In February 1920 in Farrell, Pennsylvania, lawyers, doctors, business men and farmers formed Yankee Oil & Gas Company as a Delaware corporation.

Then and today, Delaware’s general corporation laws make it the preferred legal host for many new companies. Among the provisions are simplified procedures, low corporate taxes, and broad powers granted to the corporation by the state. More than 50 percent of all publicly traded U.S. companies incorporated in Delaware.

Yankee Oil & Gas organized with $300,000 capitalization and leased 3,000 acres near the state line between Sharon, Pennsylvania and Brookfield, Ohio. The plan was to drill 15 exploratory wells in hopes of finding natural gas. The company advertised for “responsible drilling contractors.”

However, the Record-Argus of Greenville, Pennsylvania, on June 18, 1921, reported that “Yankee Run Oil and Gas Company abandons operations In Brookfield district. Will try Kentucky next.” Kentucky has no record of any drilling by Yankee Oil & Gas. Energy Information Administration records show that while oil sold for an average of $3.07 per barrel in 1920, it dropped by almost in half in 1921.

Natural gas sold for only about 10 cents per thousand cubic feet at the wellhead. With such market pressures, it appears Yankee Oil & Gas Company did not survive.

The stories of exploration and production companies joining petroleum booms (and avoid 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 © 2020 AOGHS.

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