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Sebastiao Salgado In Kuwait

And two Salgado images close to our heart at, this one below of Coots Matthews and Danny Strong, both in white Boots and Coots, Inc. coveralls. There is no mistaking Coots for his bad leg and hip. And Danny was a giant of a man. Please see bottom of page:

And this one below of Ace Barnes, with chain, and James Tuppen, giving orders. For a really fun story on Ace Barnes, told by James Tuppen, please go to:

Sebastiao Salgado is a world renown photographer who spent several days in Kuwait in 1991 photographing the oil fires. His book, Sebastiao Salgado: Kuwait, A Desert on Fire is available on


From left to right, Sammy Richmond (Wellcat), Danny Strong and Mike Shellman (Boots and Coots, Inc.); West Texas, 1995.

Sammy is building heat shields before we start pulling the rig away from this fire. The joke at the time of the photograph was that Mike didn't need any shield, he'd just go in standing behind big Danny.

Mike, Danny, Martin Kelly and Joe Carpenter were on this small fire for over a week playing musical monitor stands. Some days we would have to move monitor stands and re-lay water lines four different times. We'd get all set up, the wind would shift, and we'd have to tear down again and start all over from a different angle. The well was blowing thru a laid-over kelly, the top of the Hydrill and out both sides of the drilling spool below the pipe rams. It was a mess.

About a month after this photo was taken, Danny and Joe and Martin were tragically killed in eastern Syria on a blowout for Shell Oil. It was devastating to all of us at Boots and Coots, as well as the entire well control profession across the world. They were good men, and our friends.

M. Shellman 12.2017

Photo by Joe Carpenter

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