New Discoveries and Inventions Rise

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. Desmore 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.     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 Haven, Connecticut to fund drilling efforts lead by Edwin Drake in northwestern Pennsylvania. According...

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Oil Booms & New Technology

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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Kerosene Makes Industry Waves

March 27th, 1855 – Kerosene Trademarked by Canadian Chemist Abraham Gesner, a Canadian chemist and physician patented a now very widely used process that distills coal and turns it into a fluid called kerosene. Gesenser claimed to have discovered and subsequently invented a way to manufacture the new matter. Since the fluid was sourced from coal, buyers often referred to it as “coal oil.” When it became known that kerosene could also be produced with crude oil, it gave birth to the petroleum exploration industry in the United States. At this time, new oil field sprawling across Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania was discovered. Soon kerosene, which was very inexpensive, became the primary light source in the U.S., before the implementation of the light bulb. Abraham Gesner is credited as one of the fathers of the petroleum industry in Canada. In 1842, he established Canada’s first natural history museum. The Petroleum History Society notes that today, one of the country’s most dated geological collections has its place in the New Brunswick Museum.     March 27th, 1975 –  Construction on Alaskan Pipeline Starts On March 27th, 1975, construction started on the biggest private construction venture at this time in U.S. history with the creation of the Alaksan Pipeline. This pipeline would cost an estimated $8 billion by the time it was completed. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was 800 miles long and included the Valdez Marine Terminal, more pipelines, and pumping stations. It was finished in 1977. This pipeline consisted of segments spanning 420 miles. These segments were laid with an alternating zig-zag pattern to lend itself to further expansion. Today, it is still recognized as an engineering landmark.     March 28th, 1886 – Gas Boom in Indiana The Eureka Gas and Oil company located a new gas field, known as the Trenton Limestone, after drilling about 700 feet in Portland, Indiana. The result was a natural gas drilling boom. During this period of time, Indiana was the leading producer of natural gas in the United States. This gas field was found just a few months after Findlay, Ohio’s “Great Karg Well,” located less than 100 miles northeast of the area. According to James Glass, a historian from Ball State University, Pennsylvania was home to very large amounts of natural gas. They completely changed the glass steel and iron industries, encouraging the use of more natural gas over coal. The Trenton Limestone turned out to be a big producer and was later found in 17 counties spanning more than 5,000 miles of the state of Indiana.  Over the next three years, ver 200 companies became able to drill, distribute and sell natural gas in the area.     March 28th, 1905 – Northern Louisiana Oilfield Discovered In 1905, The Offenhauser No. 1 Well officially struck oil approximately 1,556 feet underground. It was a part of the massive oilfield in Caddo-Pine Island. Unfortunately, this well only produced five barrels each and was later abandoned. However, it encouraged further exploration in the area and soon more wells were discovered and this northern Louisian oilfield became a major source of production. In 1906, Louisiana went on to pass the first conservation law in the state in an attempt to quell growing concerns over flaring causing a loss in natural gas. Production in the Caddo-Pine Island Oilfield went on to climb as high as 11 million barrels per year by 1918.     March 29th, 1819 –  Edwin Drake is Born The man credited as one of the fathers of the oil industry, Edwin Drake was born on March 29th, 1819 in Greenville, New York. It was near Titusville, Pennsylvania in summer 1859 when he came to a breakthrough–he drilled a well that was the first to be commercial in the U.S. using a cable-rig device that was steam powered. He also coined the method of sending a pipe down to protect the structure of the well. Despite many technical and financial challenges, Drake created a landmark in the history of energy. He was at the forefront of new technology including drilling technology, and isolation with iron casing. He was searching on behalf of Seneca Oil Company to find oil to refine into kerosene and thanks to a shallow well, he ended up pioneering an entire industry. According to a historian from Pennsylvania State University,  in 1959, Drake came up with the plan for sending a pipe downward through a drill. He, however, did not patent this idea.     March 29th, 1938 – The Founding of the Sensational Magnolia Oilfield An Arkansas newspaper dubbed Southern Arkansas an “oil country sensation,” after a 100-million barrel well opened in a Magnolia oilfield. The well was called the Barnett No. 1. Due to a lack of backers and the recession, Kerlyn Oil Company suspended drilling. Despite this, Dean McGee a geologist and vice president of the company continued on. At a depth of 7,650, he uncovered a giant oil discovery. McGee also went on to lead early efforts Gulf of Mexico offshore exploration.     April 1st, 1911 – “Pump Jack Capital of Texas” Sees First Well The town of Electra, Texas, got its name from the daughter of  rancher W.T. Waggoner. It is said that he complained after finding oil when creating wells for his cattle to have water. However, he didn’t just find oil, he would make a discovery that would lead to an oil boom that lasted several decades. On April 1st, 1911, below the Red River border close to Electra, the Clayco Oil & Pipe Line Company created a well named Clayco No. 1. According to an Electra historian, people of the town were thinking the gusher that started was a joke for April fools. They didn’t think the gusher was real until they could see the black oil shooting towards the sky. The well, that was dug on Waggoner’s land, reached a production level of 650 barrels per day.  In 1913, Electra had its peak in oil production at 8 million...

