A petroleum stock certificate’s vignette often is an important part of its value for scripophily – the buying and selling of certificates as collectibles after they have no redeemable value as a security.

A petroleum stock certificate’s vignette often is an important part of its value for scripophily – the buying and selling of certificates as collectibles after they have no redeemable value as a security.

An updated collection of brief articles about obscure oil and natural gas company histories. Please support this free research with a tax-deductible donation.

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oil and gas company

In the rush to print stock certificates during drilling booms, some new companies simply used a common vignette of derricks. See Centralized Oil & Gas Company, Double Standard Oil & Gas Company, Evangeline Oil Company, Texas Production Company, and Tulsa Producing and Refining Company.


Can you tell me anything about this old petroleum company (for free)? I found its stock certificate in an attic. Am I rich? Probably not. As shown in the companies below, since the 1850s the U.S. petroleum industry’s boom and bust cycles have left many casualties.  For an example of one that actually made it to courts, see Not a Millionaire from Old Oil Stock.

oil and gas company

America’s first oil company – the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company of New York – organized it 1855.

Unfortunately, this small historical society cannot grant requests for free research regarding individual company histories and the potential value of stock certificates.

As you may have discovered, financial research is difficult and time consuming. If you are fortunate, a visitor to this website or a society volunteer may have posted helpful information.

If it is not here, and to share further research experiences, you are invited to submit your query in the current Stock Certificate Q&A Forum.


Below is research submitted by a leading volunteer of the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. The company histories presented often tell fascinating stories – and are exclusive of the Stock Certificate Q&A forum posts also on this website. Check back here for more of these rare histories.

Oil and Gas Company – Latest Research – Updated November 20, 2015


Admiral Oil Company
Aetna Petroleum Corporation
Ajax Oil Company
Alaska Dakota Development Company
Alaska Oil & Gas Development Company
Aladin Oil & Refining Company
Allied Oil Corporation
American-Asiatic Oil Corporation
American Controlled Oilfields
American Indian Oil & Gas Company
American Leduc Petroleum
American Oil Refinery
American Workers Oil Field Company
Anchorage Gas & Oil Development
Anglo-American Oil Company
Arkansas Oil Ventures


Beaumont Confederated Oil & Pipe Line Company
Black Hills Petroleum Company
Buck Run Oil and Refining Company
Buffalo-Texas Oil Company


Cahege Oil & Gas Company
California Oil & Gas Company
California-Ventura Oil Company
Capitol Petroleum Company
Cauble Oil Company
Central Pennsylvania Oil Company
Centralized Oil & Gas Company
Chieftain Royalties
Cities Service Company
Conejo Hills Oil
Congressional Oil Corporation
Consolidated Petroleum Company
Corpus-Burk Oil Company
Craven Oil & Refining Company


Double Standard Oil & Gas Company
Doughboy Oil Company
Dysart Oil Company


Eureka Oil Company
Evangeline Oil Company


Federal Oil and Gas Company
Fort Stockton Oil Company


Galloway Oil Corporation
Gas, Oil and Developing Company (The)
Gladys City Oil, Gas & Manufacturing Company
Gladys Oil Company
Golden Gate Oil Company
Golden Goose Oil and Refining Company
Golden Valley Oil & Gas Company
Great Southwestern Petroleum Company
Great Western Oil & Gas Company


Hale Petroleum Company
Higgins Wonder Oil Company
Hiram Wilson Oil Company
Hoffman Oil & Refining Corporation
Hog Creek Carruth Oil Company
Holly Oil Company
Horseshoe-Western Oil Company


Iowa-Beaumont Oil Company
International Oil & Gas Corporation


Julian Petroleum Corporation


Kokernot Oil Company


Lewis Oil Corporation
Lincoln-Idaho Oil Company
Lincoln Oil Producing Company
Lucky Jim Oil Company
Lucky Long Oil Company


McKeesport Gas Company
Midfields Oil Company
Mid-Texas Petroleum Company
Milwaukee Electra Oil Company
Montrose Gas, Oil and Coal Company
Mountain States Resources Corporation


