Texas-Arizona Petroleum Company orginated with Los Angeles businessman Allan B. Reynolds. Prior to forming his oil company, Reynolds was a director of the American Mineral Products Company (capitalized at $200,000, with all stock subscribed by 1918). Then he got into the oil business by founding two companies. More would follow, none would survive the Great Depression.

Reynolds first organized the American Refineries Company of America (sometimes called National Refineries Company of America) capitalized at $10 million; in May 1919, he formed the Texas-Arizona Petroleum Company of Fort Worth, Texas, capitalized at $500,000.

“Allan B. Reynolds, engineer and geologist from Los Angeles, is president of the organization,” noted The Oil & Gas News. “Mr. Reynolds’ success in the oil fields, since his advent a few months ago, has been one of the sensations of the oil world, his crowning achievement being the organization of the new corporation which he heads.”

By July 1919, Texas-Arizona Petroleum had drilled a shallow well in Coleman County, Texas. the company wanted to supply its own oil to a refinery it planned to build with a daily capacity of 4,000 barrels of oil. The facility would be on a 52-acre tract on the Rock Island Railroad line, about two miles east of Fort Worth. Reynolds’ company also leased 3,200 acres in the Pecos River Valley, in addition to its holding in Eastland County and Burkburnett (see Boom Town Burkburnett).

Dallas newspapers began carrying Texas-Arizona Petroleum stock promotions and describing how expansion and acquisitions had prompted an increase in capital stock first to $1 million then to $3million. The company proclaimed many recent accomplishments, including “with hearty approval of over 3,000 stockholders, made contract for drilling eight wells on Eastland tract surrounded by gushers, bought a 4,000-barrel refinery partially completed with 62 acres in North Fort Worth, and placed a limited amount of stock on the market at $2.00 per share.”

Texas-Arizona Petroleum continued growing as it absorbed Bosque Petroleum Company, Comanche Chief No. 1, Comanche Chief No. 3, Oklahoma Oil & Gas Syndicate, Arkansas Ranger Oil Company, and Northwestern Oil Company. Capitalization of the additional companies amounted to more than $1 million. The company also leased 18,000 acres in New Mexico’s Chavez and Roosevelt counties, plus 100 acres in Limestone County, Texas. It purchased a partially completed Texas Producing and Refining Company refinery in North Fort Worth with the intent to double its capacity to 8,000 barrels of oil a day.

According to the company, these expansions “created wide interest among oil men as it announced that it would refine all the by-products of petroleum oil, something that but very of the refineries in the world are attempting. As there are approximately 190 of the by-products some idea of the magnitude of the proposition can be gained by the statement.”

In 1920, with his other ventures underway and the Fort Worth refinery still under construction, Reynolds incorporated the Mexico-American Petroleum Company with himself as president and capital stock of $5 million with $600,000 subscribed. This company was reported to have leases on 60,000 acres in Texas and New Mexico. But despite enthusiastic promotions and sometimes contradictory information, all of Reynolds’ companies — National Refineries, American Refineries, Mexico-American, and Texas-Arizona Petroleum did not survive long in the competitive U.S. petroleum industry. The Texas-Arizona Petroleum Company disappeared from financial records by the early 1930s.

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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 bawells@aoghs.org. © 2019 Bruce A. Wells.

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