Last week, Houston-based SURGE (an accelerator that provides access to capital, customers, and mentors to E&P software and other energy-related companies) extended invitations to 11 of the world’s most promising Energy Startups….

More than 500 companies vied for a seat at the SURGE table and the opportunity to break bread with an elite group of SURGE alumni…

From this year’s applicant pool, SURGE accepted less than 2% of the total applicants. And, with members of the class hailing from such places as Chicago, New York, and San Francisco — Oklahoma City’s GreaseBook is damned proud to round out the mix.

e&p software accelerator

That’s right, SURGE thinks GreaseBook is onto something hot, and has extended a formal invite for GreaseBook to join the ranks of this increasingly elite group of energy & oil software startups!

What does this mean for GreaseBook?

In addition to seed funding, GreaseBook will be given access to 100+ mentors representing the world’s leading experts, policymakers, scientists, decision makers, and influencers in the energy arena…

Surge is only in its third year, and its previous two classes have already gone on to raise $25 million in funding while creating more than 150 jobs…

Some of the industry’s most well-known players (Halliburton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Shell, ABB, Schlumberger, RigNet) are plugged into the SURGE community. Essentially, by joining SURGE, GreaseBook will be granted access to the industry that simply can’t be found anywhere else…

What does this mean for you, the E&P Software User?

While SURGE offers access to leading experts on design and infrastructure of GreaseBook’s operations, when it comes to influencing the direction & functionality of the app, our best asset is YOU — the independent operator.

Not only can our clients going to get a better app, they can also expect an even more dynamic group of folks to service and stand behind it…

We have a whole slew of app enhancements that we’ll be rolling out to our users in the coming months. And guess what? They were all ideas submitted by the GreaseBook community… engineers, owners, admin, supervisors, and pumpers like YOU.

Thanks to the SURGE Accelerator, GreaseBook is ‘pumped’.

Thanks to mobile technology, independent operators are able to scale every last man hour — and squeeze every last drop of oil — from their operations.

Pump more oil. Waste less time. Make more money.
~GreaseBook

E&P Software

**In November, Surge moved into its own building, a 58,000-square-foot space that also serves as a co-working space for technology entrepreneurs and other E&P Software upstarts.

 

Just recently, The OGM (Global Oil & Gas Industry News) featured GreaseBook’s founder & CEO (Greg Archbald) as one of its Up & Coming “Industry Disruptors”!!

From exploring Greg’s definition of “success” to disclosing his role model (W. Axl Rose, notorious front man of 80s rock band Guns ‘N Roses), the article gives the reader some interesting (and fun!) insight into Greg’s life and how he got to where he is today.

We’re proud of everything Greg has accomplished, and even more grateful to The OGM for recognizing his hard work — check out the full article by clicking here:

http://theogm.com/upandcoming/gregarchbald/

 

Oil Production Software meets smartphones and tablets…

There’s a big problem in oil & gas: getting the production information from the oilfield back to headquarters.

And, while the mega operators have always had the capacity to collect production information via sensors and telemetry — to the independent oil company, the ‘digital oilfield’ has always been something that lay just out of reach.

Why was this so?

Two reasons:

  • Most operators are spread too thin. Not only are field data collection systems expensive, but they also require a high level to design and deploy.
  • A large majority of the independent operator’s production portfolio consists of marginally producing wells (better known in the industry as ‘stripper wells’). Simply stated: retrofitting these wells with sensors the cost doesn’t justify the means.

However, now the independent operator has options. . . check out the video below (ie sit back and relax while the Big Boys seethe with envy!! 😉 )

**Update: 1/15/2015: We get a lot of people inquiring about this video. Since time of filming, GreaseBook has accomplished nearly everything we set out do in our pitch…

  1. CTO onboarded? Yes, and man this guy is gooooood…

  2. Customer Success Manager and help desk Staff online? Check!

  3. A GreaseBook in every pumper’s truck in America?  At 14,000,000bbls of oil flowed through the app (and counting!), we’re closer than you might think 😉

During SURGE Day at the House of Blues in downtown Houston, GreaseBook pitches its new oil production software platform to a group of more than 500 investors, thought leaders, and potential clients in the energy industry…

Attended by heavy hitters like ShellStatOilConocoPhilips, and Schlumberger, GreaseBook explains how what once was only available to the largest of operators can now be replicated by the independent oilman, with better results, in less than 20 minutes…

