A two mile stretch of Sharp Road in rural Stephens County Oklahoma is very busy with activity right now. In the period of a week two oil derricks have went up and a pipeline is going in.
I was heading out to do some portrait photography and wanted to drive through and see all the activity. My Dad (who is the Sharp of the Sharp's Road) and I went to check it out.
This is the pipeline running parallel to 13 Mile Road, you might see the solitary tree in the background, which I like to photograph. Pipeline activity has been busy. There have been pipelines for a long time. I wonder why we are so dependent upon distant refineries instead of building more refineries. I also do not totally grasp the outrage about the oil industry, as we as a nation are dependent upon this necessary evil.
I know this is temporary and the earth will heal, the derricks will be gone and the remaining pumps will soon blend into the landscape. Just as pumpjacks dot the Oklahoma landscape. It wouldn't be home without the oil industry. You can see my family's property from this hill; the grain bins in the distance.
Here is more specific information about this rig. Here is the webpage for Marathon Oil.
The derricks weren't up yet. They are now but we had freezing rain when I left the farm today.
Of course all photography was shot from the road. The road I've put thousands of miles on. When these wells leave it will still be "my road." I've photographed this field before there was a rig there, before the oil companies set their sights on the fossil fuels beneath this Permian surface.
Here are some photographs of a sunset taken just a few steps away.
There is my Dad. Now, let me take you about a mile in the other direction. This is a two mile stretch of road but I know that these rigs are right at a mile apart. Why? Because I'll race you there, that's why. Ten minutes by foot if you hurry.
Now, I'm not used to the traffic here. It irritates me and I want it gone.
This is a NOMAC rig, related to Chesapeake Energy. According to the NOMAC website, NOMAC is the fourth most active drilling contractor in the nation.
I've photographed this pasture and these signs many times.
The lighting wasn't good in this direction, they were assembling the rig.
Just to give you an idea of what it looks like before the derrick goes up.
I will have some more photos for you soon! I hope to get sunsets and landscapes while the drilling is going on. But until then take a look at the landscape empty of the quest for oil.
Tomorrow the landscape will be a frozen one. The trees will be heavy with ice. But here are some more summer memories. As soon as I published this post I clicked on a link and read this article about a videographer being detained for shooting footage of a refinery. Photography is not a crime. This land represented in the photos of the mineral activity is my home. The outsiders are the people of the petroleum industry. Americans and photographers should not be treated as criminals to protect corporate interests.