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Two Oil & Gas Pioneers

The first record of oil being tapped at its source using a drill, was by Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company of Connecticut (later to be known as Seneca Oil Company) near Titusville, Pennsylvania on August 27, 1859.
 
While there were many American settlers who encountered oil deposits in some fashion, there were very few people who saw the opportunity to take advantage of the oil reserves.
 
But there were a few pioneers who made a difference in the oil and gas industry. Below are two oil and gas pioneers that helped shape American petroleum.
 
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John D. Rockefeller
 
John D. Rockefeller was one of many who heard of the Titusville oil tapping. But because he possessed great entrepreneurial instincts and was a genius for organizing companies, in 1859, he and his partner operated a commission firm and soon sold it to build a small oil refinery. In 1867, Rockefeller, his brother William, S.V. Harkness, and Henry M. Flagler built what was to become the Standard Oil Company. Soon, Rockefeller became a leading figure in the US oil industry.
 
And with the creation of new oil firms popping up, Rockefeller swiftly bought them out or partnered with his competitors. By 1870, Standard Oil Company became the dominant oil-refining firm in Pennsylvania.
 
To achieve more business and profit, Rockefeller purchased pipelines to provide cheap and efficient transportation for oil.
 
In 1900, Standard Oil Company bought the Pacific Coast Oil Company and in 1906 merged all its western operations into Pacific Oil, now known as Chevron.
 
The popularity and growth of Standard Oil Company and Rockefeller himself came with much competition – specifically from one man, Joseph S. Cullinan (Buckskin Joe).
 
John D. Rockefeller
source: John D. Rockefeller
 

Joseph S. Cullinan (Buckskin Joe)
 
Joseph S. Cullinan earned the nickname “Buckskin Joe” through his aggressive, hard-driving personality, which reminded his coworkers of the rough leather gloves used in the oil fields.
 
He was attracted to the oil found at Corsicana, Texas in the 1890s when Standard Oil was feuding with Texas over the lack of facilities for storing, transporting, refining, or selling oil.
 
Cullinan took advantage of this opportunity and began to manage the construction of storage tanks, pipelines, and refineries on the west of the Mississippi River. He was also able to convince businesses and railroads to use oil for fuel instead of coal. Corsicana soon became the oil capital of Texas.
 
In 1901, Cullinan moved to Spindletop near Beaumont, Texas, where he was instrumental in the organization of the Texas Fuel Company, a major competitor of Standard Oil Company. Shortened to Texaco, the company tried to gain control of the valuable property near Spindletop. In 1902, dozens of oil businesses, including Texaco were on the brink of disaster when a carelessly lit cigar dropped to the ground and ignited the oil-rich area. Cullinan was at the forefront of the blaze to try and save the oil field from complete destruction, which he managed to do.
 
Unfortunately, Cullinan’s abrasive personality began to turn off investors who, in 1913, outmanoeuvred him with more money and bought Texaco and moved it to White Plains, New York. Despite the location change, Texaco, like the oil industry itself, still has deep roots in the state of Texas. And Cullinan was recognized as one of the first to promote American oil.
 
Joseph S. Cullinan
source: Joseph S. Cullinan
 

TNphoto Tatsuya Nakagawa
Tatsuya Nakagawa is the VP of Marketing and co-founder of Castagra Products, a storage tank and wastewater coatings manufacturing company that is highly acclaimed for its sustainable coatings, cold weather tank coating applications, and its durable frac tank coatings. Castagra is used by the world’s top oil and gas field services companies.