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20 February 2007

Anderseed's Oilpatch Expressions Defined for the Layman (3)

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

Mayo (Yukon 1933) unloading a barge of oil.
Photographer: Claude Tidd

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"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."

(Previous posts: annunciator, Australian offset, bait box, bastard, bean, behind the pipe, big-inch pipeline, bird cage, and bird dog, spudding bit, bituminous sand, black oil, black oils market, block tree, bobtail, bobtail plant, bogies, boll weevil, boomer, BOPD)

A telegrapher, especially one who uses a telegraph key. Until the 1940s or so, much of the communication from oil patch to division and head offices was by telegraph.

A type of pipeline pig or scraper made of tough plastic covered with flame-hardened steel bristles. Bristle or foam pigs are easy to run, do not get hung up in the line, and are easy to "catch." They are usually run in newly constructed lines to remove ruse and mill scale.

A new driller promoted from helper; a new toolpusher up from driller; any newly promoted oilfield worker whose performance is still untried.

A term used in the Southwest, New Mexico, and Arizona, particularly for a brownish, buff, or white calcareous material. (shortened)

A small community of oilfield workers; a settlement of oil-company employees living on a lease in company housing. In the early days, oil companies furnished housing, lights, gas, and water free or at a nominal charge. ... Camps were known by company lease or simply the lease name, e.g., Gulf Wolf Camp, Carter Camp, and Tom Butler.

A fine, bulky carbon obtained as soot by burning natural gas in large horizontal "ovens" with insufficient air.

Carbon plants are located close to a source of gas and in more-or-less isolated sections of the country because of the heavy emission of smoke.

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