National Oil Refining and Manufacturing Company
National Union Oil & Gas Company
New Mexico Oil Properties Association
North Counties Oil Company
Nova Petroleum Corporation


Ohio Oil Company (Marathon)
Oil Exploration International
Oil Prospectors, Inc.
Old Colony Oil Company
Overland Oil Incorporated


Palmer Union Oil Company
Pelican Petroleum Company
Petroleum Maatschappij Salt Creek Company
Petroleum Producers’ Association
Petroleum Production Company of America
Phenix Oil and Gas Company
Pongratz Petroleum Company
Postal Employees Oil & Gas Company
Price River Petroleum Company
Producers and Refiners Corporation
Provident Oil & Refining Company
Prudential Oil and Refining Company
Puente Crude Oil Company


Quick Development Syndicate


Ranger Petroleum Company
Revere Oil Company
Richfield Oil Corporation
Ruby Hill Oil & Gas Company
Ryan Petroleum Corporation


Sable Oil & Gas Company
Sammies Oil Corporation (Choate Oil)
Sanger Oil & Refining Company
Santa Fe Dome Oil Company
Sawyer Petroleum Company
Sawyer-Adecor International
Seaboard Oil & Gas Company
Security Oil Company
Shoshone Oil Company
Signal Oil and Gas Company
Sound Cities Gas & Oil Company
Southwest Oil Corporation
Southwestern Oil Development Company
Spear Oil Company
Staveless Barrel & Tank Company
Sunshine State Oil & Refining Company


Tapo Oil Company
Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation
Texas Oil & Refining Company
Texas Oil Products Company
Texas Producers Oil Company
Texas Production Company
Texas-Rotan Oil Company
Texas United Oil Company
Trans-World Oil Company
Tulsa Producing and Refining Company


Union Oil, Gas & Refining Company
Ute Oil Company – Oil Shale Pioneer



Wellington Oil Company of Delaware
Woman’s Federal Oil Company of America
Women’s National Oil & Development Company
Wyoming Peerless Oil Company
Wyoming Prairie Oil & Gas Company



Yankee Girl Oil Company



American Workers Oil Field Company

The American Workers Oil Field Company was underwritten by about 6,000 shipyard workers on the coast of Washington (Bremerton, circa 1919) and acquired 2,000 acres in Wyoming, encompassing areas of the Lost Soldier Field extending to Casper. The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission may offer more information. Read more about Wyoming’s petroleum history in First Wyoming Oil Wells.

Eureka Oil Company

oil and gas companyIn April 1926, the Eureka Oil Company (Eureka, CA – F. W. Johnson, President) drilled the No. 1 Duff well in Humboldt County, California, but abandoned it by 1930. The well was abandoned after failing with both cable tool and rotary drilling efforts, as well as an unsuccessful “shooting” attempt. North Counties Oil Company took over the well, although the abandoned rig and casing were mortgaged and president F. W. Johnson’s “whereabouts were unknown.” Learn more about the state’s extensive petroleum history in First California Oil Well.

Fort Stockton Oil Company

oil and gas companiesBeginning in the 1970s, the Fort Stockton Oil Company experienced a series of name changes, mergers, and acquisitions – which ultimately led to today’s Chevron:

Fort Stockton Oil Company name changed to Western Crude Oil on July 7, 1971; Western Crude Oil merged into Reserve Oil & Gas on April 17, 1973; Reserve Oil & Gas merged into Getty Oil in January 1980; part of Getty Oil merged into Texaco in 1984; Chevron and Texaco merged into ChevronTexaco in 2001; and ChevronTexaco name changed to Chevron in May 2005.

Great Southwestern Petroleum Company

Great Southwestern Petroleum Company of Oklahoma City was incorporated in August 1917 by Samuel Gordon, Harry Gorden, and Mark Miller with capital of $250,000. James Butler was President of the company. In Carter County, home to the Hewitt oilfield (second largest in Oklahoma at the time), the company drilled in the field’s southeast extension. This 1921 well was named the Great Southwestern Miller-Jones No. 1 and was on the Gooding farm, but results are unknown.

