Detailed Geologic Map of Texas, circa 1920
For over 100 years the oil and gas industry has been a cornerstone of the Texas economy and the Lone Star way of life – even a big part of the image of Texas worldwide. Texans not involved in any aspect of the industry directly benefit from petroleum’s financial contributions to the state’s economy. While a productive field was discovered near Corsicana in 1894, the first oil boom started at Spindletop near Beaumont - which produced 17,500,000 barrels of oil in 1902 alone.
Published on the eve of the massive Permian Basin discovery of 1924, the important early fields – from Goose Creek southeast of Houston to the Burk Burnett field along the Red River to the rich finds around Pecos – are all recorded. Wildcat finds of new oil and gas opportunities grew exponentially with the expansion of the railroads such as the Texas & Pacific, the Santa Fe, the Fort Worth & Denver City as well as the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient. The Yates field near Midland – Odessa in 1926 firmly established the significance of the Permian Basin operations. By 1927 natural gas production around Laredo passed four billion cubic feet a day. At the beginning of 1931 the giant East Texas oil field around Kilgore was established, producing over 300,000 barrels of oil a day. With additional high grade crude discoveries, the Permian Basin became the leading oil producing region of the United States by 1950.
Oil derricks on this map mark the location of wildcat wells across the state, and the 17 color coded areas reflect distinct geologic strata. Individual owners of wells are listed in each county.