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Tuesday, September 20, 2011



Twilight before Sunrise.

Hay Rolls loaded on a Semi Trailer. Quite artistic !

US 270 heading West out of CALUMET, OKLAHOMA.

I walked out 10 miles and back, leaving at 7:00 am, returning at 1:00 pm local.

Sun is directly behind this cloud.

Horses seem to take to me and my camera.

A tiny blue blossom. The single bloom is about the size of my thumb nail. These plants line the highway, offering din din for the many butterflies. The entire plant is about 8 inches tall.

A County Road...almost never paved.

Along these roads will be found large numbers of oil well installations. These oil wells are not your typical Well with the familiar Preying Mantis pump head. These Wells are a combination of oil, gas, and salt water, coming out of the ground under high pressure. The actual Well Head is a single pipe about 10 feet tall, which leads back underground to a self-contained processing plant some 100 feet away from the Well.

The next few photographs depict the components of such an installation (my photos actually are from three (3) separate wells, located many miles apart).

Please say HELLO to Lynn (...not my real name, he says), who provided me with some basic information about these gas/oil/salt water installations. Lynn also drives the oil tanker truck.

Lynn's truck filling up from the storage tanks. (It is MY observation that the third tank is for the "salt water", which must be disposed of. Along my walk through the South, I have seen a number of signs..."Salt Water Disposal Site"...and had no idea what they were talking about...well, now I know - and so will you).

From the Well Head, the constituents flow into a Separator, as above. The large pipe is from the Well Head, bringing the mix into the Separator at 500 psi (pounds per square inch)

A gas fired "heater" (see standing pipe in the background) heats the constituents, which cause the lighter gas to separate from the heavier oil, which separates from the still heavier saltwater.

The water and oil are piped to their storage tanks.

The natural gas is fed into a countryside wide piping system.

The layout of a typical gas / oil / water installation.

The Well Head is to the right. The Storage Tanks are front left. The Separator is about 50 feet beyond the storage tanks. The gas line is another 100 or so feet beyond the Separator.

This entire installation is self operating; i.e., having NO outside electricity input - except for two small Solar Panels for telemetry reporting. The constituents move through the pipes by virtue of the pressure from underground.

Interestingly enough, the installations are marked off with a short fence. The gate to every site I visited today was open...anyone could simply walk or drive in. I question that move !

The Well Head. Each site is Color Coded. This is Red Site...i.e., all components are painted Red.

This is the Separator from Red Site. I include it to show the "Heater" in the back and a Chemical Tank up front. This tank holds a chemical "mix" which destroys the MICROBS - yes, living organisms which come out of the earth with the salt water, creating H2 S poisonous gas. The chemicals counter the H2 S.

Storage Tanks from Red Installation. The short wall around the tanks is to contain any oil in the event of a leak or spill.

This is the Chemical Plant which produces the antidote for H2 S Hydrogen Sulfide Poisonous Gas.

The workers at this site take samples from each Well Head. The samples are taken to their Laboratory where the sample is analyzed. The MICROBS are incubated for one week to determine their characteristics. From this (and other) information, a Chemical "Mix" is prepared. Each Well Head has it's own special mix.

Chemical "Mix" is delivered in these containers. I have seen many trucks drive by me while walking...always wondered what was in them.

A Wall Mural of a "Peace Pipe" - a common feature in Moving Pictures from the 1930s (in this case a "Window" Mural) in the town of CALUMET, OKLAHOMA.

The companion window holds this Mural of an Indian Head Dress aka Bonnet, usually work by the Chief.

Yesterday, we visited a Oil Drilling "Rig".

Last night about 15 miles from CALUMET, OKLAHOMA, a similar Rig caught fire. I virtually walked around the burning Rig at a distance of 5 - 10 miles. Flames were shooting high into the sky. This evening, it was still burning as I walked out from the town of WATONGA, OKLAHOMA. These photographs were taken from Route 33, near WATONGA.

I tried to walk down a County Road leading to the burning Rig, but it was not paved. The first vehicle to drive by created a blinding dust storm...I quickly turned back, giving up on a closer look.

Oklahoma SR 33 looking West toward WATONGA, about 5 miles down that slight grade.

I did walk UP that grade. I chose to walk SR 33 instead of US 270, as there was considerable road construction on US 270 between CALUMET and WATONGA.


I am told - by Leslie_ that Roman Nose Park is well worth the visit...many natural underground water springs surfacing, creating (Leslie showed my her photographs) gorgeous Waterfalls.

The ever-present Water Tower.

Grain Trucks pass me all day long at 5 - 10 minute intervals. They are coming and going from the fields where the grain is being harvested (see earlier Blogs) to the Grain Storage "Elevators", which dot the countryside.


A Church in downtown WATONGA.

WATONGA Court House.

Jazzy WATONGA Police Car.

It is now 4:45 am. I have tried all night long to upload the above images...finally, at 3:00 am VERIZON signal was good enough to get the job done (tried once every hour).

All that is written below was written last evening...frustrated not to be able to complete this Blog at that time.

Now, for a couple hours sleep before hitting the pavement North and West on US 270.

* * * * *

VERIZON signal is slow as Asphalt this evening...will not upload images. Will try again later during the night.

Am in WATONGA, OKLAHOMA, on track for Thursday arrival in WOODWARD.

Local Oil Drilling Rig - like we detailed on the Blog yesterday - caught fire during the night and is still burning ... could see flames during most of the day. No one seriously hurt, I am told.

Spent a full hour visiting with a lovely young lady & her 3 kids this afternoon...and totally forgot to ask for a photograph...I apologize Leslie...will drop in tomorrow after my morning walk to see if you are in your shop. Did learn how to shoot a spit wad with a rubber band...shared with them that in the 7th grade, I was caught doing that, taken to the Principal, laid over his big desk, and received the last paddling I ever those days, the rod was NOT spared and never a spoiled kid.

10:30 pm, local and still no VERIZON Signal.

1 comment:

Lezlie said...

Hey Bruce, I actually do not own the shop that we visited in, it belongs to my friend Melissa. It was very nice to meet you and visit. You do have some very nice photos as well. I hope you having safe travels and that your enjoying the weather. Take care and I keep tabs on your journey.