• This Week in Petroleum History July 28 – August 3


    July 28, 1924 – Oil Scouts form Association

    petroleum history July 28 - August 3

    Oil field Scouts began as detectives seeking the truth about new wells, which helped keep speculators in check.

    The National Oil Scouts Association of America – today the International Oil Scouts Association (IOSA- files its charter in Austin, Texas, bringing new standards to the oil field profession.

    Since the birth of the U.S. petroleum industry in 1859, oil scouts have gathered field intelligence on drilling operations – including often sensitive information about the operator.

    Scouts gather details about the location, lease, depth of well, formations encountered, logs and other data, which may yield a competitive advantage.

    James Tennent, author of The Oil Scouts – Reminiscences of the Night Riders of the Hemlocks, proclaimed in 1915 that scouts “saved the general trade thousands and millions by holding market manipulators in check.”

    Read more in Scouts – Oil Patch Detectives.

    July 29, 1918 – Burkburnett becomes a North Texas Boom Town

    petroleum history July 28 - August 3

    “Burkburnett was a sleepy farm town that transformed into a ‘Boom Town’ as a result of the North Texas oil boom in 1918,” explains the Burkburnett Historical Society. A 1940 MGM movie stars a former roustabout.

    A wildcat well strikes oil in July 1918 on S. L. Fowler’s farm near a small North Texas community on the Red River.

    By June 1919, there are more than 850 producing wells in “the world’s wonder oilfield.”

    The North Texas exploration frenzy will make Burkburnett famous  – two decades before “Boom Town,” the popular 1940 motion picture it will inspire.

    The well is completed at the northeastern edge of Burkburnett, which was  founded in 1907 and named by President Theodore Roosevelt, who two years earlier hunted wolf along the Red River with rancher Burkburnett. Continue reading →