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American Petroleum Institute Established

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, 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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End of OPEC Embargo

March 13th, 1974 – End of OPEC Embargo A five-month long oil embargo on the U.S. ended was officially ended on March 13th, 1974 by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) Arab members. The embargo was originally applied as a response to the United States providing resources for the Yom Kippur war effort to the Israeli military. This created a shortage of gasoline and caused President Richard Nixon to come up with a solution. That solution came in the form of voluntary rationing of gas and a Sunday sales ban on gas; it was quickly approved by Congress. The OPEC discontinued the embargo when Israeli troops were withdrawn from some of Sinai, following a negotiation with Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.     March 14th, 1909 – California Rattled By Lake View Gusher On the morning of March 14th, a California well called Lake View at Midway-Sunset erupted, causing disturbances and heavy vibrations throughout the region. San Joaquin Valley experienced many gushers during this time including the Shamrock Gusher (1986) and the Midway Gusher, (1909). However, the Lake View Number One had the biggest impact. In addition to the physical vibrations from the gusher, the well spilled 18,000 barrels every 24 hours for about 18 months. This gusher nearly became the most famous in American history, right behind the Spindletop Hill gusher of 1901. Lake View was eventually contained in October of 1910. Fortunately, a device designed to prevent blowouts and while capping wells was introduced in 1922, putting a halt to the gusher issues that plagued wells around the country.     March 15th, 1946 – Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association Established In 1946, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association was formed in an effort to protect the right to survey and manufacture oil and gas. It was created by a group of Independents wanting to protect their rights and maintain their own quality of life. Until that time, when a number of oil fields were discovered, it often lead to an overproduction and disputes with large oil companies. These difficult disputes are what pushed these Independents to form their own trade association.     March 16th, 1914 – Completion of Main Street Oil Well In 1914, a well that Ripley’s Believe It or Not would hail as the World’s Only Main Street Oil Well was officially completed. This well held oil from below the town of Barnsdall, Oklahoma, about 1,700 feet down. This Oklahoma town, in Osage County, was first named  Bigheart for James Bigheart, former Osage Chief. It was later renamed for the owner of Barnsdall Refining company, Theodore Barnsdale. Today, this company still exists as a wax refinery. In 1916, Barnsdall went on to discover several additional oil fields in the area. The well still exists today, and in 1997, it earned a place in the National Register of Historic Places.     March 17th, 1890 – Sunoco Expands to Ohio Four years after the Peoples Natural Gas company was organized by Edward Emerson and Joseph Pew in an effort to supply gas to the city of Pittsburgh, the company made a move to Ohio in an expansion effort. It was later named The Sun Oil Company of Ohio. This company obtained promise leases around Findlay near the turn of the century. They began to make a mark in the industry of producing carbon oil, rock oil and petroleum. The business also transported, stored, refined and purified this oil and their products. Sun Oil also ppened and promoted Sunoco Motor Oil service locations in both Pennsylvania and Ohio in the 1920s. In 1929, they then got into the business of equipment. At this time, a partnership between Sunoco and Sperry Gyroscope, called Sperry-Sun was formed.     March 17th, 1923 –  Oklahoma Oilfields Discovered A major Seminole area boom was created by a well known as the Betsy Foster Number 1. This was a gusher that spilled 2,800 barrels each day close to Wewoka in Seminole County, OK. The following year, more wells were uncovered nearby including Cromwell and Behel, while Seminole and Earlsboro were eventually discovered in 1926. Following these discoveries, more wells were eventually found in the Oklahoma City area, establishing what would be a highly profitable industry for the city. There were 39 oil fields in total developed in this region and surrounding counties at the time. However, this rapid expansion proved to be too much of a good thing, as overproduction caused prices to dip down to 17 cents per barrel.     March 17th, 1949 – Hydraulic Fracturing in Business Stanolind and Halliburton company experts crossed paths around one oil well near Duncan, Oklahoma area when they performed commercial hydraulic fracturing for the first time.  A few years earlier, in 1947, an experimental well fractured a gas field near the town of Houghton, Kansas, introducing the promise for a future climb in productivity. The strategy was created and patent protected by Stanolind (now called the Pan American Oil Company). A license was given exclusively to Halliburton Company to allow them to use this method. This license was granted to all other recognized oilfield companies four years later. Since then, it has been said that hydraulic fracturing is one of the most effective of all techniques to boost recoverable reserves. The first venture to boost petroleum production in a well started in the 1860s. Erle Halliburton created a technology in 1921 that increased productivity in the production of oil. It also protected the environment through well cementing.     March 18th, 1937 – Explosion Takes the New London School Just before the end of the of an otherwise normal day,  New London High School was destroyed by a natural gas explosion. The school was located in Rusk County, TX. An odorless gas, also known as casing gas, leaked into the basement of the school causing an explosion that was felt for miles. Texas oil workers and reporters quickly made their way to school grounds. Despite rescue attempts, 298...

