Thunder Bay


Last post on Oily Stuff we showed a neat old film of Myron Kinley doing his stuff for Pure Oil Company off Eugene Island, south of Morgan City, Louisiana about 35 miles. The blowout(s) occurred in January of 1953. Almost exactly the same time he was doing the real deal, this film, titled Thunder Bay, was being filmed in the exact local. Like Kinley the cast of this film, including the great Jimmy Stewart, stayed in Morgan City.


Filming of the movie began in late September of 1952 and took nearly four months to complete so the two "events" may have actually overlapped. If Kinley bumped into Stewart at the Bayou Laginappe Cafe (the best oyster po'boy you ever 'et, promise) it is unclear who might have asked who for an autograph. What a photograph that might have been, both wearing tin hard hats and etouffee dripping down their chins.


Naturally this oily film includes a last minute blowout and some real drama watching shit blow up through the rotary table and straight into the cinema.



By the way, the BOP used in the film had manual closing rams, turned with big wagon wheels like the photograph above. I drilled hundreds of wells with a similar Cameron single ram BOP that would close on drill pipe and we could chain the closing wheel and drive shaft off the rig floor. I then had a Reagan bladder type closing unit on top of the pipe rams that would close on the Kelly, etc. You could pump the bladder closed with the rig pump. I used it once and it worked peachy...with the well blowing over the crown and the rig crew in full flight for the front cattleguard the tool pusher and I closed the rams, pumped the bladder closed and bullheaded the kick. I dug drilling mud out of my ears for a week after that.


Some scenes in the movie were shot up near Avery Island, where they use to make good Tabasco, and it had a nice cast. Instead of pissed off landowners to contend with Mr. Stewart had to fight off mad shrimpers.


This is a good movie about oily stuff. Even you "kids" working in the shale oil industry might like it.


We give it a big fat, blistered thumbs up. Get you a bag of popcorn (shrimp) and an ice cold Jax and watch it.