Houstonian Corner, Vol. 8 Iss. 39

September 21, 2006 by  


Houstonians Remember 9/11 Victims

Five years ago on September 11, 2001, the people of the world watched in shock as the most devastating attack of terrorism on U.S. soil unfolded before them–on televisions across the globe.

Four commercial planes were hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people in a matter of hours.

On 9/11/06, Houstonians paused to remember those who had died in the attacks. An official tribute was held at Noon in front of Houston City Hall in downtown, attended by local dignitaries like Mayor Bill White, Congressman Al Green, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, City Councilpersons M.J. Khan, Ada Edwards and Peter Brown and Pakistan’s Consul-General G. R. Baluch.

“We take time to remember those who, like us, were going about their daily work, seeking a better life for their families and themselves,” said Mayor Bill White. “We also take this time to engage each other and challenge ourselves to find ways to make our world better. We will not be intimidated,” White said.

Dozens of people turned out for the somber service, which included a moment of silence, prayers, music and speeches by local dignitaries.

Many spent their lunch hour at the service. “I don’t think we can forget what happened there,” a participant said.

“It touched my heart so I kept it in my memory all this time. I came out here to listen and reflect for an hour,” Jesse Garza said.

Others were touched by the tragedy in a more personal way. “My cousin’s husband was killed on Sept. 11 in the Pentagon,” an unidentified woman said.

The service lasted about 90 minutes.

Congressman Al Green Organized Prayers for Peace

Congressman Al Green of Houston organized a Multi-Faith Prayer Vigil for World Peace to commemorate 9/11. It was held at the Arab American Cultural Center at 10555 Stancliff Road in Houston. Representatives from Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity prayed for lasting peace and harmony in the world, and an end to the blood shed across the globe.

Rodwan Saleh, President of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) read the Opening Surah (Chapter Fatihah) of Qur`an as the necessary prayer for world peace.

Congressman Green read a well-known poem which says that “Global Coolness” of people from inside is far more dangerous than the “Global Warming” of the environment. Congresswoman Jackson-Lee and City Councilperson M.J. Khan were in attendance as well.

The program ended with Muslims praying maghrib.

Houston Company Strikes Oil

Tests of a deep-water well in the Gulf of Mexico could indicate a significant oil discovery that reportedly could boost U.S. oil and gas reserves by as much as 50 percent.

The Jack 2 well was drilled about 5.3 miles deep by U.S. oil company Chevron Corp., with partners Statoil ASA of Norway and Devon Energy Corp. of Oklahoma City. During the test, the Jack 2 well sustained a flow rate of more than 6,000 barrels of oil per day, Statoil said.

“Test results are very encouraging and may indicate a significant discovery. The full magnitude of the field’s potential is still being defined,” Statoil said in a statement. The discovery has industry-wide implications, analysts said.

“They may be the first ones to hit the jackpot, but if the current thinking is correct, this is only a beginning. Other companies will emerge as good, or better,’’ said Oppenheimer & Co.’s Fadel Gheit.

The successful test wells do not mean a huge supply of oil will hit the market anytime soon. Gheit estimated that the first production might not come on-line until after 2010, depending on how many more test wells the companies drill.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the region where the well is located could become the nation’s biggest new domestic source of oil since the discovery of Alaska’s North Slope, more than a generation ago.

The Journal said Chevron and Devon officials estimate that recent discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico’s lower-tertiary formations hold up to 15 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves, a total that would boost the nation’s current reserves by 50 percent.

The well was drilled in the Walker Ridge area of the Gulf, about 270 miles southwest of New Orleans and 175 miles off the coast. It followed up a discovery made by Chevron in 2004.

“This area is one of the new and promising deep-water areas in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Oivind Reinertsen, senior vice president of Statoil’s Gulf of Mexico assets in Houston.

“The Jack 2 well test data are encouraging and may form the basis of future development projects in Walker Ridge,” he said.

In a separate statement, San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron said the well set a variety of records, including the deepest well successfully tested in the Gulf of Mexico. Chevron said the well was drilled more than 20,000 feet under the sea floor below 7,000 feet of water for a total depth of 28,175 feet. Chevron has a 50 percent stake in the field, while Statoil and Devon own 25 percent each.

Shares of Devon rose $6.10, or 9.5 percent, to $70.25 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, near the top end of the stock’s 52-week range of $48.94 to $70.35. Shares of Chevron rose $1.02, or 1.6 percent, to $65.85.

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