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Natsios Young Architects

3 July 2002

This shows the pattern of oil well drillings near the town of Monahans, TX, located in the Permian Basin region of West Texas.

Oil was discovered in the Permain Basin in the 1930s and what the pattern of diggings show is the gradual expansion of the drilling grid as technology of explorations spread from digging near where oil had been previously found, to locations and depths suggested by increasingly sophisticated and secretive geological soundings, to directional drilling at multiple angles and depths from a single drilling platform.

Oil patch wisdom is that a dry hole is worth more than an oil discovery to investors looking for a tax write-off and drillers can be fired, if not disappeared, for allowing the truth to gush skyward. And that some discoveries are concealed -- reported as dry holes -- to avoid having to pay taxes on the hidden underground wealth and to throw off poachers who'll bribe a badly paid driller. Other discoveries are concealed until the price of oil rises, then magically rediscovered from a nearby or "deeper" drilling inspired by amazing geological data-massaging if not outright theft. Knowing what is really undergound requires sophisticated intelligence and counter-intelligence, to contend with a network of spies, disinformation, lies and cheating. Halliburton, an oil-well servicing firm, is expert in intelligence about what lies beneath dirt whereever dry holes proliferate.

Monahans, the patch of green in the yellow sand, is about 50 miles west of Midland, where the two President Bushes enhanced family wealth with oil patch magic. Cryptome's operator grew up in Odessa, located between Midland and Monahans -- Odessa is sometimes known as the "Murder Capital of the United States," in competiton with New York City, Washington DC and the Middle East for making a killing from dry drillings at magical angles and depths of misinformation.

Eyeballing the Hidden Oil Patch