'Black Gold': Thom Beers Talks Rough Times for Roughnecks

Today's cuppa: Texas Turtle coffee (I would have said Texas Tea, but that's actually crude oil, and as we all know, the only thing that should sip that is internal combustion engines.)

Black_Gold_Roughneckers.jpgIt may be hard times for the oil industry down in the Gulf of Mexico, but up in the Lone Star State, the rigs are still drilling, and the oil is still flowing.

OK, it's not exactly gushing, but it's flowing.

"When I saw that well in the Gulf, what was interesting about it is that it had pressure,"
says Thom Beers, executive producer of TruTV's oil-drilling reality show "Black Gold," premiering a new season Wednesday, Sept. 8. "Most of the (land-based) oil wells in America, those wells have been drilled so much ... Remember the old days, , 'There she blows!', and there was a gusher? They don't gush anymore. That underground Thumbnail image for Black_Gold_Autry.jpg pressure doesn't exist.

"It's been tapped so much that you very rarely get that kind of gusher. You've got to pump it out of the ground. This is tired old oil that you've got to actually pump out of the ground. It doesn't come blowing out.

"The land pressure, it doesn't exist. I'd love to get a gusher, but you can't get them no more."


Season three follows the shifts on the Texas-based Big Dog Rig No. 28, owned by Autry Stevens (right).

"All the boys are back," says Beers ("Deadliest Catch," "Ice Road Truckers," "The Colony"), "the knuckleheads and the tool pushers. This season, they're going into areas that haven't been proven. That makes it interesting, to me, because, high stakes, high rewards.

"So Autry, those same guys from Big Dog, are going out to an area that hasn't gotten any drilling. The geologists tell them it could be there, and if they strike, it could be big, so they're basically risking it all.

Thumbnail image for Black_Gold_Peggy.jpg "I've got to tell ya, it has mixed results. The first few holes, it ain't pretty, man. This guy finds himself almost close to bankruptcy. That's what I like about the series, too, risking it all.

"It's a job that feeds the world, feeds America. It does what it sets out to do. It's a dangerous environment, a hot, dusty, flat plain of Texas."


One new element this season is land owner (and bar owner) Peggy Hauser (left), who is going against her late father's wishes and leasing out her 42 acres for drilling -- but she's not afraid to assert her wishes with the oil companies. This year, she's leasing land to Big Dog 28.

"She is one hardcore woman,"
says Beers. "She's attractive, but she carries a shotgun. If those guys are running down her road too fast, she shoots at them. Dude, I'm telling you, she scares the hell out of all of us.

"I love that. I love women that scare me."