Be an American Hero

Some oil and gas careers require bravery and an immense amount of courage. Working out in an oil field can be an extremely dangerous job. Oil wells can cause fires, both on land and off-shore. Oil well firefighters became well-known in the 1960s. This is a highly specialized field as the blazes can be very large and deadly. The blazes can burn for months at a time, requiring professionals with tenacity and patience. Those who are employed in oil and gas careers as oil well fighters are known as American heroes because of their bravery and dedication to their career.

Paul Neal "Red" Adair is an example of such a hero. Those employed in oil and gas careers strive to be like Adair and look up to him because he was a pioneer when it came to fighting oil well fires. Originally from Houston, Texas, Adair started his oil well firefighting career after serving in World War II. His company, Red Adair Co. Inc., was created in 1959. In his career, Adair battled more than 2,000 fires in oil and natural gas wells. Many people became aware of Adair in 1962, even those who were not employed in oil and gas careers. He gained popularity when he battled a fire in the Sahara Desert that was 450 feet long and lasted for more than five months. In 1977, he fought the second-largest offshore oil well fire to ever occur in the entire world. Even at age 75, Adair continued working in his chosen field in oil and gas careers, extinguishing fires caused by troops in the Gulf War. He retired in 1993 and died in 2004.

Other firefighting pioneers include Boots & Coots. Those who are familiar with oil and gas careers know that Boots Hansen and Coots Matthews were originally part of Red Adair's team. Hansen and Matthews joined Adair's team in 1959, and they all worked together on some of the most famous oil well fires. Hansen and Matthews left Adair's team in 1978 to form Boots & Coots. In 1991, they had a huge part in controlling the fires started by Iraqi soldiers in the Gulf War. In 1997, Boots & Coots was acquired by International Well Control, combining two types of oil and gas careers: the world's best firefighters and well control specialists. The company went through a period of growth from 2006-2010. They entered the hydraulic workover business, purchased StassCo., added new locations, started a tool rental business, and merged with Halliburton. The company's expansion has added many new oil and gas careers.

Another American hero within oil and gas careers is Joe Bowden, Sr. Bowden's company, Wild Well Control, is based in Texas and was one of the companies used to extinguish the oil fires in Kuwait in 1991 along with Red Adair and Boots & Coots. Bowden is a now a competitor of both companies. Although not a household name like the other two companies, Wild Well Control is a successful company. Along with being a provider of many oil and gas careers, Wild Well Control has also responded to approximately 2,700 well control events, such as fires and oil spills. Superior Energy Services acquired the company in 2001. In 2010, Wild Well Control worked with BP to create solutions for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

If you aspire to be like these true American heroes, there are many companies looking for hardworking employees to help control oil well fires and spills. These incidents are unfortunately a part of the oil and gas industry. There are many oil and gas careers that allow you to do an honorable job for your country by fighting fires and protecting areas from being destroyed.

Last Updated: 05/15/2014

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