Television History of Oilpatch to Hit Airwaves Friday Nights

Article excerpt

Forget Max Headroom!

You can have Col. Drake's first oil well in your very own living room, followed by John D. Rockefeller, various wildcatters, independent operators, Winston Churchill and Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh.

The aforementioned people and their roles in oilpatch history will be explored and explained when the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority broadcasts an eight-part series about the oil industry.

The only drawback: "Oil" airs at 8 p.m. every Friday beginning Oct. 9, right after Wall Street Week.

This may present a problem for people who prefer to spend their Friday nights staring at a slicked-back, greased-up, buttoned-down boy getting into a car whose name he can't pronounce, but the rest of us can set the VCR on record, make the most of our fading summer weekend nights and watch the show later.

From previews, this sounds like more than a tired recanting of history. From Drake's well, the series follows the shennanigans of John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Co., and the personalities and outlooks of wildcatters, Arab shieks and oil-stock speculators.

The rise of the Seven Sisters, assisted by wartime demands for fuel, the ousting of Iranian premier Mohammed Mossadegh, who spurred nationalization of his country's oil reserves, and the creation and sustenance of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are explained.

Other pieces in the puzzle revealed to the viewer are Mexico's dependency on oil, the North Sea's preponderance of oil and the world's search for oil outside currently producing areas.

For "I Spy" fanatics, one program focuses on Winston Churchill, the British Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency - never one to be left out in the cold - and their successful plan to douse the Iranian government's flaming desire to nationalize British Petroleum.

The final episode is dedicated to soothsaying, with a discussion of the current doldrums between the 70s and the 90s. . .

- Grants totaling $17,500 to benefit the University of Oklahoma Energy Center, graduate fellowships and a scholarship were the gift of the Union Pacific Foundation.

The energy center's construction budget will be augmented by a $10,000 grant. The remaining money will be divided into two $3,000 grants for one petroleum engineering and one geology fellowship and $1,500 for an OU College of Business Administration scholarship.

The foundation represents the Union Pacific Corp., the Union Pacific Railroad Co., Champlin Petroleum Co. …