The artsy side of energy (photos)
Ken Childress Photography
A Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. natural gas drilling rig operates in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.
Pacific Drilling's Pacific Bora sails near Cape Town, South Africa. In August 2011, it began working on a project in Nigeria under a three-year contract with a Chevron subsidiary.
Carlo Walle / CW Photography
Pacific Drilling's Pacific Santa Ana drillship sails near the Curacao Mega Pier heading to assignment in the Gulf of Mexico
Valero Energy Corp.
Valero Energy Corp.'s Corpus Christi West refinery opened in 1983.
Eddie Seal / Bloomberg
A boater passes the Royal Dutch Shell Plc Olympus tension leg platform at dawn as it sets sail from Kiewit Offshore Services in Ingleside, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Olympus, Shell's biggest constructed tension leg platform, started the ten day, 425-mile voyage to Mars B Field in the Gulf of Mexico on July 13.
A rainbow ends at Shell's Olympus tension leg platform in the Gulf of Mexico, where the company hopes to find a pot of black gold.
Phillips 66's Bayway refinery in New Jersey, the largest refinery on the East Coast.
Rolf Estensen / Pacific Drilling
The Pacific Santa Ana sails off the coast of Singapore. The drillship now is in the Gulf of Mexico for a Chevron Corp. project.
A Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. natural gas drilling rig works in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.
CVR Refining's 115,000-barrel-per-day complex full coking, medium-sour crude oil refinery is operated by Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing in Coffeyville, Kan.
Valero Energy Corp.
Valero Energy Corporation's St. Charles Refinery, located west of New Orleans.
NA / EOG Resources
A drilling rig works on an EOG Resources project in the South Texas Eagle Ford.
ConocoPhillips / ConocoPhillips
A drilling rig works on a ConocoPhillips site in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas.
Exxon Mobil's Baytown complex in Texas, the largest petroleum and petrochemical complex in the United States.
Valero's Houston refinery began operating in 1942 and has gone through several expansions.
The West Texas sky silhouettes a Linn Energy pumpjack in the Permian basin.
Mark Green / Valero Energy Corp.
Valero Energy Corp.'s Port Arthur refinery.
Helge Hansen / Statoil
A rig in the Marcellus Shale works on a joint venture project between Statoil and Chesapeake.
A snowy landscape evokes memories of Christmas cards past, as a welcoming drilling rig glitters in the background.
Fire-colored leaves in autumn trees frame a fracking site.
And the multicolored reflection of a seaside refinery practically says “come hither.”
The photographs energy companies distribute of their operations no doubt sometimes benefit from digital enhancements like the ones that de-emphasize the flaws of human models in glamour shots.
But here in Houston, where we acknowledge the industry’s blemishes while celebrating its economic engine, we think these photos are downright pretty.
They depict marvels of technology and industrial muscle.
They are themselves works of art.