Thursday, April 14, 2005

Black Gold

When I went out to my porch this morning to write, listen to the birds awakening to the sunrise and generally just enjoy the solitude, a new sound assailed my ears--an unwelcome sound I knew was coming.
Last summer a representative from an oil leasing company knocked at my door. He was buying up mineral rights in my county. I didn't sell him mine but most of my neighbors listened to his spiel about sudden wealth and signed their mineral rights away for a few paltry dollars. I studied contract law once and read over the contract. It was more of a major sales pitch with all the fine print necessary to make sure only the oil companies would end up with the black gold.

This morning the air is filled with the steady hum of oil drilling equipment about five miles south of me. I knew they were there when they widened and graveled the small dead end road leading into a small country church a half mile off the narrow paved road that cuts over from one country highway to another, a routeI usually travel whenI have occasion to go into town. Truckloads of equipment and oil drilling pipe were moving up the road last week.

My hope is this 'test' well will come up dry which, if rumour has it right, they will then have discovered the north edge of the underlying oil. Then they will get the hell out, returning peace and serenity to my woods and the poor souls buried beside the church which is a stones throw away from the oil equipment ruckus.

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