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18 February 2007

Anderseed's Oilpatch Expressions Defined for the Layperson *

from R. D. Langenkamp. Handbook of Oil Industry Terms & Phrases. 4th Ed. Tulsa: PennWell Publ, 1984, 347 p **

"Whimsical looks at words used in an industry which leaves many of us unamused and whose track record few words can even begin to express."

A B.C. oil drilling rig built and abandoned in 1914. Credit: Gerald Kornelsen - Roadside Attractions
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Oil Lexicon Illustration

An electronically controlled device that signals or sounds an alarm when conditions deviate from normal. (shortened)

A humorous reference to a well drilled miles away from proven production.

A pipeliner's lunch pail.

(1) Any nonstandard piece of equipment. (2) A kind of file. (3) A word used in grudging admiration or as a term of approbrium.

A choke used to regulate the flow of fluid from a well. See Flow Bean.

Refers to oil and gas reservoirs penetrated or passed through by wells but never tapped or produced. Behind the pipe refers usually to tight formations of low permeability that, although recognized, were passed through because they were uneconomical to produce at the time. Today (1984), however, with the growing scarcity of oil and high prices, many of these passed-through formations are getting a second look by producers.

A 24-inch pipeline from Longview, Texas, to Norris City, Illinois, built during World War II to meet the problem caused by tanker losses at sea as a result of submarine attacks. Later during the war the pipeline was extended to Pennsylvania. Following the war the line was sold to a private company and converted to a gas line.

(1) To flatten and spread the strands of a cable or wire rope. (2) The slatted or mesh-enclosed cage used to hoist workmen from crew boats to offshore platforms.

To pay close attention to a job or to follow a person closely with the intention to learn or to help; to follow up on a job until it is finished.


** PennWell (Books: Tulsa, Oklahoma; publishers of Langenkamp's Handbook)
Since 1910 PennWell has been known for providing comprehensive coverage of several strategic markets. In those early days, PennWell was a pioneer in the emerging oil industry with Oil & Gas Journal magazine, founded in 1902. Today PennWell publishes 45 business-to-business magazines and newsletters, conducts over 60 conferences and exhibitions on six continents, and has an extensive offering of books, maps, directories and database services.

Oil & Gas

Electric Power Generation

Electric Power Delivery


Electronics / Semiconductors

Contamination Control

Optoelectronics / Photonics

Fiber Optics / Communications

Computer Graphics / Graphic Arts

Enterprise Storage

Defense / Security

Fire / EMS


Imaging/Machine Vision

* Next year will be the centennial year for production of the very first Model T Ford and the first anniversary of the authors of CPE living without an automobile.

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