Oil in the Gulf

 Oil in the Gulf

The Gulf of Mexico, 1941

The Well House, Galveston, Texas

It was the dangerous time of the early morning, eyes were tired from the night's watch, the small groups of fishermen were trying to get home with their catch, avoiding the U-boats, now lurking offshore, but too close to home.

Lonnie Mc Dougal caught himself vacantly staring out to sea again, the Gulf of Mexico.

His sea.

Looking around, he shook his head, blinking his eyes to bring himself back to the present, it seemed like just yesterday he had been looking down a drilling platform with the last usable old drill bit digging into the hard rock of the Persian Basin.

He had been nineteen years old when he started working for George Reynolds, head of the First Exploitation Company for the D'Arcy Oil Concession.

When he left Abadan in 1917, he was twenty-seven and an old man in the petroleum business in Persia

Now he was on his own Galveston, Texas third-floor balcony, watching for German submarines.

He marveled at how quickly time had passed, how things had changed.

And yet stayed the same.

At the age of 53, Lonnie had lived through one World War and the start of another.

The Germans needed oil and knew how important the Texas and Louisiana oil was to Europe and the Allies, they were here in the Gulf of Mexico, sinking tankers and ships headed for the open sea, loaded with precious cargo for the war effort, desperately needed by all sides.

They likely still had the aid of Mexico, German boats were seen off the Mexican Coast.

The Germans had always wanted the oil, as had the Russians and the British.

Churchill had pulled out all the stops to see that the Persian oil strike became Britain's.

First during World War One, now in this Second World War, Persian oil and a path to open sea, were coveted strategic objectives.

Lonnie wondered if the oil strike in the southwestern mountains of Persia had been a blessing or a curse.

Then he thought of his cherished wife, Cee- Cee, sleeping in the master suite behind him.

She was his prize from the long hard years of work in Persia.

She was the priceless partner he had longed for and met at the oil refinery her father had come to work at in Abadan.

Lonnie could never regret his years in Persia, he would never have met her without them, and to not have her in his life was too devastating to him to consider.

He would watch for German boats for the rest of his life if it kept her safe.

Lonnie McDougal didn't need an oil strike to be happy, he already had everything he wanted.