Oil field essay's errors and delights

  Dear HCN,

As someone with a great interest in energy issues I greatly enjoyed Randy Udall's article, "We Are the Oil Tribe" (HCN, 11/19/01: We are the Oil Tribe). One fact that was presented is definitely incorrect; the number of rigs drilling in the U.S. According to the Baker Hughes monthly rig count (the industry's common standard), there were 1,278 rigs, on average, turning in the U.S. in the month of July (the last month that I have data for); 157 of these were offshore and 13 were in Alaska. I only mention this because this kind of error is just what some of us oilfield trash would jump on to prove that the tree-huggin' writer doesn't know the facts. Also, as a directional driller who has worked around the world for many years, I think at least some people in the oil patch are getting better in relation to the environment.

Additionally, an article written about a year ago in HCN stated that directional drilling is a technique not used in the Rocky Mountain region: Wrong.

Mr. Udall, your take on our being the Oil Tribe is brilliant. With your permission, I may use it on some of my drilling buddies. Keep up the good work.

Artie Rothman
Carbondale, Colorado