Oklahoma's Oil Eras
Oil Booms, Fields, Boom Towns, Riches

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    Oil boom

    The first recorded oil well in what is now Oklahoma was completed in 1859, by a man seeking, not oil, but saltwater.

    The birth of the oil boom in Oklahoma was April 15, 1897, with the discovery of the first commercial oil well the Nellie Johnstone No. 1, along the Caney river, near what is now Bartlesville.

    Oklahoma had oil booms in several fields scattered mostly in the eastern part of the state. The oil industry reached its peak in the 1920s. Below are the largest fields and dates of their discovery.

    Bartlesville 1897             Healdton 1913
    Burbank (Osage) 1987 Greater Seminole 1926
    Glenn Pool 1905        Oklahoma City 1930
    Cushing 1912           

    The Greater Seminole was the largest field discovered in the world to that point. Within a few years the added supply of the Greater Seminole glutted the world market. This coupled with the depression resulted in the price of oil dropping to ten cents per barrel. The oil companies agreed on a voluntary reductions in oil production. This in turn eliminate development and drilling, where most of the jobs were. The boom turned to bust.

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