Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 6, 1972 · Page 8
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 8

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 6, 1972
Page 8
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8A--Aug. 6, 1972 Sunday Gaauent^Mml -" ' chyfoan, w«t vinian S. Viet Troops Attempt Cutoff Of Routes From Cambodia OIL RIG LIFELINE DEVISED BY WILD WELL FIGHTER "Red" Adair Watches Dem onstration at Offstore Rig Red Adair Still Thrives on Oil Wells 'Gone Wild Red Adair is scarred and rich. He no longer has to accept the challenge of a roaring wild oil well-but he does. After 33 years of being crushed, blown i/p, burned and broken, he's inking aim at the problems of off-shore wells gone wild. By Bill Cridor MORGAN CITY, La.-W-Paul N. "Red"' Adair has been Adair has clamped control valves on about 900 wild wells since 1938. crushed, blown up, burned, bro-| xhe challenge was great in '38 ken. But it pays well. j anr j j got into the business of capping wild oil wells back in the depression year of 1938 "because I was hungry." Now he's 57 and rich, a living legend in world oil circles. He could quit and do what most of us dream of-- waste money, go places, do things. Instead, when a well blows out anywhere on earth, threatening lives and millions of dollars worth of equipment, the owners can send for "Red" and he'll come running, an old pro with a head full of tricks. Oil field emergencies are where he gets his kicks. He has handsome homes in Houston and Austin. Tex., yet is frequently off in some exotic corner like the Sahara Desert or the Persian Gulf. Mozambique or Breaux Bridge, La., a short man of fiery complexion, graying at the temples, thickening at the waist, wearing a red jump suit and a red hardhat. Why does he do it? "You got to love your work," Adair shrugged. It doesn't sound like much of an explanation. Actually, it cov- g?. r . especially in o i 1 industry--a consequence which might flow from disastrous pollution. The great 3970 Chevron Oil Co. spill into the Gulf of Mexico from an oil well control platform standing on stilts 30 miles off the Louisiana coast --coming after a mess in California's Santa Barbara channel--was a traumatic event. For the first time, an oil corn- arm offshore areas, where wells are miles at sea. "No two jobs are alike," Adair said. "There are a million little tricks to it. And I guess some of it is instinct." Some jobs were monstrous conflagrations. * A WELL named GT2 in the Sahara blew out in 1962, forming a torch that was visible to America's first man to orbit the earth, John Glenn, as he passed over 100 miles up. They had a party in Paris recently marking the 10th anniversary of the taming of the GT2. Adair was guest of honor. One of the biggest messes he recalls was an offslwre well in the Persian Gulf that threatened ;o wipe out $30 million in equipment and sprayed 10,000 barrels of crude into the sea each day jefore it was recapped. "They had an oil slick 800 miles long," Adair said. "And they were awful careless before we got there. That well could have killed 300 or 400 men." It is the offshore challenge that grips Adair, drawing his ers everything--the prickling j pride, time and money into a fascination of outsmarting dan-[struggle to adapt to new condi- ger, the challenge of a job al- " ways different, the warming admiration given by tough men. Adair wprks out of Houston with a surprisingly small force lanes, posed a whole new ball of about half a dozen people, including Boots Hansen and a tions. The drillers' shift to the sea, with rich oil strikes made out in the shrimp boat and shipping game for oil men. An offshore blowout along the son, Jim. When they go on a job (United States coast, for in- the oil company supplies every;stance, raises the specter of a need/ federal power. Chevron was indicted on charges of willfully violating oil well control regulations. A $1 million fine was imposed. In that disaster, Adair operated in the classic well taming style. He snuffed out the flames with a dynamite blast, then moved in