The Hewitt field developed rapidly during the early 1920s and was east of Oklahoma’s giant Healdton Field. By 1927 the Hewitt oilfield covered 3,050 acres, with more than 800 wells that had produced in excess of 60 million barrels of oil. Nonetheless, Great Southwestern Petroleum Company does not appear to have succeeded as it disappears from references thereafter.

Hale Petroleum Company

oil and gas companiesThis Hale Petroleum Company from 1917 is not related to today’s Hale Petroleum Company of Columbus, Kansas. It also has no relation to the Standard Oil-affiliated Frank Hale Oil Company in Louisiana.

In a 1918 text published by the Kansas City Testing Laboratory, Hale Petroleum is identified as having a refinery in Wichita, Kansas, and pipelines to Wichita from nearby El Dorado – site of Butler Country’s Kansas Oil Museum.

Interestingly, a Hale Petroleum is identified as part of Sterling Oil & Refining Company. Sterling Oil was created by Ross Shaw Sterling, the founder and president of the Humble Oil and Refining Company, which eventually became the Exxon, now ExxonMobil.

In the 1920s, he sold his interests in Humble, although he served as president of Sterling Oil & Refining Company until 1946.

Hiram Wilson Oil Company

Hiram Wilson Oil Company worked the Bristow, Oklahoma oil field boom in the mid-1920s. Bristow’s population doubled from 1,667 in the 1910 Census to 3,460 in 1920. The city had three refineries and four pipeline companies in operation in 1930.

Today, Bristow remains a major economic center for central Creek County. Hiram Wilson Oil Company successfully found oil in the field in 1922, and in 1923 was building a “plant” in the field. Another record reports that in 1926, a Hiram Wilson Oil Company well produced 35 barrels a day of crude oil after being “shot” with 10 quarts of nitroglycerin.



Lincoln Oil Producing Company

oil and gas companiesKentuckians J. C. McCombs and H. A. Moore incorporated McCombs Oil Company in Delaware on September 7, 1917. It was soon renamed McCombs Producing & Refining Company and then Lincoln Oil Producing Company. Capitalization was 5,000,000 shares at $1 par value.

By 1919, dissatisfied minority shareholders brought successful suit against the “corporation and those in control of it” to cancel more than 680,000 shares of stock “for fraud.” By 1921 and after extensive litigation, Lincoln Oil Producing Company was in receivership. The company attempted to recover in court and brought suit in 1925 but did not succeed despite multiple appeals.

Finally in 1929, the court’s ruling noted, “of those primarily liable, if liability existed, some were dead, some were gone from Kentucky, and some insolvent.” Lincoln Oil Producing Company stock certificates have collectible value only.

Lucky Long Oil Company

The Lucky Long Oil Company was organized on January 4, 1918, with capitalization of $50,000 divided into 5,000,000 shares of stock at one cent par value. Promoters received 1,250,000 shares with the balance held in the treasury while stock sales commissions of 25 percent were paid mostly to the company’s officers. As reported in Denver’s June 1918 Municipal Facts publication, the Lucky Long Oil Company was specifically named in a”Blue Sky” investigation whose objective was to “Warn Investors Against Fake Stocks.”

The investigation revealed Lucky Long Oil Company had lured potential investors with spurious “guaranteed 24 percent dividends per year” and sold stock before acquiring any leases. Lucky Long Oil Company was assessed to have “not even a long chance speculative value” and blasted for using “clearly untruthful and misleading” advertising. The company’s president, A. J. Long absconded to Wyoming with $1,600 and Lucky Long Oil Company disappeared.

Mid-Texas Petroleum Company

In late 1921, Mid-Texas Petroleum Company drilled the E.L. Baldwin No. 1 well, which was reported to be “good for 1,000 barrels of oil and 8,000,000 feet of gas” south of Eliasville, Texas.

The company’s Graham No. 1 well was also a producer. In a declining quarter for the oilfield, two of the company’s wells in Young County nonetheless produced more than 6,000 barrels of oil. The company was successful to incentivize investors and on December 5, 1922, Mid-Texas Petroleum Co. and its producing properties in Young County became part of the Seaboard Oil and Gas Company.