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March 6th to March 12th — This Week in Petroleum

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 in March between the 6th and 12th.     3/7/1902 — Sour Lake: From Resort to Boom Town On March 6th, 1902, Sour Lake, Texas was a sleepy resort town with one hotel and a population of just 50 people. When oil was discovered one day later, it became the latest Texas boomtown and soon was flooded with as many as 10,000 employees and visitors. At its peak, Sour Lake Oil Field produced 50,000 barrels of oil daily. As the wells dried up, so did the population. Eventually, the town settled into a citizenship that fluctuated between 2000 and 3000 citizens. Sour Lake and the area where the Sour Lake Springs Hotel stood were owned back in the early 20th century by the Texas Company. This organization eventually became known as Texaco.       3/11/1829 — Kentucky’s Earliest Commercial Oil Well Most people think of Texas when it comes to the early history of oil discoveries. In reality, what was considered one of the first commercial oil setups began a few hundred miles east in Kentucky. This is in great thanks to a man by the name of Martin Beatty. A salt maker by trade, Beatty dabbled a bit in oil. However, it wasn’t until the late 1820s that he discovered a large deposit of oil. Though only drilled down to 171 feet, the first Great American Oil Well produced a gusher which spilled oil into the Cumberland River as far down as 50 miles. The oil caught fire and burned for nearly three weeks. Fortunately, the oil well ended up producing 50,000 barrels of crude into the start of the Civil War.       3/11/1930 — Exploring Geophysicists Get Their Own Society While many people associated advancements in the oil field with wealthy business tycoons, it is really geophysicists that can be thanked for many of these advancements. These scientists study the physical processes and physical properties of the Earth and its surrounding space environment. In other words, they make sure things are going to be okay before a well is drilled.  In 1930, a number of these scientists got together and created the Society of Economic Geophysicists. After playing around with a few name changes, the organization eventually became the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). Since its inception, the Tulsa-based group has grown to over 33,000 members, has produced the publication GEOPHYSICS for decades, and has become one of the innovators to study the Earth across the globe.     3/12/1912 — Dry Hole Slick strikes a Oklahoma Gusher Today, Cushing, Oklahoma is known as the crossroads of the pipeline world with its delivery capacity of 90 million barrels of oil across the country. Yet, that might not have been the case if Thomas Baker Smith hadn’t come to the area. In 1912, the man known as “Dry Hole Slick” struck a gusher east of Cushing, and made his well one of the most successful between Oklahoma and Tulsa. For two decades afterward, Slick struck successful well after successful well, to the point that he was honored with the title “King of the Wildcatters.” Slick has been honored as one of the state’s petroleum leaders with a display at the state’s Museum of Natural History.     3/12/1914 — USS Texas, the Last Coal-Powered Boiler Battleship When the U.S. Navy  left the Age of Sail in the early 1880s for a modern, steel-hulled force, it relied on coal-powered engines to propel it across the waters. While they were able to succeed in battles like those in Manilla and Cuba during the Spanish-American War, the process of shoveling 2,000 tons of coal into the engines, the dark smoke and ash didn’t help. So, once the 20th century began, Naval officials decided to make the move toward a fuel-based fleet. The last of the coal-powered battleships to be commissioned was the USS. Texas. The second naval ship to bear the name of the state, this armor-plated battleship had an impressive record. She was the first U.S. battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns and one of the honored U.S. craft to serve with the British Grand Fleet. The USS Texas served during both WWI and WWII on numerous convoy missions. Today, she stands as a powerful memorial docked at Houston’s ship channel.     3/12/1943 — Oil Drillers Head to Sherwood Forest Robin Hood and his Merry Men? Well, the Oklahoma roughnecks who arrived in England weren’t stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Actually, they were making sure a nation wrecked by Germany had the fuel they needed in World War II. It was an incredible secret. With tankers constantly at risk in the Atlantic and British oil wells producing a mere 300 barrels a day, something needed to be done. So, British officials covertly made their way to Washington to seek help. The result was a team of drillers, derrickmen, and other petroleum employees who were quietly sent to England aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth. The team used their proactive skills to drill approximately one well each week in the forest. Today, a statue named “Oil Patch Warrior” stands in in the city of Nottingham to commemorate the brave Americans who helped keep England going.     3/12/1968 — Oil is Discovered in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay Prudhoe Bay, in Northern Alaska, is cold with long winters. Yet, it can be one of the most populous towns in the state several months a year thanks to the discovery of the largest oil field in not only the United States but in North America.  The field itself is over 215,000 acres and originally contained the equivalent of 25 million barrels of oil. The field was originally pinpointed by Tom Marshall, a  petroleum geologist who lived in the new state of Alaska was given the task of finding the right...

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