Through the expansion of the app’s features like the ability to track and monitor well testing, allocations, and downtime app has enabled GreaseBook to compete with the best (read: most expensive) oil and gas production allocation software on the market

Being an independent operator has never been so good!! 🙂

The other day, the Oil & Gas Awards rolled into Oklahoma City to celebrate and recognize all sorts of advances made in the industry over the past 12 months… Among the likes of Halliburton, Continental Resources, and Chesapeake, the Oil & Gas Awards committee named the GreaseBook App (essentially, E&P Tanks Software which assists pumpers in monitoring their oil & gas production) as one of their finalists…

For which award you ask?

The Future Industry Leader Award!

GreaseBook was honored to take part in the ceremony, but was more satisfied knowing that a large number of small to mid-sized operators are recognizing that consumer electronics (ie iPads and iPhones) and cost-effective apps (like GreaseBook!) are enabling them to work smarter, not harder.

The Oil & Gas Awards Committee recognized GreaseBook for “having attained and demonstrated an impressive depth of technical knowledge in its field, and showing an innovative approach to its work.”

For us, that’s code for:

Eliminating those greasy Run Tickets

Empowering your pumpers (thus increasing your oil production…)

Thwarting greedy oil purchasers

**Side note: don’t be shy — click one of the links above!**

Thanks to the Oil & Gas Awards Committee, GreaseBook is humbled.

Thanks to mobile technology, independent operators are able to scale every last man hour — and squeeze every last drop of oil — from their operations.

Pump more oil. Waste less time. Make more money.

~GreaseBook

GreaseBook, an iPad app explicitly for oil well monitoring, was recently featured in Hart’s E&P Magazine… check out the article below!

Smart technology provides relief for reporting headaches.

Over the last five years, there has been a major paradigm shift in the source of innovation.

Although the supermajors of the oil and gas industry still contend for the top spot in industry innovation (as demonstrated by their success in exploiting ever deeper, more remote basins), some of the larger E&Ps are resisting the call to mobilize their working environment. These companies are saying no to connectivity, restricting the use of smartphones and tablets, and overlooking the applications and convenience their employees have come to enjoy and even depend on in everyday life.

oil well monitoring

Why is this so? Old habits die hard. Large companies look at mobile and pervasive computing from the IT mindset – control and compartmentalize – ahead of the benefits the organization will gain by enabling its teams through the mobile medium. However, with the employee time savings and relative affordability that the mobile medium has to offer E&P companies, smaller operators are taking note. Many of the small- to medium-sized independents have started to look to consumer electronics and cost-effective apps to work smarter, not necessarily harder. Thanks to mobile technology, independent operators are able to scale every last man hour – and squeeze every last drop of oil – from their operations.

David vs. Goliath

The GreaseBook app allows operators to use consumer technology to streamline their wellsite reporting. (Image courtesy of GreaseBook)

Monitor your oil well with an app

For years, the standard protocol of large production companies has been to monitor and execute all deepwater drilling activities via sophisticated satellite networks. Most wells over a certain capex are fitted with real-time optimization tools and sensors. However, for many smaller industry players, the digital oil field has always been a mirage that lay just out of reach.

Most operations managers and field engineers feel they are already spread too thin. Many field data collection systems require a high level of expertise to design, deploy, and operate. These systems also require general IT, control theory, and petroleum engineering skill sets to properly manage. While continually updating risk assessments, quantifying uncertainties, and integrating data across autocratic domain knowledge silos might all be part of an average day at one of the majors, for the smaller players, the cost and energy required does not justify the means.

While large independents and supermajors have entrenched themselves in advanced analytics software, data repositories, and massive IT departments to oversee it all, smartphones and tablet computers have been piggybacking their way into smaller companies. How? In the pockets and purses of the employees who work there.

Oil Well Monitoring: The pen and paper live on

It may surprise most people to learn that in a large majority of independent operating companies, the pen and paper method still remains the dominant form of field data collection. However, this is quickly changing. In most operations, field personnel are contracted to oversee and troubleshoot an operator’s leases. These field personnel usually fill out industry-standard paper gauge sheets. All oil, gas, and water production measurements are handwritten, and (if the operator is lucky) pumpers include any special commentary before mailing or faxing these figures to headquarters.

