This article first appeared on Transport TopicsDETROIT — The United Auto Workers union has reached a tentative contract agreement with Ford after three days of intense bargaining.
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April 10th, 1866 – The Densmores Usher in Change James and Amos Densmore, inventors from Meadville, Pennsylvania were approved for a patent on their petroleum transporting system that lead to the Pennsylvania oil boom a year earlier. The Densmore Brothers and America’s First Successful Railway Oil Tank Car, 1865 The cars shown in the patent had a simple yet reliable design for attaching two reinforced containers together on a standard railroad car. Despite the fact that the oil-tank cars were an improvement, they were quickly replaced the more practical designs used today. The first tank car. Replica of a Densmore-type tank car. Amos Densmore left the oil transportation business but had a new big idea in 1975. He had come up with a different way to arrange a typewriters’ keys. He did this so that letters that were often used would no longer collide. This arrangement, known as the “Q-W-E-R-T-Y” arrangement was a significant improvement. Densmore founded the Densmore Typewriter Co. following his success in the oil industry. April 13th, 1974 – Bertha Rogers No. 1 Sets a Record Bertha Rogers No. 1 set a record for well depth in 1974. After a total of 504 days and seven million dollars were put into the well, it ended at 31,441 feet because of liquid sulfur. This well was in the center of the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma. The Bertha Rogers No. 1 held the record for deepest well in America for 30 years, before being overtaken in 2004. Lone Star Producing Company and GHK Company owned by Robert Hefner III thought that natural gas reserves would be found in the depths of the basin. It extended all the way from the Texas Panhandle to West-Central Oklahoma. The attempt to reach the reserves began in 1967, two years later, they discovered the reserve at 24,473 feet. Despite the natural gas discovery, a historian named Robert Dorman noted that gas sales could not make up for the high cost of drilling to this depth. This was because of price control by the government. It would cost over $6 million for the drilling, while the cost for a traditional well was a fraction of that. In November 1972, drilling began on The Bertha Rogers No. 1. On average, progress of 60 feet was made each day. The temperature and bottom hole pressure had climbed to 475 degrees and close two 25,000 pounds per square inch respectively. Bottom hole cuttings took about eight hours to meet the surface, a staggering six miles above. Bertha Rogers was finished as a gas discovery at 13,000 feet, despite the fact that there was no gas at its deepest point. The casing required (just over 1 million pounds) was the heaviest to be handled by any rig at the time. Work done on Bertha Rogers Well was credited with leading the way for technologies for deeper drilling and the gas plays in the 1990s. Bertha Rogers Crude Oil Lucite Paperweight. The natural gas well drilled almost six miles deep in the Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma. April 14th, 1865 – President Lincoln’s Assasination Has Ties to Oil Industry John Wilkes Booth assassinated the President Abraham Lincoln on April 14th, 1865–and this infamous day actually had ties to the oil and gas industry. He did this after being unable to make a fortune in the oilfields of Pennsylvania. Booth and few of his friends had formed the Dramatic Oil Company after Booth abandoned a career in acting for an attempt to take advantage of an oil boom in Venango County. Booth made several trips to Franklin, Pennsylvania in January 1864 when he decided to lease a farm on the Allegheny River. The Dramatic Oil Company did see oil production in their well, around 25 barrels per day, but Booth wanted to increase production. He decided to shoot the well in an attempt to accomplish this. He left the oil region in July 1864 once the well was destroyed. Months later he would go on to complete one of the most tragic assassinations in history. John Wilkes Booth’s fantasy of Pennsylvania oil wealth abruptly ended in July 1864. April 15th, 1897 – Oklahoma Emerges as Leader in Oil Production On April 15th, 1897, dozens of people gathered around a well, Nellie Johnstone No. 1 near the Indian territory of Bartlesville in an area that would later become the state of Oklahoma. A “go devil” was dropped into the well bore by one of George Keeler’s stepdaughters and was set off a placed nitroglycerin canister. That produced a gusher that jump-started the oil industry in Oklahoma. This event also lead to another big discovery in the Bartlesville-Dewey Field. It was Nellie Johnstone No.1. When Oklahoma reached statehood in 1907, it subsequently became the world leader in oil production. Drilling started in the area started and