cautiously to cap the wells. The trouble is, a control plat form is not just one well; it hai a number of surrounding wells piped into it. Chevron's platform had 12 wells to be capped. * * * CONGRESS STIRRED. A bil passed which would put the multimillion cost of cleaning up an oil spill on those responsible for it. When a Shell Oil Co. control platform, with 22 wells connected to it, popped its top in 1971 near the same area, company officials opted for air pollution as the lesser of two evils. They let the gushing oil burn off duhing a long underground 'kill" operation rather than have it spill into the sea. It became the biggest oil fire in the history of the business. "They wouldn't tet us blow out. the fire and then cap the wells," said Adair. Instead, four big offshore drilling rigs were pulled off other jobs to jack up on steel stilts near the flaming platform and drill "killer" wells that chocked off the wild wells at points 12,500 feet beneath the sea bottom. The process took four months. the other one. It can take two weeks or more." In that length of time, a $15 million offshore platform may be melted to the water line, not to mention other matters. To deal with the problem, Adair and two a s s o c i a t e s formed Resolution Engineering Development Co., which comes out REDCO, to build one of the weirdest vessels that ever put to sea. Named "Red One" it will be an elaborate work deck 300 feet long and 125 feet wide, standing high above two massive pontoons. Diesels will drive a screw at the stern of each pontoon, making the $10 million rig self-propelled. Red One's bow, built to nuzzle up close to offshore rlgg, will be able to spray 29,000 gallons of water per minute as a protective shield, using a pump developed for the hug engines of Saturn V moon rockets. There are more than 2,501 control platforms standing off the Texas and Louisiana shores Offshore wells are sprouting in the North Sea, the Persian Gulf and along other coasts. If all is quiet on all of them, Red One will still be able to handle underwater pipeline work. Adair estimates Red One will take 18 months to build. After that, when a well blows at sea, things are really going to be different. New Books at Library Among the titles received last week at the Kanawha County Public Library: Fiction--Buechner, O p e n Heart; Hesse, Strange News From Another Star; Lasswitz, Two Planets; Melville, Ironwood; Nissenson, In The Reign Of Peace; Perez de Ayala, Honeymoon, Bittermoon. tough new attitude toward the I Over-all cost: Four lives, about $36 million. Adair's men capped the wild wells after they were chocked off but he believes there must be a better way. He's putting up jj s on and a Iot of cash Reference--Bailey, Bailey's Textbook Of Histology; Bauer,j""A'blowout on a" offshore rig The Hawthorn Dictionary Of; is an incredible scene. Pseudonyms; Comparative Guide To Programs In Earth Sciences, Physics, And Astronomy; Criswell, The Official Guide To Confederate Money Civil War Tokens, Tradesmen Pa- Intense pressure suddenly blows everything out of a well shaft that may be several miles deep. Oil or gas spews wild, liable to enipt into a ball of fire at a spark. "The well screams like a 747 triotic; Davis, C o n t i n e n t a l Nonfiction--Ackley, The Mod-Glass; Davis, The Papers Of em Military In American Socie- Jefferson D a v i s ; Descartes, ty; Alfornsi. Satan's Needle; Descartes Dictionary; Douglas, Carr, The Forgotten Senses;]The Coming Of Age Of Ameri- Children's Rights; Coleman. can Busi Going To America; Congressional Quarterly, Candidates '72; Congressional Quarterly, The C Environmental Control In The Inorganic C h e m i c a l Industry. 