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‘Wildcatters’ of 1899 ‘Missed’ Music Mountain By 1000 Feet

(Transcribed by Michele Slack)

Wellsville Daily Reporter, Wellsville, New York - 8/6/1941

‘Wildcatters’ of 1899 ‘Missed’ Music Mountain By 1000 Feet

“One Thousand Feet From a Million Dollars” might be the title of this story.  At least that is what happened to a group of “wildcat” oil men who drilled a well near the Music Mountain flush area of the Bradford, PA.; field in 1899.

The group whose names are unknown today, sunk a hole through the Bradford third oil sand 42 years ago just about 1,000 feet from the edge of what is today one of the most profitable pools in the entire Pennsylvania Grade crude oil area.

The well was dry and it was not until August 24, 1937 that the discovery well was drilled according to a report compiled by Dr. C. R. Fettke of the Carnegie Institute of Technology for the Topography and Geologic Survey of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Fettke estimates that the pool originally contained about 3,700,000 barrels of oil which should be recoverable.  At the close of 1940 about 2,235,000 barrels had been taken from the pool which is about four miles long but only about 800 feet wide.

The limits of the field have been established through the drilling of more than 200 wells of which 14 have turned out to be gas wells and 68 were non-productive. Maximum production was reached in the early months of 1940 when the daily average was about 7,000 barrels per day.  Latest figures available give the average daily production today at about 3,000 barrels.

The 1899 “wildcatters” however would have opened the field during a year when prices reached a high of only $1.68 per barrel and touched a low of $1.05 per barrel.  These compare with a peak price of $2.82 and a low of @2.20 for 1937—the year of the Music Mountain discovery.  The oil today is bringing $2.75 per barrel.

 

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