Old Oil Stocks – in progress “O”
Chances are people seeking financial information here will not find lost riches – see Not a Millionaire from Old Oil Stock. The American Oil & Gas Historical Society, a small non-profit program that depends on donations, does not have resources to provide free research of corporate histories.
However, AOGHS continues to look into forum queries as part of its energy education mission. Some investigations have revealed little-known stories like Buffalo Bill’s Shoshone Oil Company; many others have found questionable dealings during booms and epidemics of “black gold” fever like Arctic Explorer turns Oil Promoter.
Visit the Stock Certificate Q & A Forum and view company updates regularly added to the A-to-Z listing at Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything? AOGHS will continue to look into forum queries, including these “in progress.”
Occident Oil Company
There have been several Occident Oil companies, beginning as early as 1899. More than 50 years later, a stockholder sought information about the company from a California newspaper, the Long Beach Independent. “When my mother died in 1942, she left me 60,000 Shares of stock for the Occident Oil Co. in Denver. The shares were bought in 1929 and 1930. Could ACTION LINE find out if this company is still active, or if it has perhaps merged with a larger company?”
No details have survived about this supposedly Denver-based Occident Oil of its fate. The office of the Colorado Secretary of State in Denver, where all corporations of that state are registered, has no record of Occident Oil Co. All publicly held corporations issuing stock must apply annually for a corporation license, and comply with all license requirements, including the issuance of an annual financial report. There are no financial reports from Occident Oil.
October Oil Company
October Oil Company began life in Colorado in 1975 as International Technical Instruments Inc. with authorized issue of 3 million shares of stock. The company was formed to “produce, manufacture, develop, sell, lease, exchange or otherwise deal with, or dispose of, communications systems.”
In 1979 International Technical Instruments changed its name to October Oil Company and amended its articles of incorporation to include “the business of exploration and development of oil and gas” and “to manufacture, acquire, own, use, maintain and operate drilling rigs, derricks, drills, bits, casing pipe, explosives.”
Kansas records show October Oil was briefly the operator of four oil wells in Wilson County, all plugged and abandoned by April 1982. In October the company and Walton Oil Company merged into a newly formed Colorado entity, the Jeremiah Corporation. October Oil’s president became president of Jeremiah Corp. The same amended articles of incorporation specified that Jeremiah Corp. change its name to October Oil Company, “the corporation surviving the merger.”
The other merged companies are identified as “constituent corporations” whose certificates were to be exchanged for new October Oil Company certificates in varying ratios prior to the execution of an eight-for-one reverse stock split. This restructuring having been effected, October Oil nonetheless became inactive and delinquent in its Colorado taxes. Kansas records have no further oilfield activity for the company.
In 2006, with October Oil Company having neither transfer agent nor activity for a period of six years, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) destroyed the company’s vaulted certificates.
DTCC notes in “Saying Goodbye to Worthless Certificates” that more than a million non-transferable stock certificates have been shredded since 2004. October Oil Company stock certificates have only collectible value, but the company name survived for years in Over the Counter Markets, traded as OCOC.
Oil Exploration International
Oil Exploration International has a convoluted history. After its 1965 incorporation in Delaware, it became one of many subsidiaries of Adatom, which was taken to federal court by the Securities Exchange Commission in 2009.
SEC charged that Adatom’s subsidiaries “were typically shell companies with no assets or business operations” and that Adatom, “used the spinoffs to create a trading market in the stocks of the Subsidiaries without providing the public disclosure that registration requires.”
Adatom had ceased operations in 2001 – but moved its incorporation from Delaware to Oregon (2002), then to Ontario, Canada (2003), changing its name to First Canadian American Holding Corporation. The company again moved its incorporation to Wyoming (2004) and changed its name to Blackout Media Corporation in 2006.
Oil Lease Development Company
Oil Lease Development Company was a holding company incorporated on August 5, 1922, with an office in New York and C. A. Eastman as president. A few months later, the Wall Street Journal noted another company, Middle States Oil Corporation, had paid investors dividends in part with Oil Lease Development Company stock – three shares of Oil Lease Development for each 100 shares of Middle States Oil stock owned.
By 1924 Oil Lease Development was a subsidiary of Middle States Oil Corporation within a network of interlocking boards of directors and shared investments. Stockholders then instituted a lawsuit against Middle States Oil. Litigation ensued with the last recorded sale of Oil Lease Development stock in 1927 at less than five cents a share. Final judgements on November 15, 1929, directed the sale of Oil Lease Development and Middle States Oil assets. Appeals ensued and by March 1933 Oil Lease Development was bankrupt. Last payments were made to creditors in March 1934.
Okla-Queen Oil Company
Okla-Queen Oil Company of Tulsa, Oklahoma, formed in 1916 with capitalization of $1 million and leases in Okmulgee County and Trinity County (Texas), and 2,000 acres spread across six Kansas counties.
In 1917, the company acquired holdings of the Okla-Kan Oil Company in an exchange that gave 10 shares of Okla-Queen stock for one share of Okla-Kan stock. In April of 1918 Okla-Queen Oil Vice President Felix Broeker was reported by The National Underwriter to have disappeared after misappropriation of funds and “badly tangled” business operations. Broeker had organized Globe Life Insurance, National Bonding & Casualty, and a chain of drug stores in Salina, Kansas, before forming Okla-Queen Oil.
