Spindletop and its effect on the oil industry



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Purpose: It was the purpose of this thesis to (1) give an early background of the oil industry; (2) give facts which led to the discovery of the Lucas gusher at Spindletop; and (3) to present evidence that the discovery brought about a new age in the history of petroleum. Methods: The methods used to obtain data for this thesis were (1) a visit to the Lucas monument to learn the geographical characteristics of the field; (2) personal interviews with Curtis Hamill, driller of the Lucas gusher, at the Lamar Hotel in Houston, Texas, and John F. Weinzierl, consulting geologist and geophysicist, at Riverside, Texas; (3) examination of books, bulletins, journals and newspapers; (4) correspondence with oil companies and with the Texas Historical Museum. Findings: From the evidence presented in this thesis the following conclusions were found: 1.The Lucas gusher was the country’s first large producing oil well. 2.Spindletop field proved that major oil production is associated with salt domes. 3.Many new techniques and methods for drilling oil wells were developed at Spindletop. 4.The Spindletop field proved that major oil production is associated with flank production of salt domes. 5. The Gulf, Texaco, and Magnolia oil companies were organized at Spindletop and grew into giant corporations. 6.The Spindletop field brought to an end Standard’s monopoly of the oil industry. 7.Spindletop was a training ground for many oil men who became outstanding leaders in the industry. 8.The drilling of oil wells too close together resulted in the wasteful development of the Spindletop field.



Petroleum industry and trade--Texas., History, Spindletop, geographical characteristics