Bartlesville would soon become incorporated with a population of 200 people that same month. Four months after that, the Nellie Johnstone No.1 Well showed signs that it would produce oil when drilling reached 1,320 feet. This well was named for the daughter of partner William Johnstone. The Bartlesville area saw a lot of growth through the decade after the discovery. The population climbed to more than 4,000 people. The annual oil production for Oklahoma peaked at over 43 million barrels. Now, an education center and an 84 foot replica wooden derrick stand to keep the story alive. The land for this area was donated by the namesake of the well, Nellie Johnstone Cannon. It is known as Discovery 1 Park. Nellie Johnstone No. 1 – Oklahoma’s first commercial well completed in 1897. April 16th, 1855 – Rock Oil Shines With Yale Professor’s Discovery A chemistry professor from Yale University, named Benjamin Silliman Jr., broke new ground with his discovery of “rock oil.” This substances could be turned into an illuminating oil once distilled. His report had a great impact, so great it convinced investors from New...
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April 4th, 1951 – Williston Basin Revealed In North Dakota, Amerada Petroleum struck oil and discovered the infamous Williston Basin when they dug down two miles below the Clarence Iverson farm. The company had struggled for several weeks, efforting to drill through major snowstorms, when they finally made their discovery in early April. This basin actually extended much further than expected. It sprawls into areas of South Dakota, Montana and even into Canada. Oil companies quickly made their way to these regions and in just two months, over 30 million acres of the basin were leased. In March of 1951, this well had peaked at a 10,500-foot depth before a major snowstorm halted progress. Drilling began again on April 4th. When the operation did begin again, this well was then perforated at 11,630 and 11,640 feet. Historian James Key notes that this was the biggest discovery of a geologic basin in decades. The result was an entirely new industry for North Dakota. According to a 2008 geological survey done in the U.S., it was estimated that the untapped oil and gas in the Williston Basin area may be nearly four million barrels and close to two trillion cubic feet, respectively. A 2013 estimate by the USGS claims that real figures could be double the previously guessed amounts. April 5, 1976 – Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act On April 5th, the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 was signed in by President Gerald Ford. This act made it possible for companies to start commercial efforts on the three Naval Petroleum Reserves in the nation. Years later in 1992, the Naval Petroleum Reserve in California produced its billionth oil barrel. This Elk Hills area reserve was under control of the Department of Energy until 1998, when it was privatized. The reserve created billions of dollars in profit, more than 17 billion for the United States Treasury. April 7th, 1902 – The Texas Company Rises Despite many companies being founded during the Spindletop boom, The Texas Company rose above and was one of the most successful in the petroleum industry at the time. Arnold Schlaet and Joseph “Buckskin Joe” Cullinan started the company on April 7th, 1902 in Beaumont. The goal was to refine and transport oil in the area. They also built a facility in Port Arthur for refining kerosene. Another well, named Fee No. 3 was discovered in January of 1903 in the Sour Lake Springs area. This was a huge factor in the company’s success, as it produced 5,000 barrels of oil each day. The name “Texaco” could be seen on all of the companies products. This was taken from the telegraph address of the New York office. Soon after, in 1909, The Texas Company registered a red star featuring a green “T” as their first trademark. The Texas Company grew to be nationally recognizable in 1928. They spanned across 48 states with upwards of 4,000 gas stations. In 1959, the company officially dropped ‘The Texas Company” for the name “Texaco Inc.” April 7th, 1966 – Offshore Technology Accelerated by Cold War Mistake Robotic technology that was being used by the petroleum industry was first put to work retrieving a lost atomic bomb, before it went on to completely revolutionize the oil and gas industry. An underwater vehicle used attached cables to remove the weapon from the Mediterranean Sea at 2,850 feet. The bomb was originally lost in January after a B-52 crashed offshore near Spain. According to Popular Science Magazine, “It was located and fished up by the most fabulous array of underwater machines ever assembled,” The petroleum industry continued to push forward and adopted deep-sea technology developed by the Navy at the time of the Cold War. April 9th, 1914 – Launch of Ohio Cities On April 9th, 1914, Fletcher Health and Beman Dawes founded the Ohio Cities Gas Company in Columbus, Ohio. In 1917, the company bought out a Pennsylvania oil company named “Pure Oil Company” and subsequently changed their name to Pure Oil. The original Pure Oil Company had been formed in Pittsburgh in 1895. It was founded to challenge the dominance that Standard Oil Company had over the market at that time. It was only the second united oil company other than Standard. This company had its headquarters in a skyscraper in Chicago that was finished in 1926. At the time, it held a title as one of the 100 biggest industrial corporations in America. Later, in 1965 it was acquired by Union Oil Company of California, now known as a part of Chevron.
