September 18th, 1948 – Utah Completes First Commercial Oil Well

In 1948, Utah’s first commercial oil well was completed in the Uinta Basin, by the leader of the Equity Oil Company, J.L. “Mike” Dougan. J.L’s small company did surprisingly well for its size, beating bigger, more advanced competitors like Union Oil, Standard Oil of California, Continental, and Pure Oil. J.L’s initial discovery is what started a deep-drilling oil boom.

J.L. drilled past the normal depth (1,000-2,000 feet), and his discovery was named Ashley Valley No 1. At 4,000 feet, it produced 300 BOPD. Soon, a big production boom hit this area and it is estimated that 1 million barrels of oil came from the field every year.

The success of the basin eventually encouraged other companies to start to drill even deeper wells to nearly 10,000 feet. Now, it’s said the Uinta Basin holds 10,000 cubic feet of gas, covering an area of over 15,000 square miles.

September 21st, 1901 – First Oil Well in Louisiana

The “Lucas Gusher” was found in January 1901, in Spindletop, Texas. Before the end of the year, another notable oilfield was discovered 90 miles east of the infamous site with the discovery of the Jules Clements No. 1 Well.

On the Jules Clements farm in Louisiana, W. Scott Heywood completed a well that produced 7,000 BOPD. The exact location was about six miles from Jennings. Heywood first became successful after drilling wells at Spindletop Hill. However, when the Jules Clements No. 1, became the first commercial well in Louisiana, he found a new level of financial prosperity he couldn’t ever have imagined.

The Jennings Daily News reported that this well destroyed crops on the farm. It flowed oil and sand onto the land for several hours, creating a pool of the substances over the area.

However, the discovery of the well would later open Jennings Field. Heywood secured leases and used storage tanks and pipelines to develop the field. During peak production in 1906, the Jennings oilfield produced more than 9 million barrels of oil. Louisiana’s petroleum industry expanded even more when oil discoveries were made in the northern part of the state.

September 23rd, 1918 – Wood River Refinery Opens Its Doors

The Roxana Petroleum Company began refining oil at their Wood River facility in  September of 1918. During its first year in operation, the facility processed over 2 million barrels of oil from fields in Oklahoma.

In 1912, the Roxana Petroleum Company was established by the Royal Dutch/Shell group, the organization also responsible for establishing the American Gasoline Company.

While the purpose of that company was to distribute gas to the West Coast, Roxana Petroleum was initially founded to produce the high-quality oil coming from across Oklahoma. This oil would later be refined at Wood River.

Today, Wood River is the biggest refinery owned by Phillips 66, processing over 300,000 BOPD.

September 23rd, 1933 – California Geologists and Saudi Arabia

Standard Oil Company of California geologists were invited to the Port of Jubail by King Abdel Aziz. He was the king of Saudi Arabia. While the geologists searched for “kindred bituminous matter” and petroleum, they uncovered a huge oilfield. This discovery would lead to a partnership between Standard Oil and Saudi Arabia known as Aramco, or the Arabian American Oil Company. American companies like Texaco also joined Aramco later on.

September 23rd, 1947 –“Horton spheres” Get Their Patent

A spherical storage vessel was first invented by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company’s (CB&I) founder in the 1920s. In 1947, the company received a patent for improvements on this invention. The purpose of the vessel was to hold and store propane, natural gas, other petroleum products. This sphere was considered one of the most efficient and innovative technologies used on the oil patch.

CB&I created the “Hortonspheres” in 1923. The invention was named for the company’s founder, Horace E. Horton.  In 1889, he started the company to build bridges over the Mississippi River. In 1892, Chicago Bridge and Iron finished their first elevated water tank in Fort Dodge, Iowa. According to CB&I history, that steel plate tank was one of the company’s first innovations. It was also the first elevated water tank built with a hemispherical bottom.

However, the innovation didn’t end there. Soon after, Chicago Bridge and Iron built the first field-erected spherical pressure vessel in Port Arthur, Texas. Today, CB&I has built over 50 percent of the planet’s field-erected spheres.

September 24th, 1951 – Bazooka Technology Developed After Oil Technology

Name it a “downhole bazooka.”

In 1951, war veteran Henry Mohaupt, signed up to license his “Shaped Gun and Charge Assembly” which would eventually become the bazooka. He did this based off technology the oil industry used during WWII.

Mohaupt took the lead in an army program looking to create an anti-tank weapon. The idea to use a hollowed out explosive to guide and focus the energy from detonation led to the creation of the rocket grenade that would be used inside the bazooka.

The Well Explosives Company noticed the potential in the downhole grenades. This Texas-based company saw how the grenades could help oil flow from oil-bearing formations. Well Explosives would later employ Mohaupt where he helped develop technologies that would safely pierce pipe and cement casings.

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