Weekly Obsession: Texas tea

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 10:05pm

Oh, how they laughed when the football team moved from Houston and initially refused to change its name.

“Tennessee Oilers? Why, there’s more chance of swimming in a sparkling L.A. lake or finding a grizzly bear in Memphis or hearing good jazz in Utah than there is of striking light sweet crude in Tennessee!”

So, of course, the Oilers became the Titans.

Perhaps, though, the change was unnecessary. Just ask the Rev. John Gouldener.

The good reverend bought himself a spread just outside Fairview down in Williamson County. Not being on city water, he had to drill a well.

An unprepared wildcatter, he hit black gold.

At first it was a mystery how the oil was seeping into Brush Creek as it gurgled behind Gouldener’s retirement home, but now state environmental officials suspect he’s sitting on top of a rare — but not unheard of — pocket of Middle Tennessee oil.

Oil in the Volunteer State is not as unusual as one might think. West Tennessee is sprinkled with derricks, and there are decent producers among the coal seams on the plateau. There’s not much chance of Dyersburg becoming the next Dubai, but there is a modest amount of light sweet pumped from these parts.

There’s also not much chance of Gouldener loading up the truck and moving to Beverly.

Nope, in fact, his big strike is probably going to end up costing him money.

When water wells strike oil and contaminate running water, the landowner is responsible for the cleanup. Nope, no swimming pools or movie stars for the preacher — just absorbent booms and invoices.

For now, though, Gouldener has to wait it out. Chances are the pocket will run dry — state officials said late last week it looks like the flow is slowing to a trickle, consistent with other such strikes in the area — and once it does, the cleanup will begin.

In the meantime, maybe Bud Adams should think about bringing back the old uniforms.

2 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 2/22/12 at 12:18

If this was meant to be funny, it wasn't!

By: Radix on 2/22/12 at 1:37

I thought it was clever.