History and Growth of the Oil and Gas Industries in Texas
When most people think of flourishing industries in Texas, you likely think of oil, and for good reason. Oil in Texas was discovered by the native Americans before Europeans ever set foot in Texas. The first oil drilling operation in Texas occurred in 1866. Today, Texas is the leading producer of natural gas in America, accounting for 23% of the nation’s reserves. Natural gas employs 3% of Texans and makes up 14% of Texas’ gross state product.
Oil in Texas
European settlers began using oil in Texas as early as the 1500s to repair their boats. The first oil well was drilled in Nacogdoches County in 1866 by Lyne Barret. A series of wells were dug in the late 1800s because of a rich oil field discovered near Corsicana in 1894. The first two refineries in Texas were created in 1896 and 1898. The refinery in Corsicana shipped its first production of oil in 1899.
January 10, 1901 marks an important time in Texas oil history as it was on this date at the Spindletop refinery that a geyser of oil came up from the ground, sparking the “Geyser Age” and the beginning of Texas’ rise in oil production supremacy. Numerous drilling projects and refineries were built across Texas during this time as people bought land in hopes of getting lucky with their own oil geyser.
The geyser at Spindletop propelled the refinery to produce 94% of Texas’ total oil production, driving the cost of a barrel of oil to an all-time low of three cents per gallon.
The first offshore drilling in Texas occurred in 1908 in the shallow Galveston Bay. This initial effort was unsuccessful. The offshore oil boom didn’t start until 1916 when a huge oil geyser occurred, sparking the creation of offshore refineries.
The onshore and offshore oil boom in Texas also led to the creation of multiple towns across the state.
Natural Gas in Texas
While the oil industry remains strong in Texas, the state has more recently invested in the production of natural gas.
Today, Texas leads the country in natural gas production. Natural gas is more environmentally friendly than oil and it produces less emissions and smog. Natural gas accounts for 22 percent of the energy consumption in America due to the fact that natural gas is used in generating electricity, transportation fuel, dyes, medicines, plastic and fertilizer. Because of the increasing demand for natural gas, much of the exploration and production in Texas has shifted from oil to natural gas.
Natural gas was discovered as a by-product of oil and the natural gas boom in Texas was launched in the early 1970s when the industry and production peaked in 1972. Natural gas fields have been discovered all throughout the state of Texas.
Texas produces nearly 1.5% of the world’s natural gas and has become the state with the largest natural gas processing capability in the US with 163 natural gas plants that produce 19.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
The oil and natural gas industries in Texas have attracted numerous workers and student interns from across the US and the world who are interested in stable, profitable, important work. Some of the largest and most popular companies in Texas include Texas Gas Service, West Gas, Inc. and Gateway Energy Corporation.
Many workers are relocated to Texas because of its strong oil and natural gas industries. If you’re a part of that group, Residology has elegant, fully-furnished temporary apartments in Texas available in multiple cities across the State. If you’re in need of a place to stay while securing a permanent home to settle into or even if you’re just here for a few months, contact us at Residology today for availability and more information.