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The Big Oil Well

(Galveston Daily News, February 8, 1901)

Beaumont, Tex., Feb. 7--It is Said That Its Capacity Is 30,000 Barrels a Day At 50 Cents a Barrel--Better Than a Mine--Speculating as To Whether It Will Spout Again When The Cap Is Removed--No New Oil Development---Prospectors Are Putting Up Rigs And a Number Of Holes To Be Drilled.

During all of the excitement which followed the discovery of the great Lucas well, there was one question which interested all who saw the well and which, in fact, was of the greatest interest to the world at large. This was the actual amount of the oil that was passing out of the well daily and spreading in waste over the prairie lands of Texas. It will be remembered that every oil man who came to view the well was asked first what was the capacity of the well, and secondly, what was the quality of the oil. To the first qustion, the answers varied as widely as darkness from daylight, and the unreliability of the conjectures and guesses of the different people is illustrated by the fact that the estimates ranged from 3,000 barrels per day to 50,000 barrels per day, although the general average seemed to rest at 20,000 barrels.

It has been nearly 30 days now since the well spouted and there has as yet been no authoritative statement issued from the owners as to the actual amount of oil which poured out of the well during the seven days it was gushing. It was generally thought when the well was controlled and the owners obtained the actual pressure of the well against a pressure gauge on a pipe that it would then be given out what the pressure and flow was. But the owners have chosen to keep this information to themselves. However, it was learned today that the owners of the well have estimated and will shortly announce the flow of the well tohave been 30,000 barrels per day. Estimating that the well flowed 30,000 barrels a day, the total amount for seven days it was loose (gushing) reaches 210,000 barrels of oil.

Mr. Galey conservatively estimates that the oil will eventually sell for not less than 50 cents per barrel, and with this price for it, there was $106,000 worth of oil spilled on the ground. These figures seem large, but they merely serve to illustrate the enormous value of this well, and to sustain the statement that it was the greatest thing ever found in the United States. It eases the minds of those who became excited over the discovery and makes those who have become accustomed to the possession of this monster well feel like starting a little enthusiasm again.

There has also been considerble speculation as to what the new well will do if it were opened again and permitted to flow. Of course, everybody at first conclusion would say that it would spout into the air with the same vigor as it did the day it was closed. Yet Mr. Galey is not certain of this.

He said the other day to this correspondent that he was not by any means sure just what the well would do. In fact, he said it might be possible that the well would have to be pumped. Of course, this is merely the worst side of the presumption, and it is by no means based on either knowledge or information. Everyone will agree that it is possible the well might not flow, but it is questionable if there is an oil man who would not be willing to stake his all on its shooting out just the same as it did the first day

No leases of very great importance were filed today, though there were several large transfers of property placed on record. The work of getting new rigs in place is progressing rapidly, though the rain of today interfered a little in the construction of derricks near the city.

Constlruction of the pipe line to El Vista is being pushed with all possible speed, and the erection of the first storge tank at Gladys City, near the well, is going ahead rapidly. There will be no very important development in the oil situation until another well is struck, or until the completion of the tanks and the reopening of the valve on the big well. (comp. by W.T.Block)

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