A warrant for Broeker’s arrest was issued, but he returned to face charges voluntarily. These troubles notwithstanding, by June 1918, Okla-Queen Oil had drilled one dry hole in Okmulgee County and brought in one natural gas well near Broken Arrow in Tulsa County. Later in the year, Okla-Queen Oil changed its name to Okla-Prairie Oil; it was also reported to have changed its name to Regal Petroleum Company. None of these companies survived, but Broeker’s legal issues with Okla-Queen Oil financing remained in litigation until 1922.
Oklahoma-Gulf Royalty Corporation
Formed in October 1931 Oklahoma-Gulf Royalty Corp. existed on the books until it was liquidated in February 1960 – with a final distribution of $59,948.93 made to shareholders. The company, authorized to do business in Texas and Oklahoma, had its over-the-counter trading suspended by both states.
Okmulgee Producing & Refining Company
Legal troubles surrounded Okmulgee Producing and Refining Company. “In the Mid Continent Oil field the sensation of the day is the almost criminal manipulation of the stock of the Okmulgee Producing & Refining Co., which has become such a scandal that it will take years to wipe it out,” reported the Financial World of 1918. “The stock was rigged up when the whole enterprise was still little more than a paper one and after the manipulation was worn out the shared rapidly receded.”
E.W. Kimbley, a founder and president of Okmulgee Producing & Refining sought court protection. By August 1920, with the company headed for receivership, the Wooster Oil Company (Ohio) took over the company’s debts and properties for $1 million. Wooster Oil was controlled by the Blackwell Consolidated Oil and Gas Company of New York. Purchased properties included a 1,500-barrel-a-day plant in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, plus a few hundred tank cars and three casing-head gasoline plants.
Under terms of the agreement, Blackwell exchanged 130,000 shares of old Okmulgee Producing & Refining stock for Blackwell Consolidated Oil and Gas Company shares at the ratio of 13 Blackwell shares for each 100 Okmulgee shares. Collectors have found vintage Blackwell Consolidated Oil and Gas Company certificates online for around $10.
Omaha-Lusk Oil Company
Minnesota historical records may have more details, but it appears that Omaha-Lusk Oil Company was a venture of John Shepard Lind, youngest son of former Minnesota congressman and Governor John Lind. The younger Lind pursued oil interests near Hutchinson, Minnesota. His Omaha Lusk Oil Company is numbered in the Nebraska Department of Banking archives index of “Blue Sky Corporations.” Lawyers for the company closed their books on it in 1929.
Orange County Petroleum Company
Orange County Petroleum Company incorporated on March 11, 1920 with capitalization of $1,000,000 and drilled a well without commercial success in California’s Santiago Canyon Field at a site about 100-yards north of the intersection of North Ridgeline Road and North Kennymead Street in Orange, California.
In December the company offered an additional 300,000 shares to the public for 20 cents per share. By 1955, the company was involved in a process for extracting uranium from ore, but was declared defunct on October 10, 1962, for nonpayment of taxes. See other entries in this forum to learn what your stock certificates’ appearance can tell you about potential value to scripophily collectors.
Oregon and Wyoming Oil & Gas Company
One source for insights into the Oregon and Wyoming Oil and Gas Company is the Wyoming Newspaper Project. An “Oregon & Wyoming Oil” keyword search there yields hits that link to newspaper page images with the search terms highlighted. From sources like the Thermopolis Record, Cheyenne State Leader, Casper Herald, etc., the website could help reconstruct the story of The Oregon & Wyoming Oil and Gas Company, at least between 1919 and 1922.
Overland Oil Inc.
Overland Oil Inc. was established in Denver with Winfield Morton as president, followed by Elmer F.E. Schmidt and John O. Hayden. Board members included Andrew T. Sweet, who was formerly with the U.S. Bureau of Mines. In June 1953, in order to raise capital for “general corporation purposes,” the company offered 600,000 new common stock shares to current stockholders for 40 cents per share on a one-for-two basis. In December the company offered an additional 300,000 shares to the public for 20 cents per share. By 1955 the company was involved in a process for extracting uranium from ore, but was declared defunct on October 10, 1962, for nonpayment of taxes.
Owl Petroleum Company
Owl Petroleum Company sprang from the 1916 discovery of Oklahoma’s Covington-Garber oilfield, east of Enid. By 1919, the field had 760 producing wells and had spawned many competing oil ventures; by 1925 the field had produced about 20 million barrels of oil. Owl Petroleum was bought by Herbert Hiram Champlin’s company, the Champlin Petroleum Company of Enid, when Owl Petroleum stock was worth about $2 a share in 1921. Owl Petroleum was one of several small marketing organizations acquired by Champlin. At the time, Owl Petroleum had a lease and a shut-down well in the Garber oilfield. Champlin Petroleum remained privately owned until 1954.
Ozena Oil Company
The California Department of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources website has online correspondence and document images that chronologically track the status of the two wells that Ozena Oil Company drilled – from spudding to plugging. Both were dry holes. View these records using the DOGGR website’s “Well Finder” and wells’ respective API numbers: 11106137 and 10700434.
The many stories of many exploration companies trying to join petroleum booms (and avoid busts) can be found in an updated series of research at Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything?