A Chronology of U.S. Oil & Gas

This Week in Petroleum History

This Week in Petroleum History, March 23 to March 29

March 23, 1858 - Rock Oil Company reorganizes as Seneca Oil Investors from New Haven, Connecticut, organized the Seneca Oil Company with $300,000 in capital and former railroad conductor Edwin Drake a shareholder. The investors had purchased the leases of the...

This Week in Petroleum History, March 16 to March 22

March 16, 1914 - "Main Street" Oil Well completed A well completed in 1914 produced oil from about 1,770 feet beneath Barnsdall, Oklahoma. The popular TV program Ripley’s Believe It or Not would proclaim the well the “World’s Only Main Street Oil Well.” The Osage...

This Week in Petroleum History, March 9 to March 15

March 9, 1930 - Prototype Texaco Tanker completed The world's first electrically welded commercial vessel, the Texas Company (Texaco) tanker M/S Carolinian, was completed in Charleston, South Carolina. The 226-ton vessel was a prototype design by naval architect...

This Week in Petroleum History, March 2 to March 8

March 2, 1922 - Osage Nation Oil Lease sells for $1 Million Under the broad crown of a giant elm next to the Osage Council House in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, Skelly Oil and Phillips Petroleum Company jointly bid more than one million dollars for just a 160-acre tract of...

This Week in Petroleum History, February 24 to March 1

February 25, 1918 - Pawnee Bill's Oklahoma Oil Companies As World War I neared its end in 1918, Gordon William "Pawnee Bill" Lillie entered the oil business in Yale, Oklahoma. Despite not being as famous as his Wyoming friend Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody,...

This Week in Petroleum History, February 17 to February 23

On February 17, 1902, Lufkin Foundry and Machine Company was founded in Lufkin, Texas, as a repair shop for railroad and sawmill machinery. When the pine region’s timber supplies began to dwindle, the company discovered new opportunities in the burgeoning oilfields following the 1901 discovery at Spindletop Hill.

This Week in Petroleum History, February 11 to February 16

February 12, 1954 – After hundreds of dry holes (the first drilled near Reno in 1907), Nevada became a petroleum-producing state. Shell Oil Company’s second test of its Eagle Springs No. 1 well in Nye County produced commercial amounts of oil.

This Week in Petroleum History, February 3 to February 10

With demand for oil and petroleum products growing during World War I, the science for finding the resource remained obscure when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) organized in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This Week in Petroleum History, January 27 to February 2

On January 28, 1969, after drilling 3,500 below the Pacific Ocean floor, a Union Oil Company drilling platform six miles off Santa Barbara, California, suffered a blowout. The offshore accident spilled up to 100,000 barrels of oil that reached southern California’s beaches, where the U.S. offshore petroleum history began in 1896 with wells drilled from piers.

This Week in Petroleum History, January 20 to January 26

In 1886, the spectacular natural gas well – the “Great Karg Well” of Findlay, Ohio – erupted with an initial flow of 12 million cubic feet a day. The well’s gas pressure was so great that it could not be controlled by the technology of the day.

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