Although technologies like remote operations and SCADA have sought to address productivity and efficiency issues, many independent operators are of the mindset that a marginal well is going to produce what it is going to produce regardless of whether its production is monitored or not. Even in the case of high-flow wells, most operators require that their pumpers visit these sites several times a day, trumping some of the potential benefits a wireless monitoring device may tout.

When it comes to smaller operators, telemetry providers promoting real-time information may have missed the mark. Many operators are not concerned about immediate information. What they truly desire is a way to streamline the redundancy, reporting, and productivity issues that come with field data collection. What is more, they want a way to make sense of it all. And, with many pumpers fast approaching retirement age, operators are now searching for effective ways to transfer the intimate knowledge they have gained about their production properties to the next generation of engineers, managers, and field workers.

Some forward-looking E&P companies are addressing this through consumer electronics. Because of the shared repositories of information on which these mobile devices subsist, intimate knowledge of a company’s oil and gas assets is not stored away deep in a file cabinet or in some “autocratic domain silo” but is easily accessed via the cloud.

Rather than focus on the management and operations of onsite data servers, a majority (if not all) of the smart device software apps are hosted on the cloud. For the smaller operator, this means that employees can focus on what they are best at: overseeing oil and gas production, not managing complicated IT structure. Every piece of historical production information is stored offsite at a cloud storage provider, from which a relief pumper or a newly hired engineer can easily access needed information for review.

Smaller operators also are becoming more cognizant of the free apps on the iPad and iPhone that are the perfect complements to their business. Many of these apps only take a few minutes to set up but have the potential to yield days in productivity increases from operations managers, field engineers, and pumpers every year. For example, pumpers generally have a task list of things they need to do on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to keep their leases running in top form. By forming pumper message groups in Apple’s Reminder app (which comes standard on every iPad and iPhone), oil and gas operators have an effective way to deliver daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists (e.g. drop soap sticks, pump maintenance, chemical schedules, gas chart calibration, etc.).

Engineers who oversee the operations of small producers are employing free file sharing services such as Dropbox to store and deploy important documents like well completion reports and workover information. Once files are uploaded into Dropbox, employees are no longer tethered to their desktop computers. A field engineer can view a well history file from his tablet or smartphone in the field and share this same file with his team of field personnel.

Pumpers also have been quick to realize that by using the camera function on their smart devices they are able to save an employer thousands of dollars each year. By taking photos or video of problems in the field and posting them to messaging applications, veteran foremen and engineers can visually engage with their production assets. Where once issues could only be resolved through verbal descriptions over the telephone, companies are now able to visually troubleshoot problems from the office, thus avoiding costly onsite service calls.

A new breed of specialized apps has begun to crop up in the oil and gas industry. GreaseBook, an iPad application for operators and their pumpers, has eliminated the need for the traditional paper gauge sheet workflow. The company designed the app to work in oil-producing areas with zero mobile connectivity, and the app touts zero setup time and no contracts. The company has set out to improve the way pumpers record and interact with the vital production information they collect in the field, and the app can potentially eliminate 99% of all in-house, field-related administrative duties.

Operators are happy to outsource many of their core computing and operations processes to third-party companies because of the convenience and amount of time that is saved. What is more, company employees actually want to use these smart devices, which means management does not have to endure the typical push-back of new initiatives.

The platforms on which these smartphones and tablets run are nothing to scoff at. Take Apple, which according to market value surpassed ExxonMobil as the world’s most valuable company in 2011. The apps that run on these smart devices are backed by cloud computing heavy hitters like Microsoft and RackSpace Cloud systems and are connected by mobile communications giants like Verizon and AT&T. Essentially, operators feel more comfortable leaving the responsibilities of their core computing and operations processes to third-party consumer companies, not only because of the convenience and amount of time they save but also because these companies dedicate 100% of their resources to providing and perfecting these services.

Democratization of the oil field

Despite the success operators are having with the implementation of these easy-to-use, cost-effective apps, many of the larger operating companies are resisting the call to mobilize their working environment. The cost of not going mobile comes in many forms. It comes in the form of not attracting the strongest candidates to replace the industry’s aging work force. And it comes in the form of not making the best decisions due to limited information. These petite E&P companies may soon find themselves the envy of their larger, more “sophisticated” brethren. Something happens when people start to use smart technology. Their focus shifts from “how things get done” to “how things need to get done,” and for owners and managers of E&P companies, this is a welcome transformation.

