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It's Spindletop In The Gulf For A Houston Oil Company

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There's black gold, Texas tea deep, deep in the Gulf of Mexico, if Anadarko Petroleum is any indication.

This morning the exploration company announced its second major find in three days from deep-water drilling in the Gulf.

The details of the finds are a little mind-numbing to the layman -- they're spudding wells, encountering "net oil pay," etc, etc. And the locations can really just be technically described as "way out there in the Gulf."

But it's been a pretty hot couple of days for the company.

"It's really been a pretty remarkable week," Anadarko's John Christiansen tells Hair Balls. "Having these American resources produced by Americans is a good thing."

The company will have to drill additional wells to determine how big the finds are, but early signs are encouraging, he says.

The "oil pay" is between 200 and 300 feet for each well, "and that's a good sign," he says. (Your oil lesson for today: oil pay is like if you stuck a straw in a Hostess cupcake; the measure of how much creamy inside goodness is in that straw, as opposed to cake is your oil pay.)

The two wells are under 5,000 feet of water; they go a further 28,500 to 30,000 feet into the ground.

Christiansen says that while two discoveries in three days is highly unusual, it's not like they're doing cartwheels in the Anadarko offices.

"We generally have six wells [exploring] in the Gulf in any year," he says. "The industry average for a well being successful is 20 percent; at Anadarko it's 50 perent. So we've been there before. This is what we do for a living. But it has been a great week."

But if you're wondering, no -- the energy crisis isn't over, and you can't go rush out and but a Hummer like gas is plentiful again.

-- Richard Connelly

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