Saturday, February 23, 2008

oil exhibit

I went to the Texas State History Museum yesterday. The museum is overpriced at six dollars, but is worth a quick visit. I was a little disappointed at the oil exhibit there. I've seen a few 'exhibits' in my day and I guess I had built it up so much in my head that I was destined for a let down. I was hoping for a more intense or more lengthy look at Texas and oil. There were a couple points of interest though.

What I took from the exhibit was how much oil defined Texas. I suppose that it was our relatively recent oil market oil fortunes that made us and Louisiana some of the leading petro-producing states in the nation. The short movie didn't provide much information other than; "Texans found oil. The market blew up overnight. It totally redefined Texas." Just after stepping out of the movie, there is a visual example of how much influence oil had on Texas from 1800-1850(or was it 1850-1900?). The graphs showed the the transformation of a state mostly dominated by agriculture to one that was very heavily industrialized. In fact, oil (energy) was what changed Texas from a rural/agricultural to a modern/industrialized state. The need for better equipment created great markets for those in Texas. One example shown in the exhibit was the competition and specialization of drill bits.

The early techniques used to find oil were interesting as well. The use of ground penetrating signals is still used today to model the earth and its various strata. So, I was quite impressed to find that the methods were being employed even early on in the industry.

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