GreaseBook well production data app for operators was recently featured in an article written by the energy editor of The Oklahoman. The article was aptly entitled, “Local software company aims to digitize oilfield”, and addresses GreaseBook’s goal of making  (consumer friendly) technology available to small and mid sized oil and gas producers.

Well production data

Although the concept of the “Digital Oilfield” is nothing new, GreaseBook recognized that the efficiencies gained in the oilfield from going digital have always been a mirage that lay just out of reach for the small E&P. However, with the advent of consumer technology (iPads and iPhones), the larger, “more sophisticated” Super Majors and large independents are eyeing the small(er) producer with increasing envy…

Check out the article here: http://newsok.com/local-software-company-aims-to-digitize-oil-field/article/3872479

Last week, The Energy Makers Show interviewed GreaseBook to find out a little more about the app’s approach to oil and gas data management for lease operators in the oil patch…

In the clip below, Russ Capper (Owner/CEO of The Energy Makers Show) talks with Greg Archbald (Founder of GreaseBook) to understand exactly how the app replaces the paper gauge sheet…


The EnergyMakers Show is a weekly video podcast featuring interviews with energy innovators, thought leaders and public policy makers discussing the challenges of the world’s rapidly increasing thirst for energy.

We were thrilled to be a part of the interview, and even more grateful to the Energy Makers Show for spreading the word about GreaseBook — be sure to pay Russ a visit at www.theenergymakers.com!

Every week is filled with petroleum facts. Some only pertain to the time it happened. Others have affected us for generations. Here are a few which took place between February 27th to March 5th.

 

 

February 28th, 1935 — Nylon is Invented

On February 24th, 1938, the first toothbrush made with Nylon bristles was sold. This wouldn’t have happened if not for the creation of the synthetic polymer approximately three years before. This is all thanks to Wallace Hume Carothers. Originally an accountant, Wallace decided to embark on a career in chemistry. In 1924, while working on his study of polymers, DuPont Laboratories hired him to create a man-made fiber.

After many attempts, Carothers became frustrated. It wasn’t until a colleague recommended using amines, rather than glycols, to produce polyamides that his experiments turned the corner. A year later, Nylon began to be sold commercially. At the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, there was even a large Nylon-stocking foot display to honor the creation, and the massive statue drew a great deal of attention.

A few years later, the fiber was a major equipment component utilized during World War II.

 

 

 

March 1, 1921 — New Cementing Technology from Halliburton

Though many in the 21st century know the name Halliburton from scandals during the George W. Bush presidency, its roots go back nearly a century. In fact, it was the technological leader in extracting oil from under the Earth’s surface in the early 1900s; cementing its oil field wells as early as 1919.

In 1921, the process, invented by Erle P. Halliburton, was officially patented. Before the company bore his name, Haliburton titled it the New Method Oil Well Cementing Company.

This cementing technique helped to decrease the amount of abandoned wells from excess water by isolating the various down-hole zones. This protected the interior of the well from collapse and the exterior from oil leaks.

 

 

 

 

 

March 2, 1922 — A One Million Dollar Oil Lease for the Osage Nation

160 acres. This is how much oil-rich land the Osage Nation decided to auction off to the highest bidder in the late winter of 1922. And their efforts more than paid off. Utilizing the auctioneering powers of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth Walters, The Oklahoma-based tribe was able to collect $1 million dollars for the parcel.

The auction took place in what is now called the Million Dollar Elm. Colonel Walters, who became the official auctioneer for the Osage Nation in 1916, spent several hours underneath the elm in order to win the $1 million bid jointly paid by Skelly Oil and Phillips Petroleum Company. When all the papers were signed, the sale of this land became the first million dollar mineral lease in history. Impressed with Colonel Walter’s ability to maximize their profits, the Osage Nation presented him with a medal to thank him for his contributions.

 

 

 

 

March 2, 1944 — War Emergency Pipeline Sends Petroleum to the East Coast

World War II was a time of loss and sacrifice but also a time of invention out of sheer need. This included a need to be able to deliver needed fuel to the East Coast, something they had been sort of since German U-boats began attacking tankers at the start 1942.

