Texas Oil

On January 10, 1901, Lucas hit the largest reserve of the oil the world had ever seen. When the Luca rig hit oil, six tons of 4-inch drilling pipes shot from the ground with tremendous force. The Spindletop gusher shot oil more than 100 feet into the air for nine days until the well was finally capped. Oil from the gusher formed a large lake around the base of the derrick.

The growing number of wells at Spindletop resulted in over drilling. After producing more than 17,500 barrels of oil in 1902-about 47,900 barrels per day-the Spindletop wells began to slow down. Just two years later, they pumped only about 10,000 barrels per day. The oil boom at Spindletop led to the creation of some 600 oil companies, including later giants such as Texaco, Gulf, and Mobil.

So much oil was pumped that it “flooded” the market. As a result of the Great Depression, the bottom fell out of oil prices. Oil that had been selling for more than a dollar per barrel in 1930 fell to eight cents. Some well owners produced oil above the limit in order to make all the profits they could, this illegal product was called hot oil.

During the 1900’s, Houstonian Hugh Roy Cullen donated more than $11 million of his oil fortune to the University of Houston and to Houston hospitals. The oil industry has provided great support to public education in Texas. The University of Texas and Texas A&M University have received millions of dollars in oil profits through the state’s Permanent University Fund. Many Texans view oil as the state’s lifeblood.

Deodorant, ink, CD player, putty, shoe polish, tires, floor wax, motor oil, bearing grease, and transparent tape are some things that are made from petroleum. Things that are gross that were made from petroleum are fan belts, nylon rope, and cassettes.

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