There have been many oil companies named Aetna over the years.
In Delaware on July 29, 1920, Aetna Petroleum Corporation was created from the merger of several existing smaller oil companies in Texas: Republic Oil & Refining; Ranger Central Oil & Refining; Eastland Oil & Refining; Ocean Oil & Refining; King 8 Oil; and M. P. Burk Oil.
Shares of the old companies were exchanged for Aetna Petroleum which began operations with about 30 producing wells and daily output of 1,400 to 2,500 barrels – a portion of which was contracted for sale at $3.85 per barrel.
Dividends were to be paid at two percent per month, but no dividends were ever paid owing to ” the large expenses and the heavy costs encountered in drilling and equipment in the oil field.”
Aetna Petroleum Corporation issued eight percent convertible gold notes but exploration and production costs as well as debt servicing burdened the company. Despite promising beginnings, by May of 1922, after reporting on “a number of offerings of Aetna Petroleum stock at prices of a few cents per share,” United States Investor advised.
“We believe that it would be as you say ‘throwing good money after bad’ and think it would be more desirable for your client to keep his money away from the new proposition and other similar propositions,” advised the publication.
By 1924, the Washington Post reported on a mail fraud indictment lodged against an Aetna Petroleum Corporation salesman and noted “The whole business recently collapsed.”
Online Scripophily collectors value obsolete Aetna Petroleum Corporation stock certificates at about $25.
The stories of exploration and production companies joining petroleum booms (and avoiding busts) can be found updated in Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything? The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Please support this AOGHS.ORG energy education website. For membership information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2018 Bruce A. Wells.