Enter “Little Big Inch.” Requested by Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, as early as 1940, this 12-inch pipeline delivered refined fuel from the Eastern Texas coastal cities of Houston and Beaumont to Linden Station, New Jersey only a few months before D-Day. The pipeline’s big brother, “Big Inch” delivered crude oil through a 20-inch pipeline. Between the opening of these two pipelines and the end of the war, 350 million barrels of crude oil and refined product were delivered to the East Coast.

 

 

 

 

March 3, 1879– Creation of the U.S. Geological Survey

Currently, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), an agency within the Department of the Interior, has over 10,000 employees and a budget of $1 billion. Back when then-President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law to survey the territories of the United States. 

At the time, the USGS was designated to classify public lands, examine geological structures, review mineral resources and determine the products of the national domain of those Western territories. Many of the agency’s discoveries resulted in the discovery of oil and other valuable minerals. Today, the USGS provides a wealth of scientific data on more than just the geology of America. Its current role is to review and try to come up with solutions to natural hazards which threaten lives and natural resources we rely on for our environment.

 

 

Lighting up Kansas with Natural Gas — March 3, 1886

Remember the name Paola. This small Kansas city and current seat of Miami County became something much more important in March of 1886. It turned out to be the very first town in Kansas to be lit up at night by natural gas.

This historic moment was thanks to a natural gas discovery in 1882 when the Kansas Oil and Mining Company was discovered through borings on land seven miles east of town. According to Miami County historical records, the deposit could light a city of one million people. Once the first lamps where light in 1886, the city council asked to purchase 50 more at $8.75 per unit. A year later, the city held a Natural Gas Jubilee to celebrate the continued flow of the natural power supply.

 

 

March 4, 1918 — West Virginia Well Named World’s Deepest

If you look at the current records of the West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey, you’ll see a number of wells of numerous depths. The deepest reached over 20,000 feet. In 1918, an oil well on the Martha Goff Farm in Harrison, West Virginia, was deemed the deepest in the world.

According to the book A Century of Service, which details the history of West Virginia’s oil and gas industry, the well was 7,386 feet deep, which beat one previously dug in Germany. The Martha Goff Well would hold its title until 1919 when a well in Marion County beat the standing record.

 

 

 

 

March 4, 1933 — Oklahoma Governor Declares Martial Law on Oil Field

Back in 1928, the Oklahoma City Oil Field produced most of the state’s crude oil. Because it was discovered within city limits, it posed numerous issues when it came to the amount of production and location of wells. Between 1929 and 1930, Oklahoma City Council halted drilling several times and restricted it to only certain locations in the city. This resulted in numerous violations, and frankly, a great deal of chaos.

Enter Governor William H. “Alfalfa Bill” Murray. On March 4, 1933, Governor Murray declared martial law on the oil field for a period of ten days. This allowed the situation to calm down and gave the state government time to put together set of regulations to allow for drilling without overusing the area.

Every week is filled with petroleum facts. Some only pertain to the time it happened. Others have affected us for generations. Here are a few that took place between February 20th to the 26th.

 

February 20, 1959 — The First Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Tanker Docks in England 

The Methane Pioneer may not seem like a perfect name for an experimental tanker, but for the Comstock Liquid Methane Corporation, there was no better moniker. After a three-week journey from Port Charles, Louisiana, the Pioneer arrived at Canvey Island, England. It became the first LNG tank and was a milestone for international cargo delivery.

The Methane Pioneer wasn’t designed from the bulkhead up. Instead, it was a refurbished cargo freighter from World War II with a storage capacity of 2,000 tons. The project was a joint effort by Comstock and The British Gas Council to determine if natural gas could be exported across many thousands of miles.

The Methane Pioneer remained in service until it was scrapped in 1972.

 

 

February 21, 1887 — A New Refinement Process for Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller wouldn’t be known for his philanthropic achievements today if not for the enormous wealth he accumulated in the 1880s with Standard Oil Company. He also wouldn’t have owned almost 90% of the nation’s oil refineries if he didn’t look for improvements in the filtering process.

If he didn’t, his fortunes may have stopped with the 40 million barrel stockpile of sludgy and smelly oil he pulled from fields near Lima, Ohio. This Skunk-Bearing Oil was of little use due to its sulphurous aroma. That is, until Herman Frasch came along. A former Standard Oil employee, Frasch patented a process to mitigate the sulphur presence in the oil to sweeten it, thus increasing its value. The process allowed Frasch to return to Standard Oil and made both he and Rockefeller quite wealthy.

