Sharing certificate information can produce useful research sources.

You found an old petroleum stock certificate in your attic and hope you might be a millionaire. Unlikely, but here is a discussion forum about old exploration companies. Welcome to the American Oil & Gas Historical Society’s discussion page for often obscure petroleum stock certificates.

Be sure to check research sources and the links listed below and at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.gov. Hundreds of companies already have been researched. And please support this website’s energy education effort.

old oil companies

This vignette from an old Shell Oil Company engraved certificate has been valued by collectors at about $40.

Before adding your post, read what AOGHS research has revealed about hundreds of old oil companies. There is an alphabetical listing  posted in Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything?

Although the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, launched by a 1859 discovery in Titusville, Pennsylvania, has drilled millions of wells, chances are the certificate you found will not make you rich.

As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin notes in his book, The Prize, the famous boom-and-bust cycles of the petroleum industry have led to the rise and fall of thousands of exploration and production companies. Your grandparents’ certificates are likely among the many casualties of a bust cycle.

Old Oil Companies

Unless it is a rare collectible, few certificates have commercial value today. However, scripophily, the collection of antique stocks and bonds, is growing more popular.

“Certificates are valued for their vignettes, which often depict bygone industries and times, and their historical significance,” notes one collector. Again, for information about financial certificates in general, visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – SEC – website. Most old oil stock certificates have limited value, except perhaps to collectors. There are also helpful research tips in Oil Stocks.

You are invited to post your petroleum-related certificate questions. Before seeking answers, search for your stock on this forum’s posts. Details and a specific question here are more likely to elicit helpful responses from other visitors. In time, this sharing of comments could help produce useful research sources. See if information about your petroleum stock certificate already has been posted in Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything? 
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Support the American Oil & Gas Historical Society and this website with a contibution. © AOGHS. This Q&A forum offers researchers a way to share ideas. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.