This Week in Petroleum History July 22 – July 28
July 22, 1933 – Phillips Petroleum sponsors Solo Flight
Record-setting pilot Wiley Post was once an oilfield roughneck near Seminole, Oklahoma.
Before 50,000 cheering New York City onlookers, famed aviator Wiley Post lands his Lockheed Vega “Winnie Mae” and becomes the first man to fly solo around the world.
Post had developed a close relationship with Frank Phillips, founder of the Phillips Petroleum Company of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Phillips paid for Post’s high-altitude experimental flights. Five years earlier Phillips had sponsored the winning plane – the Woolaroc – in a dangerous air race from across the Pacific.
Post’s trademark eye-patch resulted from his days working in oilfields near Seminole, Oklahoma. When a metal splinter damaged his eye in 1926, Post used $1,700 in compensation to buy his first airplane – and launch his famed aviation career.
Phillips Petroleum produced aviation fuels before it produced automotive fuels. The company’s gasoline came from the high-quality oil produced during the Osage County oil boom, which began in 1917.
As Jenk Jones Jr. notes in his 2003 Osage County History: “The Osage fields were an oilman’s dream. The oil was a high grade, with a good conversion to gasoline ratio. It was easily refined, with a very high percentage of kerosene. It was free of sulfur and asphalt, and it came from several thick producing sands at relatively shallow depths. Phillips used it to produce the aviation gasoline that he proclaimed the best.”
Post’s pressure suit and helmet are on display in the Phillips Petroleum Company Museum in Bartlesville. He died – along with fellow Oklahoman Will Rogers – in 1935 when his Lockheed airplane’s engine failed during takeoff at Point Barrow, Alaska. Read more Phillips Petroleum aviation fuel history in “Flight of the Woolaroc.”
July 23, 1951 – Groups organize into Desk & Derrick Clubs of North American
The 2013 annual convention of the Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs will take place September 25-29, 2013, in Charleston, West Virginia. "Join your host, the West Virginia Club for an Autumn in Appalachia as we explore industry issues, cultural venues and our down home hospitality."
Founded in 1951 and today represented by 59 clubs organized in seven regions, the Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs will host its 2013 annual convention September 25-29. “Join your host, the West Virginia Club, for an Autumn in Appalachia as we explore industry issues, cultural venues and our down home hospitality.”
The Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs (ADDC) of North America is established to promote petroleum industry education in the United States and Canada.
The articles of association are signed by presidents of the clubs founded earlier in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Houston and Jackson, Mississippi. The combined membership of the four charter clubs is 883 women.
The new association will promote “the education and professional development of individuals employed in or affiliated with the petroleum, energy and allied industries and to educate the general public about these industries.”
“ADDC has ebbed and flowed with the tides of the energy and allied industries,” notes the nonprofit organization’s website. About 2,500 members employed in or affiliated with the energy and allied industries comprise the 59 clubs located in the United States and Canada.
The Lafayette, Louisiana, Desk and Derrick Club of Region III will host the 63rd annual ADDC convention September 24-28, 2014.
“Thousands of hours of education have been provided for members through monthly programs on the many facets of this industry and given by speakers ranging from company CEO’s to oil-well-fire fighters,” explains the website, noting field trips to offshore drilling rigs, refineries, manufacturing plants and geological excursions.
The 2013 annual ADDC convention takes place September 25-29, 2013 in Charleston, West Virginia.
“Join your host, the West Virginia Club, for an Autumn in Appalachia as we explore industry issues, cultural venues and our down home hospitality,” says General Arrangements Chair Melinda Johnson.
The 62nd convention’s program includes education seminars and choice of five day-long field trips. Among the seminars are “Five Traits of Professionalism,” “Intro to Petroleum Engineering” and “Hot Oil, and Gas Plays in the Appalachian Basin.”
Based in Charleston, the ADDC Region I club has a growing Appalachian membership and publishes a newsletter called “Fuel for Thought.”
One field trip includes Nabors Services demonstrating the steps in performing a hydraulic fracturing treatment and the difference between how a conventional reservoir and an unconventional reservoir is fractured. Another will visit a Halliburton yard for education on coil tubing – with a “snubbing” unit demonstration.
A visit to a Baker Hughes center in Clarksburg, West Virginia, will explain directional drilling – showing visitors equipment like down hole motors, rotary steerable sub-assemblies, and specialized drill bits.