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March 20th, 1919 – American Petroleum Institute Established The American Petroleum Institute (API) was established in New York City in 1921 in an effort to fuel World War I. The API created a scale to measure liquid petroleum density against water in 1921, an innovation that is now referred to as API gravity March 20th, 1973 – Pithole, Penn listed in Historic Registry Pithole, Pennsylvania earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places as a former oil boom town. A Pithole Creek oilfield discovery lead to a boom in the budding oil industry in the United States. The resulting oil production was the first step to the nation’s first pipeline. Known for its impressive production numbers, a single oil boom in this town lasted 500 days. March 23th, 1858 – Official Birth of Seneca Oil Company Former railroad conductor Edwin Drake and investors from New Haven, Connecticut founded the Seneca Oil Company on March 23rd, 1858–a company that would go on to forever change the oil and gas industry. These businessmen had bought leases of Pennsylvania’s Oil Rock Company, the first U.S. oil company in history, with the help of George Bissell. Bissell was excluded from the deal, despite the fact he had studied oil steeps south of the area. “The New Haven men then put the final piece of their plan into place with the formation of a new company,” according to the book William Brice in Myth Legend Reality: Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry. The first American oil well was created in 1959 by Seneca and Drake. This was in part due to information on oil seeps, uncovered by George Bissell. Although they didn’t close the deal on Seneca Oil together, both Bissell and Drake would later be credited as the fathers of the petroleum industry in America. March 24th, 1989 – Supertanker Exxon Valdez Strikes Ground When the Exxon Valdez tanker struck ground at Bligh Reef in 1989, the accident would lead to one of the largest oil spills to date. The incident took place in Prince William Sound, Alaska came after years of similar passages without issue. Out of eleven oil tanks, eight sustained damage. About 260,000 oil barrels spilled onto land and sea impacting hundreds of miles along the coast. The accident is still hailed as one of the most damaging spills in history. The cause was an error in navigation by the crew. It is suspected that the accident occurred because of exhaustion or the crew being overworked. The Exxon Valdez tanker was sold in 2012. March 26th, 2012 — East Texas Oil Museum Unveils Buddy The Electric Lineman A full size animatronic version of Buddy, the electric lineman, was placed in the East Texas Oil Museum in a ceremony on March 26th, 2012. This lifelike animatronic met visitors as they entered the oilfield discovery exhibit. This addition to the museum was very popular with guests from America and abroad. Buddy was described by one visitor as a Tommy Lee Jones look-alike with the fashion sense of Indiana Jones. March 26th, 2012 — East Texas Oil Museum Unveils Buddy The Electric Lineman A full size animatronic version of Buddy, the electric lineman, was placed in the East Texas Oil Museum in a ceremony on March 26th, 2012. This lifelike animatronic met visitors as they entered the oilfield discovery exhibit. This addition to the museum was very popular with guests from America and abroad. Buddy was described by one visitor as a Tommy Lee Jones look-alike with the fashion sense of Indiana Jones. March 26th, 1930 – The Mary Sudik Well Erupts A famous oil well in Oklahoma hit a high-pressure structure under Oklahoma City and caused an oil eruption in March of 1930. The Mary Sudik Well flowed untamed for 11 total days. The well became known as “Wild Mary Sudik” after producing 200 million cubic feet of gas and 20,000 barrels of oil each day. The large oilfield discovery in Oklahoma City caused a lot of buzz. It was highlighted in newsreels on the radio as the dangerous increase in pressure in the well was overlooked before the eruption occurred. While there is still some debate on the official cause, one historian credits this disaster to the crew neglecting to fill the hole with mud.