1972; complications this can create for the 60 or so men aboard are hard to imagine unless you know what an offshore drilling rig or control platform is like. It spraddles on steel legs in the heaving sea, miles from land, often in water over 100 Washington Lobby; DelderfieldJKrieghbaum, Pressures On The!feet deep. For My Own Amusement; Er-iPress: McCormac, Structural The livin S quarters are SO to does, the Sun Dance People:i steel De sign- Mason The Phy . v l70 feet high in order to be above Golden, The Moving Continents;!. nf , b ' ... r / j s t o r m waves. Standing on the Gunther. The Very, Very Richl lcs Of Clouds; Moore ' A ViSlt !work deck is like standing atop and How They Got That Way; ; From st - Nicholas: Morland, An;a seven-story building. Haskins, A Piece Of The Power;|Outline Of Scientific Crimino'.o-i T " case of fire, jump. Hawkes, The Computer Revolu-jgy; Nilson. The International 1 . ! { JTM A ump w ?. arin .?. " lif . e ; tion: Havs. Birds, Beasts. And!-..,, rnnk R n n k . R n r t ,,,_,, i jacket, odds are it wul break Men- Hergenhahn H e s s i o n · ' C ' Hand '|your back or neck. Jump with-! John Kenneth Gafbraith His'j book Of Wa S e And S*\ary Ad-,out a life jacket and you may Critics; Hopkins, I've Had lt; : mimstration; Vanderbilt, Eti-!drown Jackson. Only One Earth; Ja-:quette. cobs, Dispossessing The Ameri-' can Indian; Kahn, Things To: Come: Thinking About The Sev- /^/, enties And Eighties: Liddelli 1 '"**» Adair was in Morgan City to demonstrate a new system he devised in which men' atop a rig j m a y slide to safety down special [emergency cables. Hart, Why Don t \Ve Learn; BUT HIS m a i n interest was , From History?; Lippman. Spin-At V. L. Library on a project for overcoming his' Agnews A m e r i c a ; Madsen,; J own immediate complication in Parents-Children-Disciphne: A. Mrs. Justine E. Spatafore, an case of an offshore blowout- Positive Approach; Mollenhoff,, instruPtor at the Adu]t Educa . jW hirh is how to get. close; Strike Force; Organized Crime ^enough to the wild wells, or; And The Government; Schuler,; tlon Lenter - ls the Au ^ exhlb ', cluster of wells to work on Planning And Planting Theiitor in the art gallery at thelS* Ol We " S l ° W ° r * °" Small Garden Plot; Silverberg. Smrth Charleston Public Li- «i n 'ev-ry offshore blowout we The Realm Of Prester John.-lbrary. i h a v e had to rjg up from Sklare, America's Jews; Ste- Her exhibit includes creative standing start," he said. i phen, Remode'ing Old Houses glass objects that have beeni "That means fitting up special I Without Destroying Their Char-i fused, laminated and stretched, barges, floating w o r k s h ops,! acter; West, The Village; Win-into items such as bowls, jewel-i pumps--sometimes even build-; Chester, B«yonrJ The Tumult. ry and glassware ' ing a temporary platform beside; LAST 6 DAYS ENTER NOW $25,000 IN PRIZES AND GIFTS OVER 300 NATIONAL WINNERS your child's photograph can win one of these prizes in the 38 th NATIONAL CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPH CONTEST $5,000 Grand Prize $2,500 shopping spree in our store, plus §2,500 scholarship to Emerson College, Boston ALSO $25 SAVINGS BONDS TO THE HUNDREDS OF HONORABLE MENTION WINNERS! 1st Prize........$1,500 · -';·, -.: shopping spree v- 2nd Prize.... ...$1,OOO shopping spree;I 3rd Prize...,....$500 shopping spree 50- 4th Prizes. .$100 shopping.sprees, ca. Win :i s h o p p i n g sprro--a paid-up chai'Re account In buy w h a l n v r r you want. AND tlie Grand Prize W i n n e r rpcoivns ;i year's v a l u a b l e scholarship In K m n i v n n . one nf t h f n a t i o n ' s loariinp colleges, s p p o i n l i z i n i r i n c o m m u n i c a t i o n s a r t s a n d science. W h e n \ve photograph your child, we'll enter a d u p l i c a t e in the Contest at no e x t r a chavpe. OniplptP mlrs r l p t n i l e in o u r S t u d i o . R i p Balloon and lollipop to every c o n t e s t a n t . Judges: Carol Burnett, Tony Randall, Lee Grant, Redd Foxx Demond Wilton. Special prices on most sizes and photograph finishes. For example: CONTEST -J _ C95 One 8x10 Coronet SPECIAL! § portraits J and six wallet-size. Spfdal prices on frames too! PHOTO SAtON--Fourth Floor SAIGON-crt-South Vietnam- em troops have launched a new drive against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces in the Parrot's Beak region of Cambodia, the Saigon command announced Saturday. They are striking against gte infiltration routes to the Plain of Reeds, « mites west of Saigon, and the northern Mekong Delta, where enemy activity threatens to cut off the capital from rice, its principal source of food. About 2,000 government soldiers are seeking out North Vietnamese bases and staging posts southeast of the Cambodian town of Kompong Trabek. Meanwhile, Radio Hanoi said North Vietnamese gunners shot down two U. S. planes Saturday. It did not give the fate of the pilots. KOMPONG Trabek fell to enemy units at the beginning of their offensive last April but was retaken by a joint task force of South Vietnamese and Cambodian troops July 24. The counterblow failed to stop the enemy from slipping increasing numbers of men across the border. The new drive into the Parrot's Beak got under way last Monday but for security reasons was disclosed only Saturday. Most of the Communist-led forces apparently have so far eluded the new strike force. A Saigon command spokesman, Lt, Col. Le Trung Hien, was able to report only 34 enemy killed: They died in two clashes Friday 12 miles from Kompong Trabek. Four government soldiers were wounded in the fighting, said Hien. BATTLE *REPORTS indicate enemy forces from Cambodia have infiltrated beyond the desolate Plain of Reeds to populated areas in the northern Mekong Delta. Backed by aircraft and artillery, elements of South Vietnam's 7th Division engaged the enemy about eight miles northwest of Cai Lay Saturday and reported killing 79. The South Vietnamese lost five dead and three wounded, the Saigon command, announced. The area is on the southern fringe of the Plain of Reeds. Other government troops retook the little village of Nhi jim- Binh, east of Cai Lay by High' way 4, Saigon's vital "rice line" south- from the delta. Viet Cong guerrillas were mounting driven out by troops and local regional forces, backed by tanks, after holding the villige for four days, according to field reports. Government caaualUas were estimated at 20 killed. Tha Viet Cong lost 16. During the Viet Cong occupation, villagers were forced to paint over government flags and put up Communist flags aod propaganda slogans in ttatir place, said field reports. · CITY NATIONAL BANK 1C . . : IS... PEOPLE This is the fourth in a new series on the personnel of the City National Bank. It is published in keeping with our thought that a bank is a great deal more than a place where checks are cashed, deposits made, or transactions take place. Rather, a bank is the people who operate it. It is to have you meet the people at the City National Bank that this series is being published. James L. Burns President THAT CARi Courteous, quick, accurate, orderly, alert, and pleasant are some of the words that can be used to describe Steve Henson. Among other duties, Steve is in charge of City National's tellers. The teller efficiency at City National is directly attributable to the training and supervision rendered by Steve. He can handle any "special service" or aid the customer who might have a particular problem. · Steve graduated from St. Albans High School in 1959. After graduation, "he entered the U.S. Navy and served until September, 1962. His first job was with ATT before joining The City National Bank staff in 1963. Steve is a member of the American Institute of Banking and has attended several classes. Steve also attended classes at Morris Harvey College. Steve is married to the former Sally Ann Lewis of South Charleston. The Henson's have tw« children, Jeff (6) andStefanie (3). shop for your jackets Man. Frl. 9:30-9:00, tthtr wttkdays 9:30-560 (Closed Sun.) 346-0911 MEDALIST OUTERWEAR Three for the weather, whatever. A. Medalist reversible quilt to pile that is machine washable. Comes in bronze, navy, or burgandy in sizes 8-16.. .22.00 B. Medalist Norfolk style brushed corduroy with fur collar and removeable hood. Lined in pile. Choose your color: raisin or natural, in sizes 8-20. Reg. 30.00 35.00, now for back to school, 24.99 and 27.99 C. Medalist Navy Blue P-coat with quilted lining in sizes 8-12 ...22.00 and 14-20.. .24.00 BOYS WEAR--Fourth Floor '\

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