Oil and fuel growth in Wyoming predates the state itself.
As far again because the early 19th century explorers in what’s now Wyoming reported proof of oil. In 1832, when fur dealer Capt. Bonneville traveled to the Wind River Valley, he discovered oil springs southeast of current Lander close to Dallas Dome, the place the state’s first oil properly can be drilled 5 many years later.
For centuries, native individuals seined off the oil, utilizing the greasy residues for struggle paint, ornament on hides and teepees, horse and human liniments and different drugs.
The first recorded oil sale in Wyoming occurred alongside the Oregon Trail when, in 1863, enterprising entrepreneurs bought oil as a lubricant to wagon-train vacationers. The oil got here from Oil Mountain Springs some 20 miles west of present-day Casper.
In 1866, John C. Fiere, an worker of Fort Bridger Sutler William A. Carter, reported to his boss that he had discovered oil close by. He had expertise within the Pennsylvania oil fields and supplied to develop the oil spring commercially. In the next years, the spring produced 150 barrels of oil. The whole quantity was bought to the Union Pacific Railroad.
Tales of a Wyoming “tar spring” would encourage a Pennsylvania-born Irishman Mike Murphy. In 1883, Murphy and his brother Frank purchased an oil lease from Dr. George B. Graff – on the very web site of Capt. Bonneville’s “nice tar spring.” The Murphy brothers drilled for oil at Dallas Dome and located it at 300 ft in what would develop into generally known as the Chugwater formation. The Dallas discipline positioned in Fremont County lies about 10 miles southeast of Lander. Dallas dome is an extended uneven fold within the southwestern a part of the Wind River Basin.
The historic properly’s oil was bought to the Union Pacific to lubricate railcar axles. News unfold shortly and impressed others to stake their very own “placer” mineral claims on promising websites.
In 1890, Philip Shannon, a Civil War veteran and profitable Pennsylvania oil businessman visited the realm in 1884. After exploring oil seeps exterior of Casper, Shannon selected to drill for oil on the northeast aspect of the Salt Creek exercise, and with a small group of buyers, started transport gear from Pennsylvania to the brand new Casper railroad station, nonetheless a 50 mile wagon haul from the proposed web site.
In August 1890, only one month after Wyoming turned the 44th state, Shannon introduced in his first properly. Even unrefined, the brand new state’s oil proved to be a superb lubricant. The producing zone will develop into generally known as the Shannon sandstone. The Wyoming Derrick, Casper’s newspaper, enthusiastically introduced, “Wyoming will develop into the best and wealthiest mineral producing state within the Union.”
Within 20 months, Shannon and his associates had two producing wells, one dry gap, and a fourth properly underway. In the 1890s, vital oil strikes had been made in northern Natrona County.
To broaden their markets, Shannon and his Pennsylvania buyers started constructing a refinery in Casper in 1894. Wyoming’s inhabitants had grown to over 62,000. Within a yr, the brand new refinery was in a position to produce 100 barrels a day of 15 completely different grades of lubricant, from mild cylinder oil to heavy grease.
Despite a rising inhabitants (1900 census counted 92,531) and improved railroad entry, transportation prices meant that Wyoming oil couldn’t efficiently compete for the distant jap markets. The Casper refinery was closed by October 1904.
Wyoming’s first actual oil increase must wait till the Dutch-owned Petroleum Maatschappij Salt Creek Company’s properly erupted on October 23, 1908, bringing a brand new flood of entrepreneurs and buyers.
By 1930, about one-fifth of all oil produced within the United States got here from Salt Creek. More than four,000 petroleum wells have since been drilled within the ten producing zones of the 22,000-acre discipline. In 2007 alone, Salt Creek produced virtually three million barrels of…

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