Oil booms in Electra, nearby Ranger (1917), and Burkburnett soon after brought many hastily created oil companies rushing to North Texas.
But as petroleum historians have noted, because most of the productive acres already had been leased, most of these companies would fail. Investors often still sought instant riches.
According to advertisements placed in the Corpus Christi Caller Times during March and April of 1919, Corpus-Burk Oil Company looked to profit from a new, booming oilfield.
The newly formed company said it had purchased five acres less than three miles south of the boomtown of Burkburnett – with readymade storage tanks and access to a refinery. It simply needed money to drill.
The company, capitalized at only $30,000, planned to drill two wells – “in the heart of the shallow proven field, entirely surrounded by producing wells, many of which are only a short distance from our location.”
Officers of the Corpus-Burk Oil Company offered stock at $25 per share with the promise that a “contract to drill will be made as soon as sufficient stock is sold.”
Although sufficient venture capital was raised to begin drilling the company’s first well on April 26, 1919, there is no record that the well was successful. Competition for drilling equipment and services made every attempt a high-risk, expensive venture.
It appears that Corpus-Burk Oil was not able to sell enough stock to stay afloat and no second well was ever drilled.
Learn more about the era’s petroleum boom and busts in Pump Jack Capital of Texas.
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.