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Well of the Week Selects - Summer Re-runs and the Lodgepole Blowout

I’m thinking back. Way back before anyone heard of bingeing a series through a streaming service. Further back then when cable brought dozens of channels into our homes. Back to when the introduction of a third (A third channel! Can you imagine?) channel was big news for Calgary. Those were the days when, if you missed the latest episode of The Beachcombers, you had to wait for summer re-runs to catch the excitement.

And why, you ask, do I bring up summer re-runs? Because I ran into a lot of friends at GeoConvention last week. Several of whom were gracious enough to say they enjoy the Petro NinjaEnlighten Geoscience Well of the Week. More than a couple wondered why it had been a few weeks since a new one had been posted (as one wag put it: “It’s been more like the well of the month lately”). While it was heartening to have the compliments, work and a desire to enjoy summer will probably make generating original content onto the proverbial back burner for a while.

Which led me to think of re-runs. The whole point of the WotW is to counter bad press by providing positive stories of the oil and gas industry. Long before the BOE Report provided this soap box, I made some early posts on LinkedIn. Rather than allow these to swirl down the memory hole, I can provide these are summer re-runs! Problem solved.

And this first re-run (100/11-12-048-12W5/00) makes an extremely important point about the WCSB and our industry, and not because of its production (notwithstanding the impressive cumulative). The 11-12 well represents a watershed moment for a more infamous reason. This well was the epicentre of the “Lodgepole Blowout.”.

Lodgepole was bad. A true environmental catastrophe. The smell of H2S was heavy in the air that summer. So why remind you of that dark time? Because the Canadian industry had to reckon with the consequences. And we did. As an industry. Regulations changed. Operators adjusted. And we moved on.

We are currently faced with another environmental challenge. No matter how enthusiastically we embrace alternative energy, every serious commentator understands that oil and gas will be a key part of the mix for decades. And I firmly believe that the Canadian oil and gas industry will adjust to meet this challenge better than anyone else in the world


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