Independent producer explores oil patch fiction.


A former head of state and national oil industry associations has penned the story of a Texas wildcatter’s trek through the East Texas boom of the 1930s and beyond.

oil history booksFrom a July, 8, 2017, San Antonio news release:

For Texas oilmen like Gene Ames Jr., A Wildcatter’s Trek: Love, Money and Oil, reads more like fact than fiction. Plucked from the authentic experiences of Texas wildcatters, Ames’ recently-published novel follows the life and career of a young oil-field pipe salesman-turned-wildcat driller, who gambles on a hunch in East Texas and discovers the largest oil field in the world.

Suddenly an unwitting player in the greedy, gritty world of big oil, this overnight oil magnate embarks on a page-turning journey through a minefield of great wealth, high-stakes gambling, and an insatiable drive toward the next major oil discovery.

It’s a subject oilman/author Ames knows well. A fourth-generation wildcatter, raised in the East Texas oilfield, Ames braids first-hand oil industry insights into the dramatic tale of one wildcatter’s trek through spectacular booms and busts in business and in his tumultuous life.

History, politics, geological science, technological advances and economic realities, provide a factual backdrop for the novel’s fascinating characters — many based on oil legends like Columbus “Dad” Joiner, Tom Slick, Clint Murchison, Hugh Roy Cullen and H.L. Hunt. The central character, Jordan Phillips, represents an amalgam of these early wildcatters — a fraternity of quiet, calculated drillers, who sealed high-stakes deals with a handshake and struck dry holes with a gamblers’ countenance.

Ames dedicates his book to “that generation of real oil wildcatters who, during one short era of our nation’s history, risked everything to join the drilling boom. Several made fortunes, but many wildcatters went broke trying.” What’s more, he contends “that the oil fields the wildcatters found made America the most prosperous nation in the history of mankind.”

Gene Ames Jr. continues seeking to acquire oil and natural gas fields, with bypassed undeveloped reserve potential while never stopping the search for unexplored giant frontier reserve drilling prospects.

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Ames has served as chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, where he received the Chief Roughneck Award in 1995, and the Texas Oil and Gas Association. He is on the board of directors and is a former chairman of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

For more information or to interview the author, contact Nina Flournoy at


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Citation Information – Article Title: “Wildcatter’s Trek.” Author: Editors. Website Name: American Oil & Gas Historical Society. URL: Last Updated: May 1, 2018. Original Published Date: August 2, 2017.

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