In the early days of petroleum, late 1800’s, prospecting in Texas most oil finds were the result of digging or drilling near known oil and gas seeps (seeps – A spot where water or petroleum trickles out of the ground to form a pool). Because of abundant seeps, guesswork and good luck were sufficient for finding oil at this time period. Most prominent salines and salt domes had been recorded by the 1890 Geological Survey of Texas. Amateurs in geology, such as Pattillo Higgins called by some the “prophet of Spindletop”, used geological hunches and knowledge of existing seeps to promote drilling for oil at Spindletop in 1901. In 1903, the first oil company founded their venture on petroleum residue in soil samples collected from near a gas spring. This was the first time that “paraffin dirt” was used in prospecting for oil. The use of geology didn’t really begin to take hold until the 1920s, when geophysical methods of exploration enhanced the oil prospector’s knowledge of subterranean strata and began to clearly show a real advantage for finding oil.
Over a century later, independent drillers are still making a wealth of oil and gas discoveries within 60 miles of Spindletop with great success due to the advances in geological surveys, historical data, experience and utilizing new drilling technology. Exploring for oil and gas has come a long way from searching for seeps. Due to the technological advances, prospecting for oil has become very effective with dry holes becoming less of a risk. The main focus is on the driller when it comes to investing in oil and gas ventures. The more hands on experience combined with technological advances increases your potential for success exponentially.
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