The Lone Star Fleet of Texas
The spectacular discovery of oil in southern Texas on 10th January 1901 by Austrian born mining engineer Capt. Anthony F. Lucas at the Spindletop oilfield was the catalyst for the foundation of the Texas Company (Texaco). Contrary to the usual scenario of a vertical gusher, this gusher pipe was inclined at an angle of sixty degrees from the ground, and produced an estimated 800,000 barrels of oil before it was controlled. Spindletop was located near Beaumont (Texas) on the opposite side of the Neches river from Orange (Texas) and around twenty miles from Port Arthur. Spindletop inspired Texaco’s founding fathers, Joseph S. Cullinan and Arnold Schlaet, to seek oil in the nearby Sour Lake, where they brought in a well on 7th April 1902. The oil was sold to Louisiana sugar planters to fire their boilers from the Texas Fuel Company, set up later that month with a capital of $50,000. A Texaco refinery was later built at Texaco Island on the west side of Sabine Lake at Port Arthur, with access to the sea via the Sabine Pass for ocean going tankers.
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