Milwaukee Electra Oil Company

oil and gas companiesIn Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 20, 1918, a group of investors with properties near Electra, Texas, met and formed the Milwaukee Electra Oil Development Company.

Wisconsin granted a charter and within a week, the Electra Texas Oil Lands Company promoted the new company.

“The regular sales meeting will be held at 8:15 Monday night at our office, at which the plan will be explained and the territory described by visitors from the field,” the new company advertised. “The price raise will also be announced. Better attend this meeting.”

Milwaukee Electra Oil Development Company did not last.

National Oil Refining and Manufacturing Company

oil and gas companiesCalifornia entrepreneur George Calhoun organized the National Oil Refining and Manufacturing Company in 1901 with capitalization of $1 million.

Calhoun’s company was to refine oil into gasoline, kerosene and a variety of lubricating oils, as well as “road oil” and asphalt. (All products of growing importance as Americans began buying automobiles. Read the articles Cantankerous Combustion and Asphalt Paves the Way on this website.) Newspaper ads promoted stock sales, proclaiming “Fortunes in Asphaltum” and that each 10-cent share of stock, “will positively advance to 15-cents per share.”

After building a refinery in Bakersfield in 1904, the company manufactured Black Eagle asphalt and lubricating oils branded as Golden State, Pioneer, and Superior. The plant had the capacity to produce 1,200 tons of asphalt monthly, but securing enough oil to refine became problematic and led to extended contract litigation. George Calhoun died in August 1920. His company left few records. Scripophily collectors may value such obsolete certificates.

Oil Exploration International

Oil Exploration International has quite a convoluted history. Sometime after its 1965 incorporation in Delaware, Oil Exploration International, Inc. became one of many subsidiaries of “Adatom.” Over a period of years, Adatom acquired dozens of subsidiaries.

Adatom was taken to Federal Court by the Securities Exchange Commission in 2009. SEC charged that Adatom’s subsidiaries “were typically shell companies with no assets or business operations” and that Adatom “used the spinoffs to create a trading market in the stocks of the Subsidiaries without providing the public disclosure that registration requires.”

Adatom had ceased operations in 2001 but was maintained as a corporate shell. The company moved its incorporation from Delaware to Oregon (2002), then to Ontario, Canada (2003) changing its name to First Canadian American Holding Corporation (FCAR.) The company again moved its incorporation to Wyoming (2004) and changed its name to Blackout Media Corporation in 2006. Oil Exploration International, Inc. was recorded to have no assets or liabilities.

Overland Oil Incorporated

oil and gas companiesOverland Oil, Inc., of Denver, Colorado, was established with Winfield Morton as president, followed by Elmer F.E. Schmidt and John O. Hayden. Board members included Andrew T. Sweet (formerly of the U.S. Bureau of Mines).

In June 1953, in order to raise capital for “general corporation purposes,” the company offered 600,000 new common stock shares to current stockholders for 40-cents per share on a l-for-2 basis. In December, the company offered an additional 300,000 shares to the public for 20-cents per share.

By 1955, the company was involved in a process for extracting uranium from ore, but was declared defunct on October 10, 1962, for nonpayment of taxes.

Petroleum Production Company of America

A February 25, 1918, reference announces that R. B. (Robert Bradford) Marshall of East St. Louis, Illinois; Anna Thurstrup of Chicago, and Marion Luce, of Oak Park, Illinois, had applied to incorporate the Petroleum Production Company of America in Delaware with the purpose of acquiring and developing petroleum properties. Capitalization was only $500,000. That company soon disappears – which is not uncommon for the highly speculative business of finding oil with an undercapitalized venture.

The company’s founders included Marion Luce who was a Chicago socialite and a principal investor in a number of companies of the era: 1916 – The United Battery Company (capital stock of $3 million); 1917 – Aristo Company of America (manufacturer of wall and interior decorations capitalized at $1 million); 1918 – The Ideal Laboratories Company (manufacturer of “Lura Toilet Preparations” capitalized at $2 million); and in 1921- Utility Battery Company of America, capitalized at $5 million.

