Moments before a cacophony of hydraulics broke the pre-dawn stillness and began to plunge state-of-the-art fracking drills into the ground, American Extraction Inc. COO Turk Arkansas captivated the assembled crowd with a new tradition for his company: a territorial acknowledgment.
“We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional and unceded territory of the Pine Rapids First Nation,” said Arkansas, his gaze cast skyward.
“A place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations.”
It’s also a place where large quantities of proprietary fluids under tremendously high pressure are about to be blasted into the rocks beneath our moccasined feet, the COO added.
“God, how I love the smell of ammonia in the morning,” smiled Arkansas. “And if I may slightly appropriate a phrase, today is a good day to drill.”
According to the senior executive—who, coincidentally, says his great-grandfather might possibly be Cherokee—the plan is to ensure the acknowledgment is spoken aloud before commencing each of the dozens of fracturing events scheduled for the territory.
Arkansas also noted launches of the operation’s sizable wastewater storage ponds may also require similar, purely symbolic, gestures.
“I’m reconciling pretty hard right now”: Turk Arkansas, AEI COO