 

 

 

February 22, 1923 — Carbon Black Goes Into Production at the First Factory in Texas

Once upon a time, automobile tires were pure white — the natural color of the rubber. Of course, they darkened over time due to contact with soot and dust, which could be frustrating for auto-owners looking to maintain the look of their vehicle.

Enter Carbon Black. In the early 1910s, B.F. Goodrich Company founded the process to increase the durability of its rubber tires. Addition of the product to the rubber-vulcanizing process increased a tire’s strength and gave it the black color we know today.

In 1923, Carbon Black production joined oil refining boom in Texas when J.W. Hassell & Associates was granted approval by the state’s Railroad Commission to build a plant in Stephens County. The success of the plant joined that of oil refinement to increase the state’s tax revenue.

 

 

February 23, 1906 — Caney Gas Well Fire Makes National Headlines

When a gas fire burns for nearly a month, the national press and its numerous readers are going to take notice. This occurred in 1906 when a New York Oil and Gas Company well approximately four miles from Caney, Kansas, burst into flame after a lightning strike.

The bright, high flames could be seen up to 40 miles away. They provided enough illumination to allow residents of surrounding towns to read by its light. Postcards of the fire were created and sent out with people describing how the ground shook due to the constant explosions.

In all, nearly 70 million cubic feet of gas was dispersed was released into the air daily by the fire until it was extinguished on March 29th. Kansas and the rest of the nation, had time to breathe again … until the Great San Francisco Earthquake three weeks later.

 

 

February 24, 1942 — Bankline Oil Refinery Shelled by Japanese Submarine

As the United States entered World War II, fears of the nation getting attacked rolled through the minds of its citizens. Many felt New York or Washington D.C. would be the main targets of the Axis. However, it was California’s vulnerability that was first taken advantage of.

Around 7 P.M. Pacific Time, around one of President Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats, the Japanese sub 1-17 surfaced off the California coast near the town of Goleta and targeted the facilities of the Bankline Oil Refinery. The 1-17 shelled the refinery and the surrounding shoreline for approximately 20 minutes. Of the shots fired, only two landed at the refinery to damage an oil derrick pier and pump house. In total, the estimated cost of damage was $500. 

While the damage was minor, blackout conditions and the fear it incited in the population of Southern California continued to remain throughout the war.

 

 

February 24, 1938 — The First Nylon Toothbrush Goes on Sale

Did you know people used to brush their teeth using bristles made of pig hair? This was commonplace, until the Weco Products Company of Chicago started manufacturing toothbrushes made of nylon bristles.

At the end of the 1930s, Weco released Dr. West’s Miracle-Tuft Toothbrush which was made with nylon bristles. However, “Dr. West” wasn’t the real inventor. That was Wallace Carothers. A Harvard professor working for DuPont Labs, Carothers spent 10 years working with different materials until he came up with the bristles which were trademarked as EXTON.

Weco captured the market in the late 1930s, by selling the new toothbrush for just 50 cents. However, their monopoly on the market didn’t last long. Just 12 months later, Johnson & Johnson released a competing product.

 

 

February 25, 1897 — “Golden Rule” Jones Becomes Mayor of Toledo, Ohio

Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones was a noteworthy individual during the heydays of the Western Pennsylvania and Ohio Oil Rush of the late 1800s. Searching for and finding an oil field on the outskirts of Lima, Ohio, Jones created the Ohio Oil Company, which eventually purchased by Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. He then moved to Toledo started the S.M. Jones Company which sold oil manufacturing tools.

 In both companies, “Golden Rule” Jones paid his employees high wages and offered benefits. He also asked them to employ the “Golden Rule” of working hard and being honest. It was during his time in Toledo that the Republican Party asked him to run for Mayor under a “Golden Rule” platform. He won and took his honesty into politics by offering government workers the same rates he gave to his factory employees, establishing free kindergartens and designing lodgings for the homeless. Frustrated by “Golden Rule” Jones’ progressive traits, the Republican Party shunned him during the 1899 election. Nevertheless, he still won the next three elections as an Independent.

 

 

February 25, 1918 — The Creation of the Pawnee Bill Oil Company, Inc.