Another of the Petroleum Company of America’s founders was Robert Bradford Marshall who after graduating in 1888 from Columbian (now George Washington) University joined the United States Geological Survey and became its Chief Geographer by 1918. Despite what seems to be adequately funded and qualified founders, the Petroleum Production Company of America does not appear to have prospered, nor do any of Marion Luce’s investments.

oil and gas companiesPhenix Oil & Gas Company

The Phenix Oil & Gas Company was incorporated in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Laramie County on January 29, 1902.

The business operated from Cheyenne with a nine-member board of directors: A. Entwistle; Nicholas Herival (President); George Williams; J. A. Teagarden; C. B. Frantz; J. A. Naylor; E. N. Cook; C. L. Stewart; and J. A. Gillfillan.

An earlier Phenix Oil Company was formed in Oklahoma by Edwin Foster – and the historic Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Company – later the Cities Service Oil Company.

During the turbulent year of Phenix Oil & Gas Company’s incorporation, the New York Times reported Wyoming’s oil excitement – and the entrepreneurs who quickly secured leases on properties anywhere near producing fields to improve their chances of drilling a successful well. Many drilled dry holes. It does not appear that Phenix Oil & Gas Company survived.

Pongratz Petroleum Company

oil and gas companiesIf the stock certificate for the Pongratz Petroleum Company names Gus Pongratz as an officer of the company, it is likely the same individual previously associated with a failed California Independent Oil Organization.

On February 24, 1934, “California Independent Oil Organization” leased 560 acres in Crow Indian tribal land in Big Horn County, Montana. Gus Pongratz operated the lease until operations ceased in April, 1936. California Department of Conservation (Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources) maps show the Pongratz Petroleum

Company as once having several wells in Los Angeles with Newmark No. 1, Newmark No. 2, Martin No. 1, Dutch No. 1, and Schelnik No. 1 marked “plugged and abandoned.” The Gus Pongratz Dorsey 1-A is marked “plugged and abandoned-dry hole.”

Postal Employees Oil & Gas Company

Short-lived 1921 newspaper stock solicitations in New York state urged investors to “Get in on the Ground Floor by purchasing Postal Employees Oil & Gas Company stock, declaring that company owned“ 135 acres in fee simple and over 5,200 acres of valuable leases.

”One advertisement included annotated maps of Texas to show Postal Employees Oil & Gas Company properties located near famous oil fields like Ranger and Burkburnett as well as the Caddo field in Louisiana. Further inducements to invest note that the Postal employees Oil & Gas Co. of Texarkana, Texas, is the only oil company in the world operated and controlled by men in the employment of the U. S. Government. This fact alone is a guarantee of a square deal.”

It does not appear that Postal Employees Oil & Gas was able to raise sufficient funding to drill any wells, but the Texas Railroad Commission may be able to help you with further research.

Provident Oil & Refining Company

oil and gas companiesIn March 1921, a majority interest in the Provident Oil & Refining Company of Houston was acquired by the Chappell Oil Company of Wyoming. Provident Oil & Refining had been active with a test well in Eastland County, Texas, and planned further drilling operations in the Toyah Shallow field and Pecos Valley Territory.

Provident Oil had also searched for oil in central Montana (Cat Creek anticline) and Wyoming’s Salt Creek field. In 1922, the Mutual Oil Company of Denver, Colorado acquired controlling interest in the Chappell Oil Company and its two wells in Salt Creek that were producing 6,300 barrels of crude oil daily.

Quick Development Syndicate

oil and gas companiesIn Houston, Texas, Quick Development Syndicate was incorporated in 1923 by C. C. Cannon, J. C. Gibson, and others. Capitalization was $110,000. By March, the company issued more stock to increase capitalization to $170,000 and had a brief showing of oil from its wildcat well in Brazoria County, but the well was not productive and abandoned.

In December 1924, the Texas district court in Seguin ruled on a Texas Railroad Commission suit against Quick Development Syndicate for violation of Rule 37, which “requires oil well drillers to secure permission from the commission before sinking a well within the prescribed 150 feet.”

The court issued a permanent injunction against Quick Development Syndicate and imposed a fine. The company disappears after the ruling.

Ruby Hill Oil & Gas Company

oil and gas companiesRuby Hill Oil & Gas Company stock was promoted at 5 cents per share in 1930 and the company drilled near Denver, Colorado, in 1934. Its No. 1 Braden well in Jefferson County, stalled for a year – then resumed making hole in 1935. The company apparently failed, as its stock certificates are valued only by collectors for their artistic and historic value.

Sable Oil & Gas Company

oil and gas companiesSable Oil & Gas Company is recorded as having drilled three wells approximately one mile distant from Torrent, Kentucky:

February 2, 1920 – a dry hole to a total depth of 1,107 feet; February 27, 1920 – a productive well completed and “shot” at a total depth of 1,132 feet; and June 1, 1920 – another dry hole completed at 1,105 feet. The company no longer exists, but was founded October 25, 1919, with 200,000 shares of stock issued. The Wolfe County Clerk’s Office may be able to provide further information.

Security Oil Company

oil and gas companiesSecurity Oil Company was one of the 37 corporate defendants charged in the famous “Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, et. al., v. The United States” which was decided May 15, 1911 – and resulted in the breakup of Standard Oil due to violations of anti-trust legislation.

The court noted, “The combination of the defendants in this case is an unreasonable and undue restraint of trade in petroleum and its products moving in interstate commerce.” The court mandated breakup of Standard Oil subsidiaries led to the Magnolia Petroleum Company of Texas taking over Security Oil Company properties in 1911.

Signal Oil and Gas Company

oil and gas companiesSignal Oil and Gas Company originated in 1928. By 1968, Signal Oil and Gas had become a diverse conglomerate and was renamed The Signal.

In 1985, Allied Chemical & Dye and The Signal companies merged to form Allied-Signal Incorporated. A year later, Allied-Signal spun off about 35 of its diverse subsidiary operations into a new and separate company that was renamed AlliedSignal in 1993.

AlliedSignal bought Honeywell International in 1999 but dropped the AlliedSignal name, becoming today’s Honeywell International.

Southwest Oil Corporation

Southwest Oil Corporation was more into the music business than into oil. The company drilled two dry holes near Portland in Sumner County, Kansas between October 1955 and January 1956. No oil was found and by February, the wells were abandoned.

It appears that the company abandoned the oil business as well because on May 8, 1961, Southwest Oil became a wholly owned subsidiary of Melo-Sonics, which had been established as a Delaware corporation in 1953 and was involved in distribution of background music, tape repeaters and related items. Southwest Oil Corporation was renamed Melo-Sonics and subsequently joined with Whippany Electronics Inc., in the manufacture of portable electronic organs popular with rock bands.

Vintage Whippany and Melo-Sonic equipment can be seen online but by 1996, the trademark had expired and the company dissolved. In 2003, about 32,000 obsolete Melo-Sonics Non-Transferable Securities Certificates were authorized for destruction by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

Tapo Oil Company

Tapo Oil Company was formed in April 27, 1900, with capital of $500,000. President was S. C. Graham and secretary was C. H. McKevett. The company was based in Santa Paula and drilled three shallow dry holes (about 700 feet deep) on Rancho Tapo north of Simi Valley, California, in 1901-1902. California records the wells as abandoned prior to 1913.

Graham was a Pennsylvania-born oilman and had several years experience with the Hardesty & Steweart Oil Company – which would become Union Oil. Graham and McKevett had also founded the Graham-Loftus Oil Company in 1898 and found success in Orange County, California. One Graham-Loftus well is reported to have produced 700 barrels a day. Union Oil Co. was the principle buyer of all the oil produced.

Graham remained active in the oil business after the failure of Tapo Oil Company and served as president of the Grador Oil Company, formed August 16, 1908, capitalized at $250,000 and dissolved in 1922. Graham also served as President of the Placentia Oil Co (formed 1914) and the Gilroy Oil of Los Angeles, which drilled six unsuccessful wells in Santa Clara county.