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President Trump’s April 2019 executive order on the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail tank cars, which mandated a federal rule by 2020, has pushed forward a rule-making proposal
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December 9, 1921 — Lead Gas Introduced To Reduce Knocking (found here: http://my-moral-compass.com/leadedgasoline/#resources) Gas with a tetraethyl lead additive, or ethyl as it was advertised, promised to reduce the amount of ‘knock,’ which was a problem with early automobiles. Imagine worrying about your engine getting damaged every time you turned the key. That used to be the case with early automobiles. That is until 1921, when scientists working for General Motors discovered that adding tetraethyl lead to gasoline helps prevent this damage, also known as knocking. Early automobiles frequently suffered from problems with mis-timed combustion in their cylinders. This would result in a jolt that reduced efficiency and power so much that it could damage the engine. Scientist Thomas Midgely Jr., working under Charles Kettering, tried several different chemical additives before finding a compound of lead that eliminated the knocking effect. This additive allowed the gas to compress further, preventing the early combustion. Leaded gas was used for decades, but it was phased out in the late 70s. Lead poisoning had been shown to have a range of negative consequences, including physical, developmental, and cognitive defects. Since the ban, environmental lead levels have dropped greatly. Today, it is only used in a few places around the world. December 10, 1844 – Future Big Spending Oil Heir Adopted (found here: http://www.coaloiljohnny.com/gallery/) After years spending through his inheritance, John Washington Steele became a recluse and worked as a railroad station agent. When the McClintocks, a couple of Pennsylvania farmers, decided to adopt a baby boy in 1844, they had no idea that the former orphan would go on to be one of the most prolific spenders ever associated with the oil business. The McClintocks owned the plot of land where Edwin Drake would discover oil in 1858–kicking off the first oil boom in the US. The McClintocks leased their land to drillers, making a fortune off their royalties. When the McClintocks passed away their adopted son, John Washington Steele, inherited their fortune. Nicknamed ‘Coal Oil Johnny,’ he became known as one of the biggest spenders of his era. In a few years he had spent his way through his inherited fortune and fell into bankruptcy. He spent the majority of his later life trying to avoid the public eye. December 10, 1955 – Dysart Uranium Well Appears In Life Magazine (found here: http://projects.wsj.com/waste-lands/site/20-ambrosia-lake-mill-site/) The Ambrosia Lake site produced over 100 acres of radioactive tailings in its nearly three decades of operation. On December 10th, 1955, Life magazine did a feature on Stella Dysart and her uranium mine, which was one of the first features of its kind for a single wealthy woman. Mrs. Dysart made a fortune off the discovery after years of failed oil drilling. Dysart spent decades drilling in McKinley County, New Mexico without striking oil. In 1955, a sample from one of the dry wells was tested and found to contain radioactive uranium. Dysart had discovered one of the richest uranium deposits of an unusually high-grade ore. While she had been tens of thousands of dollars in debt just a few years earlier, when Dysart appeared in Life, she was wearing mink and standing in front of the uranium mine that made her rich. December 10, 1967 — Nuclear Bomb Used for Fracking (found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gasbuggy) After the explosion a rubble filled chimney was left behind. Fracking has long been a popular procedure in the oil industry, designed to fracture the seams underground, allowing petroleum to flow more freely. However, in 1967, Project Gasbuggy attempted to take a new approach to fracking that utilized a nuclear device. While fracking had been used for nearly 40 years, previous methods had used high pressure fluids or explosives like dynamite. The project was part of an effort to find peaceful uses for nuclear devices. A hole was drilled to a depth of 4,000 ft near a few low producing wells. A 29 kiloton bomb was lowered into the hole and exploded. A huge cavern underground was created and immediately collapsed. Though the project did produce nearly 300 million ft2 of natural gas, it was radioactive and couldn’t be used. Geologists and nuclear experts from the government and a private company were part of the project. The effort to use nuclear explosives for fracking would be abandoned after the experiment. December 11, 1950 — Federal Government Claims Jurisdiction Over Offshore Drilling (found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offshore_oil_and_gas_in_the_United_States) The Outer Continental Shelf leasing program makes certain areas available for petroleum leases. A 1947, the US Supreme Court decided to extend the area available for off-shore drilling from three nautical miles to 200 nautical miles. That decision gave the Federal government control over offshore drilling and the revenue from petroleum leases. In 1954, the first leases earned the US government over $100 million.
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November 14, 1947 – First True Offshore Well Is Drilled (found here: http://geol4331project.weebly.com/background.html) The drilling platform called Kermac 16 would go on to produce oil for nearly forty years after it was first drilled. This offshore drilling platform, known as the Kermac 16, was the first of its kind, located 10 miles from shore, out of sight of land, in the Gulf of Mexico. Built by Brown And Root Company, it rested on pilings sunk over 100 ft into the sea floor and stood in 20 ft of water. It was built to stand up to gale force winds and would be put to the test barely a week after it had begun operation, withstanding a Category 5 hurricane. Daniel Kerr of Kerr-McGee was behind the construction, with financial backing from Stanolind and Phillips Petroleum. At the time this was a unique drilling platform and required specialized equipment for drilling offshore. Kerr also purchased a number of surplus military vessels and other supplies to provide crew quarters and equipment for the rig. It would cost nearly nearly half a million dollars to complete the experimental drill rig, but the investment would turn out to be well worth it. The rig was able to produce nearly 1,000 barrels a day. Before it was decommissioned in 1984, the rig produce nearly 1.5 million barrels in total. November 14, 1947 – Pipelines Built During WWII Sold To Private Company (found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Inch) The Big and Little Inch Pipelines were built during World War II as an emergency measure to bring oil from Texas to the East Coast. The Big and Little Inch pipelines were built during World War II to protect oil produced in Texas as they were transported by tankers vulnerable to German submarines. After the end of the war, this pipeline was put up for sale to a private company. The private company that would take advantage of this offer was the Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation. It had been formed less than a year earlier with the specific purpose of buying the pipelines and would go on to pay over $140 million dollars for the two pipelines. As part of the terms of the sale, both pipelines were converted to transporting natural gas. Ten years later, the smaller Little Big Inch would revert to transporting oil. November 15, 1906 – The Federal Government Breaks Up The Standard Oil Monopoly (found here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/john-d-rockefeller-richest-person-ever-live-period-180961705/) This political cartoon shows Standard Oil as a giant octopus with its tentacles