Pawnee Bill is not a government law. Instead, it’s the show name of Gordon William Lillie, a member of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Gordon received the nickname when he became the show’s Pawnee translator.

During and after his time at the show, Pawnee Bill invested in numerous industries, including oil. As World War I came to a close, he incorporated the Pawnee Bill Oil Company in Oklahoma to, according to a 1919 Petroleum Age, help the allies and Uncle Sam save the world. However, with the war over, there wasn’t much need for so much oil anymore. Still, the oil company was able to provide a dividend to its investors in 1921.

Though he seemed to have shut down the oil company at some point, Pawnee BIll kept active by opening Pawnee Bill’s Old Town in 1930 and allowing his ranch to be used as a film location.

 

 

February 25, 1919 — The First Gasoline Tax is Established

Oregon is only one of two states which doesn’t permit drivers to pump their own gas. With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this Pacific Northwest was the first to enact a gasoline tax. The simple reason:  improved roads.

The measure for a gas tax was introduced by state legislator Loyal Graham in connection to a campaign by Oregon’s Highway Commission to help build a better road system. The hope was the system would prevent so many cars getting stuck in the mud. The bill was approved in 1919 and, from that moment on, a one cent tax was applied per each gallon of fuel. The total in the late 1910s, including the price per gallon was 26 cents.

 

 

February 25, 1926 — Wyatt Earp: Gunfighter, Lawman, Oil Investor

Many know that Wyatt Earp was a prominent player at the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881. However, he had other ventures and attitudes. Earp was an avid gambler and opened a gambling house in Seattle right around the start of the 20th century.

In the mid-1920s, as he reached the ripe old age of 75, Earp decided to invest in California oil fields. He asked his common law wife, Josephine, to submit the papers and claim fees. However, she gambled away the fees for the claim, which eventually became valuable. Earp eventually put the claims under his sister’s name instead.

 

February 13, 1924 – Bradford, PA. A Mysterious Past for a Fiery Dog

In February of 1924, four independent petroleum companies and an exploration firm performed a consolidation merger, they emerged under the new moniker Forest Oil Corporation. The company, which would go on to become the globally-recognized Sabine Oil became an early leader in the field of technology known as Secondary Recovery. 

Secondary Recovery works on regulating pressure levels of existing wells by using external energy forces such as water or cO2. 

With a new company came the need for a new emblem, and Forest Oil Corporation opted to include a Yellow Dog Lantern in the logo. The ‘Yellow Dog’ is an iconic symbol in the oil and petroleum world. First patented in 1860, the two-wicked lamp’s etymology remains murky. Some say it gets its name from the two flames looking like the eyes of a dog, others saying that the flames together would cast a shadow of a dog on the ground below.

The company was originally based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, which was fast becoming one of the first billion-dollar oil fields in the United States. It was at the vanguard of important and innovative ventures; such as water injection. This technology has proven itself to be one of the most economic and efficient methods of secondary extraction, by assisting in maintaining the pressure in the well, increasing production of hydrocarbon reserves and reducing environmental impact.

The yellow dog lantern was developed specifically with oil regions in mind, where dropping and breaking a regular lamp could spell serious danger for all nearby.

 

 

February 16, 1935 – The Interstate Oil Compact Commission Forms

On February 16, 1935, brought about the official birth of the Interstate Oil Compact Commission (IOCC). The organization, which was based in Oklahoma City, had received congressional approval the summer before and was looking to revolutionize the oil and gas industry in America. 

The organization got to work fast. They drafted up the ‘Interstate Company to Preserve Oil and Gas’ to propose that all states who signed the agreement would work towards minimal physical waste of oil and gas, decommission any unsafe or inefficient wells, and work against undue flooding and unsafe drilling of wells. The Law of Capture culture of the time, as well as the Great Depression ravaging the United States, meant that there was a lot of waste and unfeasibly low prices, and thus a need for some cooperation and self-regulation. 

Representatives from Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico conferred in this unique multi-state body to start implementing the provisions set forth in the agreement. It was first chaired by the Governor of Oklahoma Ernest W. Marland, founder of Marland Oil Company. Marland, perhaps surprisingly for an Oklahoman big oil man, ran as a Democrat, and created more than 90,000 new jobs in downtrodden Oklahoma with his FDR inspired Little New Deal during his time as governor. 

