Appendix 7

"Gushers"

In early days of oil exploration, an oil strike was symbolized by the uncontrolled flow of a column of oil, bringing the oil to the top of the ground spectacularly, wastefully, and dangerously. As the learning curve about handling the pressures unleashed by drilling into a powerful reservoir improved, valves, blowout preventers and other equipment was designed to harness "gushers." Today the "bringing in" of a well is no more dramatic than a twitch of a gauge.

That fact has escaped script writers for the big screen and television, as well as television newscasters to the point that most folks still think that in order for an oil well to be successful, it's initial production must splash all over the well site, landscape, wildlife, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy.