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Full text of "Bulletin of the United States Geological Survey--Oil Fields of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coastal Plain"

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Bulletin No. 212 



uBlJ cM"lOHS t 

Series A, Economic Geology, 23 



DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 

CHARLES D. WALCOTT, DIRECTOR 



OIL FIELDS 



OF THE 



Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coastal Plain 



C. W. HAYES and WILLIAM KENNEDY 




WASHINGTON 

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
1903 



Bulletin No. 212 



Series A, Economic Geology, 23 



DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 

CHARLES I). WALCOTT, Director 



OIL FIELDS 



OF THE 



Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coastal Plain 



C. W. HAYES and WILLIAM KENNEDY 




WASHINGTON 

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
1903 



CONTENTS 



Page. 

Introduction 9 

Acknowledgments 10 

Previous knowledge of the region : 10 

Topography of the Gulf Coastal Plain 13 

Relief 13 

Drainage 14 

Timber 15 

Geology of the Gulf Coastal Plain 15 

Subdivisions 15 

Geology of the western division 16 

Surface formations 16 

Underground conditions 18 

Section from Pleasanton to Palito Blanco 18 

Prospecting for petroleum 19 

Geology of the eastern division : _ . _ 19 

General section (!) 

Base of coastal formations •_ _ 21 

Fayette sands _ _ . 21 

Frio clays 22 

Buried beds 23 

Lafayette sands 26 

Columbia sands 26 

Beaumont clays 27 

Recent or Port Hudson clays 

Detailed sections of Coastal Plain formations 30 

Detailed sections on the Guadalupe 30 

Detailed sections on the Colorado and Brazos 32 

Detailed sections between Brazos and Trinity rivers 42 

Detailed sections in vicinity of Neches and Sabine rivers _ _■ 48 

Gravels 62 

Changes of level during deposition of Coastal Plain formations 66 

Geology of the oil pools 68 

Enumeration of oil districts 68 

Beaumont district 68 

Spindletop pool 69 

Limits of Spindletop pool 69 

Character of overlying beds 69 

Character of the oil rock 70 

Beds underlying the oil rock 71 

Structure of Spindletop pool . 72 

Well sections 74 

List of producing wells in Spindletop pool 77 

3 



4 CONTENTS. 

Geology of the oil pools — Continued. Page. 

Beaumont district — Continued. 

Region surrounding Spindletop pool . 86 

Well records r 87 

List of wells -• 103 

Port Arthur-Sabine Pass district 104 

Oil ponds 104 

Examination of mud from Gulf of Mexico, by H. J. Turner . . . 107 

Sea wax 111 

Well records 112 

Sour Lake district 113 

Location and history 113 

Well records 116 

Geologic structure 118 

Saratoga district 119 

Location and history 119 

Well records 119 

High Island district _ '. . - 122 

Location and topography 122 

Well records 124 

Geologic structure 125 

Riser Hill district 125 

Minor Texas districts 125 

Big Hill, Jefferson County 126 

Dayton Hill . 126 

Barber Hill 127 

Davis Hill 127 

Bryan Heights 127 

Big Hill, Matagorda County 127 

Jennings district 127 

Location and development 127 

Oil sand 129 

List of wells 130 

Anse La Butte district 130 

Hackberry Island 131 

Sulphur district 133 

Minor Louisiana districts 135 

Vinton 135 

Spring Hill 136 

Welsh 136 

Lake Charles 136 

Other localities 137 

The Gulf Coastal Plain oil 137 

Origin of petroleum 137 

Classification of theories . 137 

Theories of inorganic origin 138 

Theories of organic origin , 138 

Theories of combined organic and inorganic origin 139 

Conclusion 140 

Accumulation of the oil 140 

Conditions for accumulation 140 

The oil supply . . _ _ _ 140 

The reservoir rock 141 

The impervious cover 141 



CONTENTS. 5 

The Gulf Coastal Plain oil — Continued. Page. 
Accumulation of the oil — Continued. 