It is now known as the IOGCC, with the word ‘gas’ being added to the title in 1993, and claims to have helped establish effective regulation within the oil and natural gas industry. Through a variety of programs the IOGCC has been able to disseminate information, technologies and regulatory guidelines in an effort to honor their founding father, the late Ernest W. Marland.

According to the commission, their goals for the future are simple, to ensure the future of the nation’s energy is a successful one.

Ernest W. Marland lost his fortune in oil twice over but continually worked to make the industry safer to work in.

 

 

February 17, 1902 — Lufkin Foundry and Machine Company Makes its Debut

When the pine industry began to dwindle in Lufkin Texas, a sawmill machinery repair shop called the Lufkin Foundry and Machine Company saw opportunity in the fledgling industry of petroleum drilling. This had much to do with the historic turn of the Century ‘gusher’ 100 miles or so away in Beaumont, Texas.

In 1925, when inventor Walter Trout was working for the company, he designed a new means of pumping oil that is still used to this day. His idea would have a working prototype by the end of the year, and soon after his counterbalanced pumping unit was on the market. Installed first on a Humble Oil and Refining Company well in Hull, Texas, trout confessed that even though the pump was perfectly balanced and fit for purpose, that the aesthetics brought with it much ridicule and criticism.

The familiar sight of the nodding pump is often seen even today and Lufkin Industries manufactured and sold more than 200,000 of Trout’s ‘thirsty bird’ before being bought out by General Electric in 2013 for $3.3 billion. The original and historic foundry in downtown Lufkin was closed in 2015.

 

 

February 17, 1944 –Alabama Makes a Major Splash in the Oil Industry

The state of Alabama took its place on the national oil map when H.L. Hunt, a Texan who had found previous success in Arkansas, drilled the No.1 Jackson Well in Choctaw County. In 1944, Hunt drilled a wildcat well— revealing the Gilbertown Oilfield. His efforts proved there is merit in the old saying “patience is a virtue” as 350 previous attempts to drill in the state of Alabama had returned dry.

Gilbertown was discovered at a depth of 3,700 feet in the Eutaw Sand and it produced 15 million barrels of oil. Unfortunately for Hunt, the search for another oilfield was all for nought as he spent another 11 years turning up nothing by dry holes. It would not be until the 1960s that more oilfields were discovered in the state of Alabama, and according to the Independent Petroleum Association of America, between 1944 and 2014, more than 16,500 wells have been drilled there.

The discovery was in part due to the work of historian and geologist Ray Sorensen, who discovered a report on the Drake well by Michael Tourney which documented reports of a discovery of an oil seep near Oakville in Lawrence County. Tourney noted “tar, or bitumen, floats on the surface, a black film very cohesive and insoluble in water,” this was a rare, but accurate sign that there was oil nearby.

H.L. Hunt incorporated oil field first found oil in Oklahoma in 1944

 

 

February 19, 1863 –Early Attempts at Pipeline Reveal Challenges for Oil Industry

Inventor and entrepreneur J.L. Hutching of New Jersey makes an early attempt at transporting oil from the field to a refinery via pipeline. Using a pipeline that stretched two and a half miles from Oil Creek to the Humboldt Refinery, and measured two inches in diameter. However, the newly patented pump was not fit for purpose. Structural weaknesses and flaws in the technology rendered it useless due to leaks, resulting in oil waste. It would not be until 16 years later, in 1879, that the first crude oil truck line was built in the Tidewater region of Virginia.

 

 

February 19, 1889 – Ohio Launches New Conservation Act Prevents Wasted Gas

A Conservation Act “to prevent the waste of natural gas and to provide the plugging of all abandoned wells” was enacted by the Ohio House of Representatives in 1899, making the Buckeye state one of the original states to legislate conservationist measures for the oil industry.

Known as the ‘Trenton Field’, located in Eaton and Portland, it was at the home and epicentre of the Indiana gas boom. It stretched over 5,120 square miles and into 17 Indiana counties. Parts of it even reached into Ohio, and within three years of the discovery, 200 enterprises were established drilling, distributing and selling gas from the Trenton field.

Ohio is now one of the leading producers of gas and oil in the nation. It has drilled 275,000 wells to date, surpassed only by production giants in Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

Flambeaux exhibition in Indiana at the height of its gas boom.

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