In 1921, Union Oil Company brought in the Bell No. 1 well in the city of Santa Fe Springs, California.
The Union Oil gusher, which produced more than 2,000 barrels of oil a day, prompted a rush of new exploration as entrepreneurs hoped to exploit yet another California oil bonanza.
A year later, the extent of the Santa Fe Springs oilfield was still undefined as dozens of new wells were being drilled.
Amid this drilling fever, the Santa Fe Dome Oil Company was formed and funded by investors whose purchase of stock provided the cash to acquire a lease and drill as close as possible to known producing wells.
Meanwhile the region’s oil production grew, reaching 80,000 barrels a day. By the end of the 1920s, the oilfield’s production, which exceeded production at the more famous Signal Hill field. Also see Signal Hill brings California Oil Boom.
Santa Fe Springs became a promoters’ paradise, notes one historian. Prospective investors were bussed to the field, served free lunches in circus tents, and regaled with stories about fortunes to be made in oil.
Santa Fe Dome Oil joined the oil rush and bought a lease on the Myer property in Los Angels – today found at Shoemaker Avenue, between Beaty and Sunshine streets.
The company drilled its first well about a mile south of the proven producing area but came up dry. With falling cash reserves, a second attempt was made within a hundred feet of the company’s first attempt – not an uncommon practice, given the technology of the day – but this well also was a dry hole.
Santa Fe Dome Oil Company disappeared from financial records.
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 email@example.com. © 2018 Bruce A. Wells.