Anticlinal structure 142 

Saturation of the rocks and circulation of the saturating fluid. 142 

Structural conditions 144 

Physical and chemical properties of the Texas-Louisiana oil 146 

Physical properties 146 

Color and odor . 146 

Specific gravity 146 

Flash and burning point 147 

Viscosity 148 

Chemical properties 148 

Composition 149 

Volatility 150 

Constitution 153 

Associated hydrocarbons 154 

Natural gas *. 154 

Well phenomena 154 

Well pressure 154 

Cause of pressure 155 

Utilization of the Gulf Coast petroleum 157 

Illuminating oil 157 

Fuel 158 

Theoretical value 158 

Safety 159 

Practical tests in steam raising 160 

Comparative fuel value of coal and Beaumont petroleum 160 

Locomotive tests 161 

Methods of burning the oil . . _• 162 

Storage and transportation 165 

Methods and cost of well drilling 166 

Rotary method 166 

Machinery and operation 166 

Cost of drilling 169 

Finishing the well I- 170 

Index 171 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Pago. 

Plate I. Geological map of a portion of the Gulf Coastal Plain 14 

II. Generalized section of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coastal Plain for- 

formations 20 

III. Map of Spinclletop oil pool 68 

IV. View of a portion of Spinclletop, 1902 72 

V. Index map showing location of Louisiana oil districts _ _ ._. 128 

VI. Sand gusher at Welsh, La 136 

VII. Map of petroleum fields 144 

VIII. A, Williams burner, section through center of burner; B, Wil- 
liams burner, horizontal section through center of burner 162 

IX. Babbitt syndicate earthen oil reservoir 164 

X. .4, Chapman rotary drill; B, Hoisting and operating machinery, 166 

XL A, Fish-tail bit; B, Core-barrel bit; C, Adamantine or shot drill. 168 

Fig. 1 . Sketch contour map of Damon Mound .. 36 

2. Sections of Spindletop oil pool . 73 

3. Map of region surrounding the Spindletop oil pool 86 

4. Map of Sabine Pass, showing location of so-called oil ponds 105 

5. Index map showing location of Sour Lake and Saratoga oil pools 114 

6. Map of Sour Lake district 115 

7. Sketch contour map of High Island 123 

8. Map of Jennings oil field 128 

9. Theoretical relations of gas, oil, and water in the reservoir rock . . 157 

10. Boiler furnace with oil-burning equipment ". 163 

11. Boiler furnace arranged for burning oil 164 

12. Derrick with machinery in place 168 

7 



OIL FIELDS OF THE TEXAS-LOUISIANA GULF 
COASTAL PLAIN. 



By C. W. Hayes and William Kennedy. 



INTRODUCTION. 

Immediately after the discovery of the Spindletop oil pool by Capt. 
A. F. Lucas in January, 1901, there was a widespread demand for 
information regarding the geology of the Gulf Coastal Plain in Texas 
and Louisiana. Very little was known concerning the formations 
underlying this region, for owing to the lack of exposures it had pre- 
sented an extremely uninviting field for investigation. It was 
believed that the interests of the oil-producing industry would be 
best served by a thorough study of the stratigraphy of the region and 
the collection of all data regarding the character of the underlying 
beds obtainable from natural exposures and well records. Only upon 
such a foundation of carefully ascertained fact could any reasonable 
hypothesis regarding the origin and distribution of the oil be based. 
Many theories have been published in the daily press and elsewhere, 
which have been more or less fanciful, not to saj^ grotesque, and 
which have cast a shade of discredit upon geology by those who do 
not take the pains to discriminate. 

For the purpose of collecting all available stratigraphic data in this 
region the Survey obtained the services of Mr. William Kenned}^, 
formerly of the Texas geological survey. During his connection with 
the State survey Mr. Kennedy examined a large part of the Gulf 
Coastal Plain, but only a portion of his results was published. He 
began work for the present report in June, 1901, and continued in the 
field until February, 1902. About eight weeks were spent in the 
field by the senior author in the fall of 1901 and the spring of 1902, 
the more important and promising localities being visited. Owing 
to the press of other duties the preparation of the following report 
has fallen almost entirely upon Mr. Kennedy. He is to be given the 
entire credit for all the stratigraphic descriptions which form the 
chief permanent value of the report. He has also worked out the 
Tertiary history of the Coastal Plain, which is a distinct contribution 
to geologic science and is essential for a theory of oil accumulation in 
this region. 



10 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull 212 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. 

Acknowledgments are due to the various oil companies and their 
managers, as well as to individual drillers in the various portions of 
the Coastal Plain, for assistance in various ways and for information 
given by them during the course of the work. Thanks are due more 
particularly to W. E. Griffith and J. M. Landon, of the J. M. Guffey 
Petroleum Company; to Walter and J. M. Sharp, of Sharp Brothers; 
to George A. Hill, of the safety committee; to W. II. Mitchell, of the 
Gladys Oil Company; to J. Harbey, of the Harbey Oil Company; and 
to W. A. Andrews, of the Slaughter-Masterson Company. Also to 
H. H. Jones, of Hackberry, and Lee I lager, mining engineer, for 
information regarding the Louisiana field; to H. S. Hargraves, of 
Saratoga, and Messrs. Heaton and T. O'Connor, of Victoria and Ouero, 
for assistance in Victoria, Dewitt, and Calhoun counties. Without 
the assistance of these men, much of the informal ion here given 
would not have been obtainable. 

PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE OF THE REGION. 

From the Mississippi River westward through Louisiana and Texas, 
along the boi-dcr of the Gulf of Mexico, is a low, flat country, partly 
swampy or marshy, as in the southern parishes of Louisiana, and 
partly a broad stretch of clayey and sandy land hut slightly elevated 
above the level of these marshes. The marshy areas extend west- 
ward to the eastern shore of Galveston Bay, while the clayey areas 
may be said to extend as far west as the Guadalupe River, in Victoria 
County, Tex. West of that stream, as far as the Rio Grande, the 
country is covered with sand and has a semiarid aspect. It ma} 7 be 
added that this condition exists for many miles along the coast of the 
Mexican State of Tamaulipas. This region is known as the Gulf 
Coastal Plain. It extends inland for a distance of from 50 to 100 
miles. Although forests of pine, oak, and magnolia fringe its north- 
ern border on the higher grounds, various species of gum occur on 
the lower benches, and heavy forests of black and red cypress occupy 
the low river flood plains, the greater portion of the Coastal Plain is 
a treeless prairie. 

These prairies have usually been designated the Coast prairies, and 
the beds which occupy the surface within the area are grouped under 
the general title of Coast clays. No geologic work of any magnitude 
has ever been done in this prairie region, partl} T because the country 
was not considered of any economic value, and partly on account of 
the difficulties caused by the absence of anything like a natural sec- 
tion. The country is very flat, there are few streams flowing across 
it, and these few are flowing through broad, shallow channels filled 
with recent alluvium. 

The only references made to these coast deposits in the published 



HAYES AM) 
KENNEDY. 



PKEVIOUS KNOWLEDGE OF THE REGION. 11 



reports of the Texas State Geological Survey have been cursory and 
of a very general character. The most important is as follows : 

Immediately bordering the Gulf shore and forming the underlying slope we 
find a series of beds of clays, sandy clays, blue, yellow, red, and often mottled, 
which frequently appear black upon the surface from the combination of vege- 
table matter with the lime of the calcareous nodules which are found scattered 
through them. These clays are heavy, massive, containing small crystals of gyp- 
sum in places, and so compact that bluffs from 15 to 20 feet in height are often 
found along the streams and bay shores even in such a moist climate as that of 
Texas. 

The various strata which form these beds dip so slightly to the southeast as to 
appear nearly horizontal, and form the basis of the level coast prairies which 
stretch inland from the Gulf for distances varying from 50 to 1 00 miles. 

While the underlying beds of clay are seemingly identical for the entire Gulf 
coast, the overlying soil is somewhat different, being more sandy on the eastern 
and western borders and more clayey between the Brazos and Nueces rivers. « 

McGee regarded these deposits as belonging in part to his Lafayette 
formation and in part to his Columbia. He considers the region to 
have been built up for the most part from long wave-built keys sepa- 
rated from the mainland by sounds, although he says that " east of 
Galveston the keys and sounds appear to fail; yet the wave-built 
barriers are continuous as in southern Texas and eastern Mexico, 
though submerged beneath the Gulf waters to form Sabine Bank, 
Trinity Shoals, and Ship Shoal, and their connecting scries of bars 
parallel with the coast." 6 

R. T. Hill describes these plains as a belt of prairie land not over 
100 miles wide bordering the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana and Texas. 
He regards it as a grass-covered constructional plain newly reclaimed 
from the Gulf of Mexico. The interior margin of this plain rises 
scarcely 100 feet above the sea, and it is characterized by an exceed- 
ingly level surface hardly broken except by a few low drainage 
grooves, which become fewer and more faintly developed toward the 
Rio Grande. Upon this plain a youthful drainage system is being 
established, while the seaward extensions of the through-flowing 
streams cross it. These rivers have wide and deepty indented valleys 
with gently terraced slopes filled witli old alluvium. 

The floor of the sea border of Texas is a submerged gently sloping sandy plain, 
or shelf, extending 50 miles seaward. By action of tide, wave current, and wind 
this sand is piled into long island strips which fringe the coast and stand almost 
at sea level. These are separated from the land by shallow lagoons, in which 
most of the sediments of the river are deposited. The building up of the sand 
bars by wind and w r ave and the filling up of the lagoons between them by river 
sediments, in connection with gradual uplift, may possibly explain the origin of 
much of the adjacent coast prairie. c 

Sufficient work has not been done in southwestern Louisiana to 
give us any clue to the structure of that portion of the Coastal Plain. 

a First Ann. Rept. Geol. Survey Texas, 1889, p. xxxii. 
*> Twelfth Ann. Rept. U. S. Geol. Survey, 1892, p. 316. 
cPhys. Geography of Texas: Topographic Atlas, U. S. Geol. Survey, folio 3. 



12 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN. [BULL.m 

According to Hilgard, this portion of the coast country is built up 
partly of littoral and esturine deposits and partly of swampy lagoon 
and fluviatile deposits, whose thickness and location are manifestly 
dependent upon the topographic features of the continent at the time 
they were laid down. The land at that time was being slowly 
depressed, as is shown by the nature of the deposits and by the 
numerous superimposed generations of large cypress stumps em- 
bedded in laminated clays, which exhibit the yearly fall of leaves. 
This view was also held by Hopkins in his survey of southwestern 
Louisiana in 1870-71. 

The theories regarding the upbuilding of the Coastal Plain may 
possibly apply to the newest extension in the east, along the Gulf of 
Mexico, which at present is altogether marshy, or to the comparatively 
arid region west of the Nueces River, where at present we find a chain 
of such keys with their accompanying lagoons. The largest of these 
lagoons — Lagima de la Madre — is being rapidly filled up by the drift- 
ing sands from the higher dunes of Padre Island. 

A study of the submerged portion of the Coastal Plain, as shown 
by the Coast Survey charts, shows that the general slope of the sea 
floor as far out at least as the 5-fathom, or 30-foot, line is not more 
than 5 to 7 feet per mile, and that there does not appear to be any 
uniformity in the deposition of the materials forming this floor. 
Lens-shaped deposits of hard blue clay and soft mud occur, irregularly 
interspersed with banks of* fine and coarse gray sand and broken 
shells. The Sabine Bank is reported as being made up of a gray sand, 
with black specks and broken shells, which closely resemble much of 
the gray sand obtained from the different wells in the southeastern 
portion of the oil fields, especially in the neighborhood of Beaumont. 
It is probable that the upbuilding of the Coastal Plain, at least 
throughout about 500 feet of its upper portion, was carried on in the 
same manner as at present. Under the presenl Gulf the sands appear 
to be the heaviest deposits, and the well records show the same con- 
ditions to exist down to a depth of 500 feet. 

The existence of petroleum in this portion of the country has been 
known for many years. In 1860 Wall, ([noting from Taylor's Statis- 
tics of Coal, mentioned the existence within 100 miles of Houston of a 
small lake filled with bitumen or asphaltum, and having in its center 
a spring from which during the summer months an oily liquid (prob- 
ably petroleum) continually boiled up from the bottom/' 

In 1880 S. F. Peckham quotes N. A. Taylor as to the existence of 
maltha in Texas, and gives Sour Lake as one of the localities. On 
the map accompanying his report oil-producing localities are marked 
as follows: At the mouth of the Brazos, near the point where the J. M. 
Guffey Petroleum Company is now drilling; close to Port Arthur, in 

aGeol. of Trinidad, App. G, p. 136; Taylor's Statistics of Coal, p. 223. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY 



D ] TOPOGRAPHY. 13 



Jefferson County; in Newton and Orange counties, Tex.; and at sev- 
eral points in Calcasieu Parish, La. a 

When the present oil development began it was considered advisa- 
ble to undertake the study of the Coastal Plain in order to bring 
together such geologic information as was available concerning the 
geologic relations of the various deposits and to assist in the eco- 
nomic exploitation of the oil fields. 

With this object in view the Gulf Coastal Plain was thoroughly 
studied. The various deposits of sands, clays, and sandstones were 
examined and compared, their continuity across the country was 
traced, their geologic conditions were studied, and their position in 
the general section of the region was worked out. This has been 
done as far as possible by means of the small bluffs and cuttings seen 
along the courses of the rivers and creeks, as well as of such cuttings 
as could be found along the various railroads traversing the country. 
In addition, the logs of the various deep wells throughout the whole 
Coastal Plain, so far as obtainable, were gathered, and the results of 
the borings collated and compared. 

By these means the general underground conditions of the region 
to a depth of about 2,000 feet have been determined and have been 
described so as to be readily understood by those immediately inter- 
ested in the development of the field. There are, however, many 
questions regarding the underground structure that can not be 
answered until much more drilling has been done. 

TOPOGRAPHY OF THE GULF COASTAL PLAIN. 

That portion of the Gulf Coastal Plain under discussion may briefly 
be described as a belt of country having a width of from 50 to 100 
miles, extending around the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and embra- 
cing in Louisiana, in whole or in part, the parishes of Vermilion, Aca- 
dia, Cameron, Calcasieu, and Vernon; and in Texas the counties of 
Orange, Newton, Jefferson, Hardin, Jasper, Chambers, Liberty, Har- 
ris, Galveston, Brazoria, Matagorda, Fort Bend, Wharton, Jackson, 
Victoria, Calhoun, Refugio, San Patricio, Nueces, Cameron, Hidalgo, 
and portions of AValler, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Polk, and Tyler. 

RELIEF. 

The surface features of the Gulf Coastal Plain are extremely simple. 
In the immediate vicinity of the coast, and for 15 or 20 miles inland 
in the parishes of Vermilion and Cameron and in the counties of 
Orange, Jefferson, Chambers, and Galveston, the general level is 
scarcely more than 3 or 4 feet above the average tides of the Gulf. 
At a few points, such as Grand Chenier and Hackberry Island, in 
Cameron Parish, La., and Big Hill and High Island, in Jefferson and 

"Tenth Census, Vol. X, p. 20, and map, Washington, 1884. 



14 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

Galveston counties, Tex., there are pronounced elevations, of a few 
hundred acres in extent, rising to heights of from -10 to 50 feet above 
the level of the coast marshes. 

Bordering the marsh along its northern edge is a second belt, largely 
prairie land, whose surface rises gradually toward the northwest, at 
an average rate of from 10 inches to a foot per mile. 

A few small prominences appear within this belt, as at Spindle top 
and Fairchild Hill, in Jefferson County; at Sour Lake, Dayton, Bar- 
ber Hill, Kiser Mound, near Columbia, and Damon Mound, in Brazoria 
County; and the Sun Mounds, in Waller County. These, however, 
do not present any great elevations, Damon Mound, probably the 
highest, having a maximum of 83 feet above the plain, or probably 
not more than 140 feet above the Gulf. 

The third or inner belt of country belonging to the Coastal Plain 
rises comparatively rapidly from the second, and has a more broken 
and generally timbered surface, with numerous small rounded hills. 
The general elevation of this belt does not appear to exceed 175 to 
200 feet above sea level. 

DRAINAGE. 

In the eastern part of the region throughout Louisiana the rivers 
are deep and sluggish. The few streams of any magnitude are the 
Vermilion Bayou, Bayou Nenienfou, and Calcasieu River. Each of 
these streams is narrow, deep, and clear, has scarcely any appreciable 
current, tends to expand into a broad, shallow lake, and enters the 
Gulf through a shallow bay. Vermilion River flows into Vermilion 
Bay. The Nementou shortly after the junction of Bayou Nezpique 
and des Cannes expands into the broad, shallow Grand Lake, with a 
depth of little over 3 feet, and again contracts only to enter the Gulf 
through a wide month. The Calcasieu forms a series of shallow 
lakes such as Calcasieu, Black, and West Lake, extending all the 
way from Lake Charles to the>coast. These Louisiana rivers all have 
the peculiar characteristics of drowned or submerged streams. 

Throughout the Coastal Plain in southeast Texas the streams are 
similar in character to those in Louisiana. The Sabine and Neches 
unite to form Sabine Lake; the Trinity debouches into the eastern 
end of Galveston Bay; the Colorado reaches the Gulf through Mata- 
gorda Bay, and the Nueces Hows into Corpus Christi Lay. Of all the 
rivers in this area the Brazos alone enters the Gulf directly and with- 
out the intervention of any lagoon or bay. 

West of the Nueces the coast drainage fails almost absolutely, as 
the whole stretch of coast line to the Rio Grande contains only two 
small creeks, the San Fernando and the Olmos, and these unite to 
form Copano Bay, near the head of Laguna de la Madre. 

These streams of the Gulf Coastal Plain may be divided into two 
groups — an older, pre-Pleistocene or pre-Columbia, and a younger, 



U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 

97° 




BULLETIN NO. 212 PL 




•Galveston GEOLOGICAL MAP 

OF A PORTION OF THE 



-.ton 






GULF COASTAL PLAIN 



.SCO 

tn-taix.au 



BY WILLIAM KENNEDY 

Scale 

25 



75 miles 



LEGEND 



\M L 



11 Beaumont clays Columbia sands Lafayette sands 

a 

ands 



Frio clays 



Yegua clays Cook Mountain marine 



Ligniti< 



Taylor marls 



05' 



94° 



93' 



JULIUS BIEN &CO.UTH. 



U.S. 




/ 



/'/ 



'•^m 



HAYES AN 
KENNEDY 



^ D ] DRAINAGE AND TIMBER. 15 



post- Columbia. The pre- Columbia (and probably even pre-Lafayette) 
group includes the Sabine, Neches, Trinity, Brazos, Colorado, Gua- 
dalupe, and Nueces, all of which appear to have been in existence 
during Lafayette time. The younger, or post-Columbia, rivers are 
the Vermilion, Nementou, Calcasieu, San Jacinto, Buffalo, Clear, 
Oyster, San Bernard, Caney, Lavaca, Aransas, San Fernando, and 
Olmos. 

A glance at the map of the region (PL I) will show the reasons for 
this division. It will be noticed that all the rivers included in the 
■ older group pass completely across the Coastal Plain, heading upon 
the older formations of the interior, while the streams of the second 
or younger class are confined wholly to the plain itself, heading within 
it, or in the strong springs which rise from the Fayette sands at its 
northern border. 

Notwithstanding the large number of rivers which occur in the 
Coastal Plain, much of its surface is poorly drained. Water stands 
in many small lakes or ponds throughout the year, and over consid- 
erable areas the surface is largely under water during the wet season. 
The drainage of the country, particularly throughout the lower or 
coast portion, develops some peculiar anomalies. For instance, Mud 
Bayou, near High Island, begins within a mile of the Gulf shore, but 
follows a series of meanders north and west, and finally enters Gal- 
veston Bay about 2 miles north of the Gulf. 

TIMBER. 

Regarding the timber of the Coastal Plain it may be broadly stated 
that the cypress is confined to the eastern end, or to the swamps 
occurring within the immediate drainage area of the Mississippi 
River, very few of these trees occurring west of the Sabine River. 
The magnolia (M. grandiflora) is found in a belt stretching in a gen- 
eral southwestern direction through the parishes of Sabine and Ver- 
non, Louisiana, and the counties of Newton, Jasper, Hardin, Liberty, 
and San Jacinto, Texas, terminating in a few straggling trees in the 
neighborhood of Houston. The western end of the great southern 
belt of pine is reached near the Brazos River. West of the Brazos 
the tree growth is mostly represented by oaks and mesquite, the lat- 
ter gradually becoming the only timber to be found. 

GEOLOGY OF THE GULF COASTAL PLAIN. 

SUBDIVISIONS. 