Texas Producers Oil Company

In 1918, forty-three miles northwest of Beaumont, Texas in eastern Liberty County, the Hull oilfield was discovered, sparking rapid growth of the town. Under the supervision of a man named “Bud” Cole, the Texas Producers Oil Company drilled two dry holes in the Hull oilfield in 1919-1920.

The early days of the oil business involved frequent scrambles to new oilfields when such a discovery announced the presence of oil. Entrepreneurs, investors, landsmen, and speculators were drawn to the boom but dry holes and bankruptcies were necessarily part of the landscape. The Delaware Department of State’s Division of Corporations reports that Texas Producers Oil Company was formed in September, 1917, but little else.

The Texas Railroad Commission retains Historical Oil and Gas Records (drilling records) and may have information on the Texas Producers Oil Company operations in Texas circa 1920.

Texas-Rotan Oil Company

Texas-Rotan Oil Company may have been created to gamble on the success of the much larger Texas Company’s wildcat explorations in Fisher County, Texas. (The Texas Company later became Texaco – now a part of Chevron.) Such a major oil company is capitalized sufficiently to absorb substantial losses if drilling efforts produce only dry holes.

When a major oil company’s geological research prompts them to drill in a previously unproductive area, it is sure to draw entrepreneurs and investors hoping to find successful lease opportunities nearby. In 1918-1919 the Texas Company drilled four dry holes in southwest Fisher County before moving its exploration rigs to the vicinity of Rotan. The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) maintains maps RRC’s Public GIS Map Viewer that show drilling around Rotan, but neither the Texas Company nor the Texas-Rotan Company found oil.

The county’s first commercial oil discovery (the D. W. Stephens No. 1 – drilled by the Texas Company) would not come until 1928, but that well produced for 66 years. The RRC map shows many dry holes and later, many productive wells…but the Texas-Rotan Oil Company does not appear to have shared in that success.

Union Oil, Gas & Refining Company

oil and gas companiesAlthough initially named the Union Oil & Gas Company with capitalization of $3 million, the company changed its name to Union Oil, Gas, & Refining Company and increased its capitalization to $3.5 million by issuing stock.

The company was under control of Mr. J. B, Atkins, president, when the periodical American Investor published a scathing analysis of its operations and described it as “organized primarily for the benefit of the promoters, and that this benefit is derived not only from the receipt of a large part of the capital stock for a small consideration, but also from the payment of excessive salaries…”

Union Oil,Gas & Refining was soon insolvent and in the hands of a receiver.

Wellington Oil Company of Delaware

oil and gas companiesWellington Oil Company of Delaware incorporated September 1, 1936, to merge Wellington Oil Company (California) and Santa Clara Oil and Development Company (Texas.) The new company issued 850,000 shares of stock in exchange for the physical assets of the two predecessor companies.

John T. O’Neil and C. W. Atkins were named president and vice president respectively; both were experienced and successful oil men. The Company’s main office was in San Antonio, Texas. In 1942, the Wellington Oil Company of Delaware was sold to Seaboard Oil Company (Delaware) with one share of Seaboard exchanged for every four shares of Wellington. Seaboard Oil Company was in turn absorbed by the Texas Company (later Texaco) in 1958.

Women’s National Oil & Development Company

oil and gas companiesWomen’s National Oil & Development Company (Womens Oil) was in the time of Wyoming’s big oil boom, which began with No. 1 Salt Creek well in October 1908 that opened Salt Creek as one of the most significant fields in the Rocky Mountains and inspired many entrepreneurs.

The post-World War I surge in demand brought even more exploration, but the Women’s National Oil & Development Company didn’t leave much behind,

Researchers may be able to find additional information through the Wyoming State Archives’ holdings of inactive corporation files from the Wyoming Secretary of State.


You are invited to submit your query in the current Stock Certificate Q&A Forum.

Editor’s Note — The American Oil & Gas Historical Society needs your financial support to maintain this website. Please make a 100-percent tax deductible donation.

This page sponsored by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Wichita Falls. 

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