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Photos Of Pumpjacks and Wildflowers

The following photos of pump jacks and flowers were taken near Luling Texas in the spring 2012. Many of the old pump jacks that you see in these photos were installed in the 1920s through the 1940s. Although oil fields are generally not thought of as being that attractive, there is something beautiful about a old rusty pumpjack sitting in a field of bluebonnets. The pump jacks that you see in these photos were made by variety of companies including Weatherford, Lufkin, Bethlehem, Cabot, and Parkersburg. The kinds of wildflowers seen in these photos next to pumpjacks include Indian blankets, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and poppies. Most of these little pump jacks are on oil wells that are less than 2500 feet deep around Lulling Texas. This oilfield was discovered by wildcatter Edgar B Davis in 1922. Two years after Davis's discovery the Luling oilfield was producing over 11 million barrels of oil a year, turning Luling into a boom town.

bluebonnets around an oil well pumpjack in the Texas countryside an old antique pumpjack Indian blanket wildflowers

Above: Rusty old pump jacks bobbing up and down in fields of spring wildflowers in the Texas countryside, near the town of Luling. Although most of these small wells produce less than 20 barrels of oil a day, they are still helping America fill its need for crude oil and natural gas. There are more than 420,000 stripper oil wells in the United States. Altogether, stripper oil wells account for about 18% of United States oil production. A stripper oil well is defined by the American Petroleum Institute as one which produces less than 10 barrels per day, on an annual basis. In addition to crude oil, stripper wells such as the ones seen in these photos, produce about 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year, or about 10% of United States natural gas production. Not far from where these pictures of antique pumpjacks and bluebonnets were taken, the Eagle Ford Shale oil play is underway. In the Eagle Ford shale play area, oil and gas wells are being drilled as deep as two miles straight down into the earth, then outward horizontally up to another mile or more. Unlike the little oil wells around Luling, Texas, Eagle Ford shale wells cost about $5-10 million each to drill, and require expensive hydraulic fracturing to produce any oil or gas. The Eagle Ford shale is actually believed by geologists to be the "mother" or "source rock" for shallower pockets of oil, such as that in the Luling Field. The Eagle Ford Shale covers an area more than 400 miles long by 50 miles wide, and is one of the largest oil discoveries made in modern times.  In stark contrast to the small  stripper oil wells seen in the photos on this page, some new Eagle Ford Shale wells are producing as much as 2000 barrels of oil a day, along with millions of cubic feet of hydrocarbon - rich natural gas.

 Below, a rusty old Lufkin pumpjack and wildflowers and prickly pear cactus along the side of a county road.

small rusty Lufkin pumpjack almost covered up with wildflowers and cactus

a small Cabot pumpjack sitting in the field of bluebonnets

An Antique Cabot pumpjack in a field of bluebonnets. This little pumpjack, along with most of those seen in the oilfield around Luling Texas, runs on a small electric motor.

Below, an old Boer Billy goat munches on grass next to a small pumpjack on a cool spring morning. He was not happy at all about the photographer's intrusion into his domain, and slowly walked away making grunting noises. The next photo shows a rusty old gunbarrel tank where oil and water that is produced by the small oil wells is separated and piped to separate tanks for sale or disposal.

A Billy goat grazes next to a rusty oil well object The gun barrel tank on an oil lease in Texas

Below, a small fenced - in pumpjack in a field of bluebonnets offers a picturesque view of an industry that many Americans see as dirty and not environmentally responsible. Most of the small stripper  oil wells seen in these photos are well taken care of by their owners, although we did see a few small oil  leases around Lufkin that needed some cleaning up.

A small oil well and pumpjack surrounded by bluebonnets.

Since the 1920's, residents of Luling have been subjected to a lingering "rotten eggs" smell from small amounts of dangerous H2S or hydrogen sulfide gas. Generally the amount from the wells seen in these photos is so small it does not pose much of a danger to humans or animals. Higher producing oil wells around Luling use natural gas flares, or flare units, such as the one seen in the photos below, to burn off excess H2S gas.  When I asked about how he felt about the constant whiff of sour crude oil, "Smells like money", was what the owner of the biggest barbecue joint in town said.  In the second photo below, a turkey vulture dries his wings using heat from the gas flare nearby, combined with that from morning sunshine.

A small gas flare burning H2S gas in the Luling oil field. Photo of turkey vulture near oil well's gas flare.

All of the photos of oil wells, oil tanks, pump jacks and bluebonnets seen on this page are available  in high-resolution for modest fee. If you would like a photo for your business web page, etc.,  most of those seen here can be obtained for free, provided there is an active link giving credit to Energyindustryphotos.com. If you would like to use any of these oilfield photos, please contact us first to obtain our permission. You can purchase items such as coffee mugs, journals, and framed prints which are made from the photos on this page at our store here: Oilfield Photography Gift Shop .  I hope that you have enjoyed viewing these photos of rusty old oilfield equipment and flowers as much as I enjoy taking them.

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