encircling major industries and political institutions across the United States. Pushed by popular demand, Charles Bonaparte, the U.S. Attorney General, decided to break up the monopolistic Standard Oil. The company had actually been ordered to dismember a decade earlier, but a re-organization had allowed it to continue operating. The lower court would grant the Justice Department’s motion, but the case would go all the way to the Supreme Court before the company would be separated into 34 different companies in 1911. November 15, 1952 — One Millionth Barrel of Oil is taken from the Williston Basin (found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williston_Basin) This map shows the Williston Basin, which stretches across North and South Dakota, Montana, and southern Saskatchewan. Oil in the northern US was first discovered in Montana thirty years earlier, but did not produce large amounts until further, richer oilfields were located in the 50s. Oil in the northern US was first discovered in Montana in the 1920s; however, it did not produce significant amounts of oil; that is until new oilfields in the area were discovered in 1952. Amerada Petroleum led the search, starting in 1946 but did not succeed with his efforts until 1951 when major fields were located in North Dakota. The largest were located in Mountrail, Williams, and McKenzie counties and were drawing from the WIlliston Basin formation. After these larger fields were located, they were producing around 350,000 barrels per month. A year later, in 1952, the fields produced its millionth barrel of oil. November 17, 1949 — US Geological Survey Attempts To Locate Oil Reserves (found here: www.usgs.gov) The United States Geological Service is a government service which studies the landscape and natural resources of the country. In 1949, the United States Geological Survey began a project that would investigate 22 states, as well as the then Alaska Territory, to locate prime locations for petroleum exploration. The effort involved 70 geologists and used some of the most advanced technology of its time. The USGS would continue to explore and locate oil reserves, as well as other natural resources. November 19, 1927 — Iconic Phillips 66 is Unveiled (found here: www.usgs.gov) The United States Geological Service is a government service which studies the landscape and natural resources of the country. While Phillips Petroleum was founded in 1917 to discover and develop new oil fields, they didn’t begin operating refineries and retail gas stations until 1927. The company offered its own brand of gas, called Phillips 66, at its first station. The name was chosen after a vehicle fueled with the new gas, and carrying a collection of company executives, got up to the, then quite high, speed of 66 mph on the historic Route 66. The highway would soon play host to many Phillips stations, and the company would add 50 stations every month for several years. By 1930, there were nearly 7,000 Phillips 66 stations across the country. The gas had a mix of gasoline and naphtha at a higher gravity than had previously been used. This mixture made it easier for cars to start when the engine was cold, causing the gas to specifically be advertised for winter. However, that marketing strategy was dropped in favor of promoting it year-round. November 20, 1930 — Conrad Hilton Adds A New Hotel To His Oil Fueled Business (found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaza_Hotel_(El_Paso,_Texas)) The Hilton Hotel was originally the site of the Sheldon Hotel, which was...
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Posted: 30 October 2019 at 21:50 Expires: 27 November 2019 at 21:50
Posted In: Engineering > Electrical
We are seeking to recruit on behalf of their client an ELECTRICAL ENGINEER (NGL) working in our client’s Gas Processing Department supervising, coordinating and participating in the activities of personnel in the routine electrical maintenance, overhaul, shutdown and breakdown repair ...
September 25th, 1922 – First Commercial Oil Well Drilled in New Mexico The Navajo Indian Reservation was the site of the first ever commercial well in New Mexico. The Midwest Refining Company finished the well and ultimately launched the oil industry in the state. Close to Shiprock, the Hogback No. 1 produced 375 BOPD. After that discovery, Midwest Refining finished 11 other oil wells in the Hogback Oilfield, which would establish the area as a major producer in the San Juan Basin. A pipeline was built two years later so that the oil could be refined in a facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. All this production led to more exploration. As a result, discoveries made in 1928 brought an economic boom to the town of Hobbs and the rest of Lea County. September 26th, 1876 – California Oil Charles Menty’s company, the California Star Oil Works had drilled three promising wells by 1876, however, their first gusher wasn’t discovered until September 26th of that year. It was named the Pico No. 4 and it was also the first commercial oil well in California. The well was drilled with a steam-powered, cable tool rig on land that was known for oil seeps. This discovery would later reveal this Pico Canyon oilfield near Los Angeles. That Star Oil Works discovery led to California’s first oil refinery and pipeline being constructed. The well produced 25 BOPD at 370 feet. The refinery and pipeline were built so that axle grease, kerosene and other types of lubricants could be made. Stills on the foundations had the capacity to refine 150 BOPD. The Standard Oil Company of California is now known as Chevron. Today, the establishment of the company is attributed to California Star Oil Works and the oil discovery in Pico Canyon. September 26th, 1933 – Record Set by King Ranch Lease Though W.S. Parrish, the president of Humble Oil and Refining Company, had reservations about leasing King Ranch, he eventually decided to put it up for rent. It was Wallace Pratt, a well-known geologist, that pushed for the company to lease the large, million-acre property in Texas. It was leased for close to $130,000 per year and a small royalty on any discovered oil. The deal had the biggest negotiated contract in the United States. Early “dusters” on King Ranch were drilled by the Humble Oil and Refining of Houston, which was established several years earlier in 1917. Other leases nearby granted Humble Oil and Refining millions of acres of mineral rights. These rights spanned between the Rio Grande River and Corpus Christi. In 1947, Humble was running almost 400 productive wells on the lease from King Ranch. The company ExxonMobil has continued to extend the Humble natural gas and oil agreement since it went into effect in 1933. September 26th, 1943 – First Oil Well Discovered in Florida The Humble Oil Company finished Florida’s first commercial oil well in 1943. This well, known as the Sunnilan No. 1, was located along a railway near the Atlantic Coastline. Humble Oil spent $1 million dollars and drilled to almost 12,000 feet to finish the well, which was located just 12 miles from Immokalee, near Naples and Big Cypress Reserve. The petroleum in Florida had been eluding wildcatters since the turn of the century. By 1939, close to 80 wells were drilled. In a desperate attempt to gain tax revenue from oil production, Florida state legislators offered 50,000 dollars for the first productive discovery. Shortly after, the Sunniland oilfield was uncovered, and drilling looked more promising. By 1954, this field was producing half a million oil barrels each year from eleven wells. Humble Oil claimed the $50,000 prize that the Florida legislature offered and contributed an additional $10,000 to it. The prize was then split and donated to Florida State College for Women and the University of Florida. Humble is now known as ExxonMobil. September 27th, 1915 – Oklahoma’s Deadly Gas Explosion A train car holding casinghead gas blew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma on September 27th, 1915, injury many and killed 43 people. The train car arrived the previous day and was preparing to go to a refinery close by. Casinghead gasoline (or natural gas) was critical to Oklahoma’s petroleum development. The state had 40 processing plants operating at the time. The explosion, that took place at 2:20 PM, and occurred as a result of rising temperatures. The heat triggered a valve which started releasing gas pressure. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Ardmore Refining Company sent an employee to take the dome off the top of the car, which unfortunately filled the area with vapors and gas. The explosion was set off by an unknown source and the explosion all but demolished the Ardmore. The Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway was held responsible and they paid just over $1 million resolving claims related to the incident. The society reported that as a result, companies changed their methods for extracting and transporting natural gas. September 30th, 2006 – Roughnecks Tribute The statue “Tribute to the Roughnecks” was placed near the Alamitos No. 1 Well, situated just 20 miles from Los Angeles. This well uncovered the Long Beach oilfield in 1921. The Long Beach oilfield has produced over 1 million barrels of oil since it was discovered. A plaque notes that the monument is a tribute to petroleum pioneers and their success in the Signal Hill Oil Boom. October 1st, 1908 – Ford’s Assembly Line Breakthrough With the Model T In Ford’s Detroit plant, the Model T came off the assembly line for the first time, marking one of the biggest breakthroughs for the auto giant. Ford had built around 15 million Model T cars from 1908 to 1927. The Model T Cars got their power from cheap gas. This was good for the oil industry because there was less demand for kerosene as electric lighting became popular. More...
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