."

Planet Earth

In college, two of my best friends and I went camping on Corpus Christi. We camped right on the beach and listened to the waves and the sand. It's one of my favorite places in the world, I think -- though it was a very rough camping night. It was so windy we thought we were going to blow away until someone had he life-saving idea of putting the spare tire from the rental car in the tent. I remember warm Lone Star beer being part of the scenario too... That was 18 years ago, I guess. I went back on my camping trip with my dog a few years later. There was a seafood joint called Snoopy's there. I'm always a sucker for Snoopy. I wonder if it looks different now. If our tent would be sandwiched now between the rattlesnakes and an enormous oil rig.

In 2006 the National Geographic reported on "the successful discovery of oil at a staggering depth beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico."

"The well delves through 7,000 feet (2,134 meters) of seawater and more than 20,000 feet (6,100 meters) of seafloor to strike oil in the lower tertiary formation—a layer of rock laid down between 65 million and 24 million years ago."

I've been looking for about 20 minutes now and I can't seem to find any reports on the environmental effects of the drilling. The National Geographic doesn't mention it -- and I can't seem to find anyone else mentioning it either. This seems strange to me.

I did find a site called the Gulf Of Mexico Foundation -- that says it's purpose is to promote conservation in the Gulf of Mexico. See now, don't try this at home. It looked like a lovely site from the start -- with pictures of coral and clams and things. But when you look at the partners there are lots of big oil dollars attached -- and while the site reports on problems in the Gulf with fish and coral, it doesn't mention oil at all and offers up many negative stories about drug companies, wind farms, biofuels and why coastal residencies.

The ocean is being mined. I'm remembering again my friend Michael, the oilman and deep sea diver warning that we are killing the oceans. That we could reenter a time when the oceans cannot sustain life at all...

Vast spiderwebs of subterranean pipelines abound.

photo by Richard Ling


Jennifer S. Flescher said...

One of my fellow campers -- they are still both dear friends -- remembered the oil rigs from then, too -- I just remember the beer and fried clams.

she writes,
mmmm -- warm lone star beer... waves of nostalgia...

remember the lights of the offshore oil rigs once the sunset? all black looking into the ocean except for those eerie lights.

..and that weird oil refinery we passed ... miles of road with nothing, then what looked like a giant city on the horizon. only it wasn't a city and there wasn't a living soul in sight. just mechanical towers, parts moving, flames. i will never forget that.

Deana said...

Oh, Snoopy's. I forgot about Snoopy's. But I don't remember the oil refinery...