Ever since America’s earliest oil discoveries, dynamite or nitroglycerin detonations increased a well’s production. Hydraulic fracturing came in the 1949. 

hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing has been used to increase production on millions of oil and natural gas wells since 1949.

Modern hydraulic fracturing technologies can trace their roots to April 25, 1865, when Civil War veteran Col. Edward A. L. Roberts received the first of his many patents for an “exploding torpedo.”

In May 1990, Pennsylvania’s Otto Cupler Torpedo Company “shot” its last oil well using liquid nitroglycerin – abandoning nitro but continuing to pursue a fundamental oil field technology.

Although President Rick Tallini remains in the business of improving oil wells’ production, today’s fracturing systems are much advanced from Lt. Col. Edward A. L. Roberts’ original 1865-1866 patents.

hydraulic fracturing

When Col. E.A.L. Roberts founds his company in 1865, his many patents give him a monopoly on torpedoes needed by the oil industry. The stock certificate – with oilfield vignettes – is worth about $300 to collectors.

“Our business since Colonel Roberts’ day has concerned lowering high explosives charges into oil wells in the Appalachian area to blast fractures into the oil bearing sand,” says Tallini. His company is based in Titusville – where the American petroleum industry began on August 27, 1859. Read the rest of this entry »