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Dale’s Daily Data: First Texas Oil Well

First oil workers at Spindletop Hill in Beaumont, Texas (Getty)

It all began with a huge gusher near Beaumont, Texas.  Black gold.  Texas “T”.  It was a gusher of oil that took 9 days to cap and with it began the American oil industry – the world’s first trillion dollar industry.  A Texas businessman, who was also an amateur geologist was convinced there was a huge pool of oil in an area south of Beaumont.  He and several partners spent years drilling in an area called Spindletop but gave up. 

Then along came mining engineer Anthony Lucas who figured it wasn’t a case of where to drill.  Just drill deeper and sure enough he was right.  That first oil well turned out 100-thousand barrels a day and within three months the population of Beaumont tripled.  Oil workers, investors and merchants all moved in.  Within a year, there were more than 285 active wells operating in the area and dozens of oil companies including some of the biggest that still operate today.  Humble Oil became Exxon, the Texas Company became Texaco and Magnolia Petroleum Company we know today as Mobil.

Only a few oil wells are still operating in the area these days.  But it was on this date, January 10, 1901 that the first Texas oil well began to flow.

SOURCE: History Channel

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