April 1950
A total of 2,700 miles of new pipelines carrying crude oil (Longview, Texas to Lima, Ohio) and natural gas (Mercedes, Texas to New York City) will be served by microwave communication systems being installed by Motorola. (Can’t afford any interruptions in transporting Texas’ natural resources to those in-greats back east.) $ The science of cybernetics, constructing machines that think, is unveiled at a meeting at Oklahoma A & M (now known as Boone U or OklahomaState). $ A bill comes before Congress proposing the issuance of 2 ½ - cent and 7 ½ - cent coins. (These could come in handy for paying all of the individual taxes on a gallon of gasoline.) $ A controversy rages between Magnolia Petroleum and Socony-Vacuum Oil over the proper pronunciation of the flying horse used as a symbol for the Pegasus field in West Texas. (Some say it should be pronounced PEGasus and some say PeGASus.)
East Texas crude oil - $2.65/bbl

April 1975
BP Chairman Eric Drake reports that BP is ready to accept 51% government participation in its North Sea operations, thus marking the first public acceptance of such participation by a major international oil company. $ The House Ways and Means Committee remains determined to repeal percentage depletion and possibly even intangible drilling deductions, while the Senate voices its continuing opposition against removal of allocation and price controls on oil. (Would Congress prefer that the oil companies just register as non-profits?) $ Skyrocketing estimates on costs for new domestic fuels are making OPEC oil look like a bargain-basement buy (e.g. synfuels at $16/bbl, shale oil at $16/bbl, methanol from coal at $7.40/bbl and SNG from coal at $2.50/Mcf). $ OPEC reports plans to hold a special ministerial meeting to discuss natural gas utilization in OPEC countries as well as pricing and production levels. (Surely they don’t think they can also become a natural gas cartel do they?)
U.S. active rig count – 1,618

April 2000
Nigeria reportedly creates a new police unit that is authorized to shoot vandals on sight to protect its oil pipelines. $ The European Commission plans to ban single-hulled tankers from European Union ports, thus requiring double-hulled oil tankers to be used beginning in 2005, 2010, or 2015, depending on tonnage. $ Shell and Halliburton report plans to form a 50-50 joint-venture to develop and market the two companies’ intelligent well and completion technologies. $ A seemingly endless string of e-venture partnership deals continue, including six of the largest U.S. gas and electricity firms partnering to develop an internet-based, business-to-business independent energy trading platform.
Light sweet crude oil - $24.87/bbl; Natural gas - $3.02/MMBTU; U.S. active rig count – 809


The Rest of the Yarn
Known as the Thomas Edison of the oil industry, he became known internationally as the inventor of oil tools, with more than 90 patents for oilfield equipment, including cable and rotary drilling and fishing tools.

Born near Oil City, Pennsylvania, he was the son of a machinist who himself had patented the first set of pipe elevators in 1879 and the first belt clamp ever patented for use in oilfield operations. At the age of 12, he designed a tool that succeeded in recovering a “fish” from an oil well near OilCity.This “fishing tool” was such a success that he finished only the equivalent of high school, in favor of making good wages as a machinist in the oilfields of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In 1907, he and his friend William Skelly (who later founded Skelly Oil Co.) left the Northeast for Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, where both went to work for Oil Well Supply Co. in Tulsa. After moving up in that company, he resigned in 1919 to form his own company, which went on to become an internationally recognized drilling/fishing tool manufacturer. During World War I & II, he was involved in the design and manufacture of high-quality gun barrels for artillery pieces. After World War II, he continued to be a consultant in ordinance manufacturing.

A tireless promoter of the petroleum industry, particularly in the Midcontinent region, he was one of the organizers of the International Petroleum Exhibition and Congress, which was held for many years in Tulsa. This became the industry’s leading venue for the introduction of new oilfield equipment and services. He also served as a committee chairman and longtime member of the American Petroleum Institute. He sold his company in 1946, but kept his hand in the industry as an independent producer. He died in Tulsa in 1965. He was Frank Hinderliter.And now you know…The Rest of the Yarn.


History Quiz
In the 1870’s, what U.S. city was viewed as the oil metropolis of the world?

Answer to March’s Quiz
The linguistic proportionality (circa 1950) should read…”Natural Gasoline is to refineries as Recycle Gasoline is to oilfield gasoline plants.” Recycle gasoline was a lower grade, lower octane motor fuel manufactured in oilfield gasoline plants as opposed to the higher grade, higher octane blended motor fuel manufactured by refineries.

Answer to February’s Quiz
The actual “driller” hired by Colonel Drake to drill the first drilled oil well at Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859 was William A. (Uncle Billy) Smith.

Congratulations to February’s winner – Benjamin Frederick with Newfield Exploration