HIGH TECH is the bringing to fruition the visions and dreams of those who want things to be better, to work better, and be more effective while being profitable. Technological innovation by its very nature is not of lasting value. This is because someone will always add improvements or come up with a new approach – the latest model.
The oil field guided horizontal boring tool is one fine example. Invented by a Bakersfield petroleum engineer acquaintance, it has been greatly improved on over the years to the point that virtually all production drilling uses this method because it cuts across usually horizontally oriented petroleum deposits. With this well drilling device, a single drilling site can be easily camouflaged with bores in a number of different directions. This approach takes the place of the old forests of ugly rigs dotting the landscape.
In my opinion, the tool’s greatest ecological accomplishment was during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill when a runaway well was spewing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf waters. Accompanying the boring tool are software and control systems that guide the tool precisely to reach a formation. That is wonderful enough; but in order to stop the runaway well, a new bore had to be drilled about a mile away, moving from vertical to horizontal toward the out-of-control well’s casing. The casing is a pipe that carries the drilling and production equipment up and down and the oil flow up to barges or tankers. It is at most 18” in diameter.
Consider that the intercepting bore started on a floating rig about a mile away, dropped to the 5,000 foot deep sea floor, curved toward the flowing well and hit it square on. The casing was pierced, and concrete pumped into the casing to plug the well. A mile away, a mile down, an unseen tool finds its way dead center to an out-of-control well to feed concrete into the casing to shut it down! Go figure!
It failed to impress the “progressive” Administration as it forced the removal of other rigs that were transferred to the less politically hostile waters off the coast of Brazil. Of course, it further enriched select investors such as George Soros with an extra billion dollar boost from the American taxpayers.
The same technology is used on huge formations in the Bakken, in the San Joaquin Valley of California, and sites such as ANWAR in northern Alaska. Other states are finding they have energy reserves that heretofore weren’t practical to extract. It has led to the revelation that we have huge reserves of oil and natural gas to the point where the USA is again the world’s largest producer. Natural gas is the preferred fuel for power plants and vehicles. Solar and wind will never exceed more than 20% of the grid. Corn-based ethanol requires more energy to produce than it makes available as a fuel – not to mention that it causes corrosion in fuel systems and reduces the food supply.
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