A good cable-tool man is just about the most highly skilled worker you’ll find. Besides having a feel for the job, knowing what’s going on thousands of feet under the ground just from the movement of the cable, he’s got to be something of a carpenter, a steam-fitter, an electrician, and a damned good mechanic. A cable tool driller knows more knots and splices than any six sailors you can find. – From a 1939 interview in “Voices from the Oilfield” by Paul Lambert and Kenny Franks.
Drilling or “making hole” began long before oil or natural gas were anything more than flammable curiosities found seeping from the ground.
For centuries, digging by hand or shovel was the best technologies that existed to pry into the earth’s secrets. Oil seeps provided a balm for injuries. Natural gas seeps – when ignited – created folklore and places called “burning springs.” Read the rest of this entry »