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Oil Men Drilling

(Galveston Daily News, February 10, 1901)

Beaumont, Tex., Feb. 9--Eight Completed Derricks in A Radius of Half Mile of The Lucas Fountain--Two Drills Driving--Speculating in Land Has Cooled and Men Are Going Down After Oil--Racing For a Big Strike--Situation Will Probably Take On New Life When The Next Well Is Announced.

The actual development of the oil fields of Beaumont which practically began with the first day of the present week, is at the close of the week in a fair state of progress. The first few days of the week were spent by most of the well contractors in building rigs and getting lumber on the ground for derricks. During the latter half of the week, carpenters have been at work and there are now eight completed derricks within a radius of a half a mile of the big Lucas well. Actual drilling has begun on two of these wells, and on Lucas well No. 2, the drill has already penetrated a considerable distance into the ground, but of course, the depth is not known. Yesterday and today numerous well rigs have arrived here from Corsicana and several new rigs from the factories have been unloaded here and taken to the oil field. All contractors are now busy sinking the wells and there seems to be a general letup in the matter of securing leases; only those who have not yet secured working leases are active in this direction. Most of the well contractors who came here for actual development rather than speculation have secured leases sufficient to begin work and are now directing their attention to finding oil.

The outcome of the drilling which is now being done and which will be done for several months to come on property near the big gusher, will be of great interest to the oil world. If another gusher similar to the big one is found, it will be difficult to estimate to what extent the excitement will go. On the contrary, if dry holes are sunk, it will point to information relative to the nature of the field which will be fully as beneficial, if not as satisfactory, to the oil world, as would be a big strike. It must be remembered that there is yet a great deal of mystery surrounding the nature of the oil deposit here, and if the opinions of a great many oil men are honestly expressed, no one is prepared to say just what the future will develop, though it might be safely concluded that men of experience have great confidence in the ability of the drills to touch another subterranean lake of oil, or rather a stratum of oil-bearing sand.

Mr. Galey has made some tests of the Beaumont oil as fuel during the past few days and finds that it burns and produces heat satisfactorily. The oil well rigs now being placed in the field here are provided with oil-burners, and it is in these that the test has been made for several days. Mr.Galey is prepared to furnish crude oil from the lake to all the well drillers in this vicinity.

Mr. J. A. Paulhamas returned yesterday from a visit to his wells in the Taylor's Bayou country, but declines to give out any information concerning any of his wells. A considerable story might be written relative to the attitude of Mr. Paulhamas here and the truth about his find. It is the firm belief of everyone here that Mr. Paulhamas has found a well, but in the absence of any other information, what is to be done if he chooses to say that he has not, or at least declines to state whether he has or has not (struck oil).

His wells are capped and what is contained in the pipe is the secret of the owner and his employees. If the wells spout as did the Lucas well, then the information becomes public, but until then, it is nigh impossible to make an intelligent statement. Newspaper writers here are anxious to know the truth and do not fear to publish it, but they are shy on facts. It will probably develop some time that Mr. Paulhamas has had oil all the time, and this explanation will then appear more opportune than it does now.

Real estate transactions are even smaller today than yesterday, evidencing that eventually the transactions will settle into the usual channels. Only two leases were filed today, and though both are good ones, they are not of more than ordinary importance.

A complete resume of this situation at the close of the week, told briefly, would show that the speculation has almost wholly given way to energetic labors in the field where the oil is supposed to exist. Real estate men who are now transacting business on almost normal methods, and hasty deals are things of the past, at least until further developments show a change in the status of oil conditions. The whole situation has now resolved itself into a case of whose will be the first drill to again touch the reservoir of oil beneath the earth's surface. (Comp. by W. T. Block)

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