Haskell Atchley
Born on a farm down a dirt road near Purcell, Oklahoma, Haskell grew up tilling the soil, then served in the Air Force and completed college. Then he worked his way up in the oil industry from roughneck to owner of an international oil company. He has seen all the changes in the oil field since the late 1940s, including directional drilling and fracking. The first well he saw fracked was in Kansas in 1955. In his career, he has witnessed the span of the oil industrys ever-improving technology, and even got to watch the construction of one of the last wooden oil derricks: In my lifetime its gone from steam driven what we called rig fronts where it was steam piping running all over everywhere. It took [weeks] to build a rig because of all the piping and steam and boilers. The rig masts were made out of wood and four legged. I worked on a rig south of Pauls Valley Oklahoma, for Olson one time, and they were building a wooden derrick across the road. All the steam rigs were gone by then but they were building a wooden derrick across the road. Id never seen one built. I went over there, when we had time, to watch them, those rig builders. They were old time, all of them old men. And they had a automobile sitting on the ground, jacked up off the ground, and they put a spool on one of the wheels and ran rope up in the air over a shiv and down in and thats how they picked up the boards and set them around with that spool and ran boards up the derrick from that car parked on the ground. And those guys walked across those boards like they were walking across this floor carrying a rigmens hatchet that had the hammer on one side and a cutter on the other and a bag full of nails and a hand borer to bore holes.