Part of Region I, the West Virginia club has members from 95 companies throughout Appalachia. The club meets the third Tuesday of each month, at various locations across the state. The Lafayette, Louisiana, club is planning the 63rd annual convention, September 24-28, 2014. The national association, which adopted the motto “Greater Knowledge – Great Service” in 1957, can claim many milestones, including:
First club is founded in New Orleans by Inez Awty Schaeffer in 1949. The first ADDC board of directors met there in December 1951. The first newsletter (today’s The Desk and Derrick Journal) is published in March 1952 after Josephine Nolen of Odessa, Texas, wins a contest for its name: The Oil and Gal Journal.
The first convention is held six months later at the Shamrock Hotel in Houston led by the first association president, Lee Wilson Hoover. Forty member clubs are represented by almost 1,000 registrants.
In 1977, “of North America” is deleted from the association’s name and the acronym ADDC becomes common usage. The ADDC Foundation is established in 1987 and the first issue of The Desk and Derrick Journal published, replacing the Oil and Gal Journal. Delegates at the 1988 annual convention approve equitable membership in the association – opening membership to men.
The first association website goes online in September 1996. All clubs celebrate the association’s 50th anniversary year in 2001. The first Bit of Fun energy activity book is published in 2010. Last year, a “Tri-State Club” is chartered in Evansville, Indiana, with 13 original members. For more information about how to become a member, contact the Association of Desk & Derrick Clubs.
July 24, 2000 – BP unveils New Logo
London-based BP was founded in 1908 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.
When BP – then British Petroleum – merges with Amoco in 1998, the company’s name changes to BP Amoco. U.S. Amoco stations eventually convert to the BP brand.
BP, in 2000 the official name of a group of companies that include Amoco, ARCO and Castrol, unveils its new corporate identity brand – replacing its “Green Shield” logo with a green and yellow sunflower pattern. The company introduces a new corporate slogan: “Beyond Petroleum.”
July 25, 1543 – Oil First reported in New World
Spanish explorers sailing in brigantines discover an oil seep off the Texas coast that will exist as late as 1903.
The first documented report of oil in the New World is made near the Sabine River on the Texas coast – when a storm forces two of Spanish explorer Don Luis de Moscoso’s seven brigantines ashore.
After a discouraging expedition in East Texas, de Moscoso, who succeeded expedition leader Hernando de Soto, built the seven small vessels and sailed down the Mississippi, according to the Houston Geological Society. After reaching the Gulf of Mexico, the Spaniards decided to sail west along the coast. The storm hit and drove two brigantines ashore.
An account published in 1557 notes, “the vessels came together in a creek where lay the two brigantines that preceded them, finding a scum the sea cast up, called copee, which is like pitch and used instead on shipping where that is not to be had, they payed the bottoms of their vessels with it.”
Native Americans had previously used oil from seeps for medicine, tanning hides, waterproofing fabrics, and caulking their boats. Moscoso’s men used pitch from from the offshore oil seep they found west of the Sabine Pass. That seep remained active as late as 1903.
July 27, 1918 – Launch of First Concrete Oil Tanker
Built for Standard Oil Company of New York, the first concrete oil tanker is 98-feet long.
America’s first concrete vessel designed to carry oil, the Socony, is launched at its shipyard on Flushing Bay, New York. The reinforced concrete barge is 98-feet long with a 32-foot beam. Built for the Standard Oil Company of New York, the ship draws nine feet with a cargo of 370 tons.
“Bulk oil is carried in six center and two wing compartments, which have been oil-proofed by a special process,” explains the journal Cement and Engineering News. “Eight-inch cast iron pipe lines lead to each compartment and the oil pump is located on a concrete pump room aft.”
Steel shortages during World War II will lead to the construction of larger concrete oil tankers.
July 28, 1924 – Oil Scouts form Association
Scouts began as the earliest oil patch detectives.
The National Oil Scouts Association of America – today the International Oil Scouts Association - files its charter in Austin, Texas, bringing new standards to an important oilfield profession.
Since the birth of America’s petroleum industry in 1859, oil scouts have gathered field intelligence on drilling operations – including often sensitive information about the operator, location, lease, depth of well, formations encountered, logs and other data, which may yield a competitive advantage.
James Tennent, author of The Oil Scouts – Reminiscences of the Night Riders of the Hemlocks, proclaimed in 1915 that scouts “saved the general trade thousands and millions by holding market manipulators in check.”