Entries in Oil Drilling (3)


Breaking New Ground: Oil Boom Draws More Women to Industry

Comstock/Thinkstock(LIBERAL, Kan.) -- Even before she suits up in her overalls and laces up in steel toe boots to head out to a drilling rig, Linda Trujillo is breaking new ground as one of the pioneers of America's gold rush.

The single mother of three says she first heard about the good paying jobs available in the oil fields from her older sister.

Trujillo made the decision to quit her job at a fast food restaurant in New Mexico, and move her family to Kansas -- one of the states experiencing an oil boom.

She says she spent the money from her tax refund to earn a license to drive heavy construction equipment.  Today, she's the only woman on a six man drilling crew.

"It's really stressful to work around a lot of men, and being the only woman. It's kind of awkward, but I manage.  They've adjusted to me," she says.

Trujillo's bold move was once unheard of, in what has mostly been a man's world.  But that world is beginning to show dramatic change.

According to Rigzone, a group that analyzes data for the oil and gas industry, approximately 48,900 women worked in America's oil fields in 2004.  The latest numbers from 2012 show 78,400 women working in the industry -- an increase of 29,500 in just seven years.

Todd Seba, Trujillio's supervisor, calls her one of his most valuable employees.

"We're a team, so as long as you're part of the team, you fit in," Seba says.  "She's good, she's good, she's part of the team and that means a lot."

For Trujillo, the gamble to start a new career has paid off.  She's now making $14.65 per hour with plenty of overtime pay.  She says she has moved her family from a "run down trailer" to a three-bedroom house.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


In Oil and UFO Country, Obama Says, ‘I Come in Peace’

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(MALJAMAR, N.M.) -- President Obama had a simple greeting for his New Mexico hosts when he arrived at a Roswell airfield Wednesday afternoon: “I come in peace,” he said.

The words -- a playful reference to the famous 1947 Roswell UFO incident that continues to capture imaginations -- could have as easily been directed to skeptics of his energy policy.

Obama’s visit to an active oil field on federal lands was squarely aimed at countering criticism from the right over rising gas prices and claims that domestic oil production is declining on his watch.

“We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. More than 70 of those rigs are right here in this area,” Obama said in a speech before a ConocoPhillips rig, idled for the event.

“In fact, business is so good that today the biggest problem is finding enough qualified truck drivers to move all the oil that’s coming out of these wells down to the refinery.  Too much oil -- that’s a good problem to have,” he said.

Domestic oil production overall in the U.S. is at its highest level in the past eight years, according to the Energy Department.

But production on federal lands was down 14 percent year-over-year in 2011, and overall remains 13 percent lower than it was in 2003.

Still, Obama -- who has made renewable energy a hallmark of his administration -- insisted he’s not backing away from drilling or searching for more oil.

“You wouldn’t know it from listening to some of these folks running for office, but producing more oil here in our own country has been, and will continue to be, a key part of our energy strategy,” Obama said. “We’re drilling all over the place.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


BP Wants to Resume Oil Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images(LONDON) -- BP isn’t about to let the biggest accidental oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry stop it from returning to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The British oil giant, which leased the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded one year ago this month, killing 11 workers, wants to drill ten development wells that were underway in the Gulf at the time of the accident.  These wells are designed to increase or maintain production at BP’s existing oil fields.

U.S. officials from the Bureau of Office Energy, Management Regulation and Enforcement would need to sign off on permits before BP could resume drilling by this summer, at the earliest.  One of the conditions would make it mandatory for BP to allow government overseers 24-hour access to its drilling operations.

Environmentalists, still upset with BP for the way it handled the leak that caused 200 million gallons of crude oil to spill into the Gulf, are leery of the company’s petition and don’t believe that constant monitoring “will adequately mitigate the dangers of deepwater drilling.”

The Obama administration also has to consider that granting BP permission to drill could be a political hot potato heading into an election year.  BP still has to pay billions for clean-up costs in the Gulf, as well as deal with numerous ongoing civil and criminal probes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio