Hollywood spends millions of dollars to captivate and to entertain audiences worldwide. Movies are about as commonplace as the energy needed to produce and view them. Sometimes they’re far removed from reality and rely on the viewer and their “willing suspension of disbelief.” Other times, they display characters struggling against insurmountable odds and the inevitable external and internal conflicts in real world situations.
The oil and gas business is certainly prone to conflicts and resolutions. For example, environmentalists chaining themselves to train tracks while an oil man curls his mustache, or the spectacle and the heartbreak of nations at war over resources. Where else is it better to witness the future of the world play out than on the big screen?
Here at Shale Plays Media, we have compiled a list of our favorite oil and gas related movies, because sometimes it helps to step away from the rig (or in our case, from oil and gas news) and relax with a movie. Here are some of our favorites:
1) There Will Be Blood (2007)
At the turn of the century 20th century, Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), moves to California and establishes a small oil drilling company. The film follows him through the development and subsequent disillusion of all the values he espouses when soliciting his capabilities of being ‘an oil man’ as well as a ‘family man’. His ruthless pursuit of resources is fueled by his hatred for others and his desire to see his competitors fail. Through manipulation tactics and the exploitation of the locals with false promises, he grows extremely wealthy and his true self begins to show as he alienates himself from everyone in his life.
2) Syriana (2005)
An heir to an Arabic territory has cut a U.S. oil and gas company out of a deal and granted the contract to China. The U.S. company then quickly fires its immigrant workers and joins forces with a small firm in possession of an oil contract in Kazahkstan. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency suspects shadiness and bribery as the oil company finds a scapegoat to blame. After the failed assassination attempt of the heir, a lone CIA agent (George Clooney) is left to the task of making sense of the double cross while an American analyst (Matt Damon) begins to advise the heir that the CIA wants dead.
3) Armageddon (1998)
A cluster of asteroids has destroyed an orbiting space shuttle and has brought devastation to New York, but NASA has other things to do besides mourn its sacrificed astronauts. With the discovery of an asteroid the size of Texas hurtling towards planet Earth, they call on a hot-shot team of offshore oil drillers (but mostly just Bruce Willis) to save mankind. After a crash course training session in space travel, the team embarks on their mission to drill into the asteroid in order to destroy it and to save the world.
4) The World is Not Enough
The MI6 agent Bond, James Bond (Pierce Bronsnan) , is back to save the world from calamity once again after an oil tycoon is murdered. The villain Renard, with a bullet lodged in his head from a previous MI6 agent and filled with animosity, is secretly plotting to destroy an oil pipeline. The pipeline is hailed as the solution to supply the entire world with oil. However, the real threat lies elsewhere. Bond seduces and spies his way into unearthing Renard’s true plot of destroying Europe.
5) Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
In a world… Or rather, in an exceptionally desolate Australia in which society has dissolved following a nuclear war, former policeman Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is searching for fuel. The fearless Road Warrior stumbles upon a gasoline refinery and a home to a community of post-apocalyptic survivors. The community is routinely terrorized by a rogue gang of motorcyclists who plan to pillage the refinery and its inhabitant for their own gain. Max is hired to help transport the gasoline and fight for their freedom, and survival.
6) The Abyss
An American submarine has crashed in the ocean. Who else could be to blame but the Russians? The U.S. government enlists underwater drilling platform workers to help a team of Navy SEALS locate the crash site. As they approach the crash site, tensions between the two teams grows, but UFO sightings reported by the workers only further perpetuates the SEALS’ belief that it is a Russian vessel. On the verge of World War III, the drilling team realizes that they might be the only ones capable of stopping it. But what they discover at the bottom of the ocean is neither oil nor Russians.