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George Bush Presidential Library opens offshore drilling exhibit

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The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University has a new exhibit that tells the story of offshore drilling and the 41st President's previous life as an oilman. The Library's web site explains:

George Bush was a successful and pioneering Texas oilman, first on land and then offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. As a tribute to his role in the development and use of the innovative independent leg offshore jack-up rig Scorpion launched by LeTourneau in 1956, the exhibit tells the story of offshore drilling. It focuses on the history, development and future of offshore drilling, with an emphasis on the work of George Bush, emerging technologies and ongoing research at Texas A&M University.

With Shell as title sponsor and supporting sponsorships from Ensco, Schlumberger and Move Resource Group, the exhibit covers all aspects of the search for oil offshore, with a special look at the geology of finding oil, focusing on exploration of the Gulf of Mexico. Industry pioneers recount their personal experiences. Visitors will be taken from start to finish — developing the "play" to platform production — via an interactive display.

Energy - especially oil - is an important part of Texas's story, including its universities. My alma mater, UT Austin, has a prominent exhibit of the Santa Rita #1 drilling rig, which was moved from its well out in the Permian Basin. The Santa Rita well is on university-owned land and contributed land royalties to both UT Austin and Texas A&M until it was plugged in 1990.

The Bush Library offshore exhibit runs through Feb 1, 2015.

Photo credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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