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Jim Letourneau's Blog

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Oilpatch Trivia - Slanted oil wells are the latest sensation of the oil industry!

I love the the PTTC monthly email as they always dig up some interesting trivia.

In 1933, it took the combined efforts of two oilfield innovators to extinguish the fire and control a blowout well in Conroe, Texas. One formed his company in Oklahoma by inventing a self-contained portable drilling rig using a farm truck. The other, considered a "whip-stocking expert," would later be recognized as the father of directional drilling and surveying.

Can you name these oilmen?



George E. Failing of Enid, Oklahoma, and H. John Eastman of Long Beach, California. Failing ultimately held more than three hundred patents for various tools, from rock bit cores to an apparatus for seismic surveying, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

"Slanted oil wells are the latest sensation of the oil industry," notes a 1934 Popular Science Monthly article, adding: "With the aid of simple geometry, Eastman sketched a plan. He would sink a straight hole part way, then drift sidewise in an arc, intersecting the oil formation close to the wild well." Read more in the "Conroe Crater" article of the American Oil & Gas Historical Society.