Friday, February 22, 2008

Exhibit: Oil!

To be quite honest, from what I know of Texas oil history from other classes, I was surprised that there was only one corner of one floor dedicated to it. In fact, there were times I was more interested in some of the other exhibits in the museum. Although not that great, there were a few tidbits of information, along with an interesting quiz (1 out of 4, unfortunately), that were informative.

I personally enjoyed reading about Joiner's exploration and discovery of the East Texas field. What amazes me is just how risky new endeavors can be, especially discovering oil. We know oil today is a risky business, and that's with all the technology we have now. Just imagine how hard it was back then. It takes a lot of guts and being stubborn to push forward with ideas like this, but for this guy, it fortunately paid off, and not without some luck, too. There was a statement that had Joiner drilled something like a few miles east instead, he would have missed the reservoir completely, and who knows how long, if ever, the field would have been discovered. Small things like that can really change the development of the society and economy of Texas.

I also enjoyed reading about the settlers who were looking for water, but disappointed when they got oil. It's understandable that water is a primary necessity when settling, but it's ironic that they weren't as happy with the oil discovery, obviously not knowing how important it would be in the future.

That being said, I didn't find too many other things that intriguing or new. Going to this museum kind of reminded me of visting the OceanStar rig in Galveston, which is now a museum. In there were many more exhibits of drilling structers and cross sections of fields and much more history about discovery and the people that were part of it. I was expecting something like that, but what I got was ok, so I won't complain too much.

Just some other observations: I was always under the impression that you needed to be an outlaw to have nicknames like "Doc" and "Dad" and whatever else. Maybe the way some people view oil companies as evil shows that they were on to something back then.

And one more thing, who else thought the Texan oil tycoon from The Simpsons is a perfect copy of Governor Hogg?

No comments: