Theory
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The Oil Well Theory

(Galveston Daily News, January 25, 1901)

Austin, Tex., Jan. 24--The Field Geologist of The State University Returns from The Beaumont Well.--Conditions of Flow--If Gas Forces the Oil Up, The Big Lucas Gusher May Soon Play Out--It May Be Gravitation--In Which Event The Supply Depends on The Reservoir--Possible Pressure is Hydrostatic.

Dr. William B. Phillips, professor of field geology in the State University, and whose experiences in the oil regions of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia make him an expert in that line, returned to Austin today from the new field near Beaumont, where he spent some time investigating the oil situation.

He says that no one can yet say how extensive the oil field will prove to be; that while the Lucas gusher is a world beater in terms of production, its lasting quality cannot be foretold.

"If the immense flow of the Lucas well is due to gas pressure, it may soon peter out," Dr. Phillips said. "But the flow indicates that gas is not behind it; and if this theory is correct, the pressure may be due to gravitation. If it should be gravitation, the life of the well will depend entirely upon the extent of the oil reservoir or stream. The fact that the well is located with 20 miles of the sea coast give strength to the theory that the pressure is back of the wonderful flow in this well is hydrostatic, or salt water. If this is true, the flow will last until the salt water forces all of the oil out of the reservoir, which event will be marked by the salt water rising to sea level in the well. It is the general theory that the pressure in the oil wells on the coast of California is hydrostatic. (compiled by W. T. Block)

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