What is newsworthy now was once commonplace in a different place

Having grown up in the grease orchards of Texas, I found it a bit odd that the Elko newspaper found it newsworthy to alert readers that the fire they might see at a Noble Energy oil well site is the intentional flaring of natural gas. But when you think about it, it makes sense. For Elko County that is an unusual sight.

Oil drilling back in the day.

β€œAn open flare is a common practice for disposal of natural gas during the exploration phase in an oil field and is expected to continue until the well stabilizes or gas-holding and production facilities are built,” the BLM is quoted as saying in a statement.

I remember touring the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore years ago and reading about all the gas flares in that stretch of the oil patch. One person commented that there were so many flares that you could read a newspaper at midnight.

Back then I thought it quaint that some people would find that remarkable, since gas flares were so common across North Texas. Perhaps someday a child will come across that same remark and ask: “What’s a newspaper, Daddy?”

4 comments on “What is newsworthy now was once commonplace in a different place

  1. Vernon Clayson says:

    I’ve been reading newspapers since the late 1930s, had to wait until they were perused by adults at the local hardware, elders first, my father even had his place down the reading order, then they discussed the issues. wasn’t allowed an opinion but was privileged to listen and learn. I can’t imagine those evenhanded discussions over issues in today’s newspapers.

  2. Vernon Clayson says:

    It was in southwestern New York state near the PA border, the sights and smells of oil fields were as commonplace as those in Texas.

  3. Steve says:

    In Hopkinton MA. I remember they flared off the natural gas. There was one. I could see it at night above the tree tops when we drove by the state park.

  4. Patrick says:

    Least the folks in Elko won’t have to worry about their beaches being fouled; so they got that going for them!


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