History of Development of General Geology of the Panhandle Field of Texas


The following article comes from the book Panhandle Petroleum,Edited by Bobby D. Weaver, Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, Canyon, Texas. Funding for the book was provided by the Pioneer Corporation and was printed by Miller National Corporation, Amarillo, Texas, 1982

by Lawrence R. Hagy

History of Development

The discovery well in the Panhandle Of Texas was a gas well, drilled on a surface structure known as the John Ray Dome located in northern Potter County about thirty miles north of Amarillo. This structure was worked by Dr. C. N. Gould and the discovery well drilled on his recommendation. This well, The Greater Amarillo Oil Company No. 1 Masterson, was completed December 13, 1918, for an initial production of ten million cubic feet of gas and a rock pressure of 430 pounds. Following this discovery a number of gas wells were drilled in the surrounding area including portions of Potter, Moore, Hartley and Carson counties.

On May 2, 1921, the Gulf Production Company No. 2 Burnett, located near the north line of Carson County, was completed for an initial production of 175 barrels of oil per day from granite wash. This led to the drilling of several wells in this area, although development was relatively slow on account of a lack of transportation and pipeline facilities.

The early oil development of Hutchinson County was north of the Canadian River, initiated by the completion of the Gulf Production Company's No. 1 Dial, with an initial production of 135 barrels. A number of wells were completed between this area the Burnett Ranch production, in what was later known as the Borger Pool, but extensive development did not start until the early part of 1926.

In Carson County development gradually spread south and east through Gray County where a number of gas wells were connpleted. The discovery oil well, the Wilcox No.1 Worley-Reynolds, located approximately five miles south of the town of Pampa, was completed January 31, 1925, for an initial production of sixty barrels. Several small wells were completed in this area, but the bringing in of a 700 barrel well by Clark & Baldridge, June 12, 1926, started an extensive drilling campaign. Production has been developed across the entire county, although the development has been rather spasmodic.

On February 23, 1924, the first gas well was completed in Wheeler County for ten million cubic feet and while oil was first discovered February 2, 1925, this county prior to the middle of 1933 produced gas principally. During the early part of 1933 an oil producing trend in eastern Gray County was extended into the western part of Wheeler County resulting in the development of one of the most prolific areas of production in the Panhandle.

In Moore County, the first oil well was completed July 20, 1926. To date this county has not been a factor in oil production on account of the erratic nature of its occurrence. Several small pools have been developed which gave more encouragement, but upon additional development, proved to be very limited in extent.

General Geology

The dominant structural feature of the Texas Panhandle is an elongated anticline trending approximately twenty degrees north of west from the Oklahoma line almost entirely across the Panhandle. It is underlain at comparatively shallow depths by granite and other igneous rocks and is a westward continuation of the line of folding upon which the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma are located. The axis of these buried mountains extends from the southeastern corner of Wheeler, through Gray, Carson and northern Potter counties. Igneous rock has been encountered by the drill in Collingsworth, Wheeler, Gray, Carson, Hutchinson, Moore, Potter, Hartley and Oldham counties. The comparatively shallow granite present in the northwestern corner of Oldham and southwestern Hartley counties is separated from the rest of the ridge by a syncline and is possibly more directly related to the buried mountains of northeastern New Mexico.

The sedimentary rocks overlying the igneous core have been folded into a complex anticline of regional extent, the axis of which corresponds, in general, to the buried mountain range as far west as Carson County. Here the structure widens and continues west and northwest, both Potter and Moore counties being regionally high.

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Last Update: 06/14/97