Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oil and Gas Chemical Photography Assignment

I did an interesting photography assignment this winter for an oil and gas chemical manufacturer. While most of today's news headlines are concerned with the chemicals used to frac oil and gas wells, this client informed me that the most widely used chemicals used in the petroleum industry are emulsion breakers which help remove the brackish water often produced with oil. Before crude oil can be sold to a pipeline or refinery, corrosive elements like salt water must be reduced to a minimum or entirely removed. In many cases chemicals make that process more efficient and prevent costly damage to pipelines and refineries. Produced water can then be disposed of and in some cases be reused for drilling or fracing new wells.

As a creative, it's my job to focus on the interesting forms, shapes and colors that tell my clients' story in an interesting way. Although industrial sites can be challenging, I was pleasantly surprised. These are just a few of my personal favorites.
A chemical lab for analyzing crude oil samples.
Chemical plant operators observe controls for a chemical reactor.
The Houston skyline is the backdrop for trucks loading oil field chemicals at dawn.

An chemical plant operator inventories chemicals.

Friday, March 30, 2012

ConocoPhillips Drills Niobrara Test East of Aurora

ConocoPhillips began 2012 with the January Tebo 32-2 Niobrara test on part of it's 46,000 acre leasehold near Watkins, CO. That's very close to the 22,000 acre former Lowry Bombing Range which was leased to ConocoPhillips by the Colorado State Land Board on March 2, 2012 bringing their total acreage to approximately 68,000. The photograph below shows a sunset view of the working rig against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

Although the bulk of Niobrara drilling and production lies in Weld County well to the north of ConocoPhillips' acreage, there has been a flurry of leasing activity from Weld County south through El Paso County. In an article last fall, The Denver Post listed EOG Resources, Noble Energy, Anadarko Petroleum and Chesapeake Energy among the largest leaseholders in the area with many others pursuing acreage positions. Last June, Ultra Petroleum purchased the 18,000 acre Banning Lewis Ranch just east of Colorado Springs to add to the 100,000 acres it already has under lease.

To view more oil and gas images from around the US, visit Jim Blecha's Oil and Gas Photography site.

ConocoPhillips Tebo 32-2 Niobrara test drilled by Precision Drilling rig 522. Near Watkins, Colorado.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Whiting supports Food Bank of the Rockies

When I returned from my last business trip to Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas, I had a message from Carla Wilson of Whiting Petroleum Corporation asking to use some oil and gas photographs in Whiting's cookbook being created as a fundraiser for Food Bank of the Rockies.

Food Bank of the Rockies (FBR) was founded in 1978 and serves an area where nearly 400,000 people live in poverty and struggle to meet their basic food needs. Almost half of them are children. Since 1996, Whiting has raised more than $238,300 for FBR.

For a more information on the cookbook or to purchase a copy, please contact Carla Wilson at 303-837-4225. Try some of the recipes and be sure to check out "More Oil & Gas Terms that Sound Like Cooking Terms ... but Aren't".

Magnolia Station on the Ozark Trail

As many of you know, I drive an average of 2,000 miles per week during my oil and gas photography road trips. And whenever possible, I try to take the back roads and keep my eyes open for interesting photographs along the way.

Early morning on the final day of my last trip found me in the small town of Vega, Texas at the Magnolia Station. The station was built in 1924 by Colonel J. T. Owen on a dirt road known as the Ozark Trail, which connected Vega to Amarillo and Adrian. The road later became part of the historic Route 66 developed by Cyrus Avery to connect existing roads through the main streets of towns along its path from Chicago to Santa Monica. Route 66 became known as "America's Main Street".

Art Deco Conoco Station

Another great find during my most recent oil and gas photography road trip was a restored Art Deco gas station in the Texas panhandle town of Shamrock. Located along historic Route 66, the station was known locally as the Tower Building. This combination gas station, lubrication, auto laundry and diner was designed by Pampa Architect J. C. Berry and built by J. M. Tindall in 1936. And the price on the pump was 34.9 cents per gallon. Not the lowest price I have ever seen, but darn close!

Pump Jack Graveyard

On a recent oil and gas photography road trip through Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas, I ended up spending Halloween in Corpus Christi on route to an assignment in south Texas. While Halloween was uneventful, an early drive the next morning (All Souls Day) took me through the oilfield town of Alice where a group of derelict oil pump jacks caught my eye. I just had to stop and photograph this pump jack graveyard with all its interesting shapes and spooky spider webs.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Trinidad, Colorado and a 100 year old house

An older brother of mine and his wife recently bought a 1908 vintage house in the small southern Colorado town of Trinidad. My brother is one of those retired guys with just a little too much time on his hands and a great appreciation for old quarter-sawn oak woodwork. Unlike most homes of this vintage, almost none of the original woodwork has been modified or painted. Amazing. However, since the house was vacant for the last 20 years, almost everything else does need repair or updating! These are the "before" pictures. The exterior view of the house shows Fisher's Peak (9,626 feet) in the background.

The dogs in the photos are Flash, a yellow Labrador Retriever and Xena "Warrior Princess", the Yorkshire Terrier.

Located at the northern end of Raton Pass, Trinidad is a frontier town founded in 1861 on the Santa Fe Trail and with the arrival of the railway in 1878, grew into a commercial, agricultural and coal mining center. The town also hosts a picturesque Victorian Downtown located in it's Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District.