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October 21, 2020  –  Oil & Gas History News, Vol. 1, No. 10


Oil & Gas History News


Welcome to our latest spotlight on U.S. petroleum history. October’s newsletter illuminates important petroleum milestones, including the 50th anniversary of a sleek, natural gas powered rocket car setting the world land speed record; the 90th anniversary of the discovery of the 140,000 acre East Texas oilfield; and the 103rd anniversary of the “Roaring Ranger” oilfield discovery, which allowed the Allies to “float to victory on a wave of oil” in World War I.


This Week in Petroleum History Monthly Update


Links to summaries from five weeks of U.S. oil and natural gas history, including new technologies, oilfield discoveries, petroleum products, and pioneers. 


October 19, 1990 – First Emergency Use of Strategic Petroleum Reserve


As world oil prices spiked after the August 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi troops, the first presidentially mandated emergency use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was authorized by President George H. W. Bush, who ordered the sale of five million barrels of SPR oil as a test…MORE 


October 13, 1954 – First Arizona Oil Well


Arizona became the 30th petroleum producing state when Shell Oil Company completed its East Boundary Butte No. 2 well one mile south of the Utah border on Apache County’s Navajo Indian Reservation. The well indicated natural gas production of 3,150 thousand cubic feet per day…MORE 

October 5, 1915 – Science of Petroleum Geology reveals Oilfield


Using a careful study of geology for finding oil led to the discovery of a major Mid-Continent field. Drilled by Wichita Natural Gas Company, a subsidiary of Cities Service Company, the well revealed the 34-square-mile El Dorado oilfield in central Kansas…MORE 


September 28, 1945 – Truman claims America’s Outer Continental Shelf


President Harry Truman extended U.S. jurisdiction over the natural resources of the outer continental shelf, placing them under the control of the Secretary of the Interior. In August 1953, Truman’s edict would become the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act…MORE 


September 21, 1901 – First Louisiana Oil Well


Just nine months after the January 1901 “Lucas Gusher” at Spindletop, Texas, another historic oilfield was revealed 90 miles east in Louisiana. W. Scott Heywood – already successful thanks to wells drilled on Spindletop Hill – completed a well that produced 7,000 barrels of oil a day…MORE 


Featured Image

Daisy Bradford Well 1930 AOGHS

In East Texas, with a crowd of more than 4,000 landowners, leaseholders and others watching, the Daisy Bradford No. 3 well was “shot” with nitroglycerin near Kilgore, Texas, on October 3, 1930. Geologists later would be stunned when it became apparent the well on the widow Bradford’s farm – along with two other wells far to the north – proved to be part of the same oil-producing formation (the Woodbine) encompassing more than 140,000 acres. See East Texas Oilfield Discovery.


Energy Education Articles


Updated editorial content on the American Oil & Gas Historical Society website includes these articles:


Powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen peroxide 50 years ago on October 23, 1970, the Blue Flame set a new world land speed record of 630.388 miles per hour. Sponsored by the American Gas Association, the 38-foot-long, 4,950-pound rocket car set the record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, as the industry proclaimed natural gas “the fuel of the future.” The Blue Flame land speed record would remain unbroken more than a decade. See Blue Flame Natural Gas Rocket Car.


On October 17, 1917, “Roaring Ranger,” a wildcat well between Abilene and Dallas, launched a Texas drilling boom that helped fuel the Allied victory of World War I. The J. H. McCleskey No. 1 well erupted oil about two miles south of the small town of Ranger, which had been founded in the 1870s near a Texas Ranger camp in Eastland County. See Roaring Ranger wins WWI.


Thanks to a growing number of subscribers, the American Oil & Gas Historical Society continues to expand its public outreach during these difficult times. The AOGHS website is building a network linking energy educators, researchers, community museums, historians, news media, and especially students. You can help by forwarding this newsletter to your friends. And if you have a company website, please consider adding a link to the AOGHS home page. Thank you again for subscribing.

— Bruce Wells


“Any survey of the natural resources used as sources of energy must include a discussion about the importance of oil, the lifeblood of all industrialized nations.” — Daniel Yergin, bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize


The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Become an AOGHS supporting member and help maintain this energy education website and expand historical research. For more information, contact © 2020 Bruce A. Wells. All rights reserved.

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