Although in its main physiographic and geologic features the Gulf 
Coastal Plain is a unit, its eastern and western portions differ in some 
important particulars. The natural line of demarcation between the 
two divisions is the Guadalupe River. The most striking differences 
are climatic, but the character of the geologic formations also changes 
at this line. 



16 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 

GEOLOGY OF THE WESTERN DIVISION. 

Little detailed study has been given to this division, and it lias 
little present importance in connection with oil production. Its main 
characteristics may, however, be briefly outlined. 

SURFACE FORMATIONS. 

Brown and gray sand appear to be the mantle covering everything 
from the border of the Fayette sandstones on the north to the coast. 
In going southward from San Diego a belt of brown sand, probably 
25 miles in width, is first crossed. This is a rolling country more or 
less covered with ruesquite and chaparral. South of this comes the 
gray sand belt, having a width varying from 50 to GO miles, and, with 
the exception of a few live oaks, practically destitute of trees. This 
is the region described by Loughridge, in his report on cotton pro- 
duction for the Tenth Census, as the great Texas desert. Across the 
face of these gray sands stretch two belts of moving sandhills, or 
medanos. These bells have an approximately east-west direction, as 
the prevailing winds are from the east. Eacli belt consists of a 
double rbw of dunes from a half mile to a mile apart, the one row 
overlapping the other. Near the coast most of these dunes or medanos 
appear only as white spots slightly elevated above the general level 
of the plain. As they travel westward the dunes gradually acquire 
size and elevation until in northern Starr County some of them have 
reached elevations of from 90 to 120 feet. In form these dimes are 
usually semilunar, having the heavy body of sand toward the center 
and the two ends tailing off to the west to form the horns of the cres- 
cent. Some of them are almost circular, with a depression in the 
center; others are oval, with their longer axis parallel with the course 
the hill may be traveling. Nothing appears to stop their westward 
course, and in several instances tall live oaks have been buried so 
deeply that only the dead tops of the highest branches show the fate 
of the grove. 

The sand forming these hills is extremely fine in texture and has a 
snow-white color. The crests of the dunes assume fantastic shapes, 
and the lightest wind sets the fine grains in motion. These dunes 
are very difficult to ascend, the climber sinking almost to the knee at 
every step, and, owing to the fineness of the particles, his eyes, mouth, 
and nose are almost constantly filled with sand. 

These dune belts lie almost parallel to each other, the first or north- 
ern line stretching across the country through the northern ends of 
Cameron, Hidalgo, and Starr counties, and the second or southern 
belt extending across the same counties about 50 miles farther south. 

The blue clays underlying the sands do not appear in many places 
and very little is known about their stratigraphy or areal extent. 
They may be the equivalents of the white and yellow clays forming 



H kexnkdy D ] GEOLOGY OF WESTERN DIVISION. 17 

the bluff in the neighborhood of Corpus Christi, and possibly should 
be correlated with the blue clays of the east and form a portion of 
Hilgard's Port Hudson or McGee's Columbia. 

Probably underlying these clays is the Reynosa limestone, typically 
a tufaceous lime rock, but frequently so mixed with clays and sands 
as to almost lose its identity, included with the Reynosa division 
are several beds of conglomerate, consisting of pebbles and gravel 
cemented together by a limy matrix, together with gravels and limy 
clays. 

The Reynosa limestone is by far the most important member of 
the Coastal Plain group as Seen in the southwestern end. It is exposed 
high up on the northern side of the range of hills bordering the south- 
ern margin of the Nueces River Valle}^ in McMullen County. Where 
the Nueces has broken through this range the Reynosa limestones 
can be traced like an old shore around the end of the range and along 
its southern side, where the limestone is found high up on the flank 
and caps the lower levels of the hills south of San Diego. It occurs 
at Rogers, a few miles west of Corpus Christi, and at several points 
on the prairie in upper Hidalgo and Starr counties, and may possibly 
be found in other areas. 

In connection with the apparent trend of the Reynosa beds in a 
general north-south direction, it is noticeable that these limestones 
are directly associated with gypsum deposits in the upper end of 
Hidalgo and Cameron counties, and with the heavy salt deposits of 
the Sal del Rey region in southern Texas. Disagreeable-smelling 
sulphur water flows from a deep well at Corpus Christi, and small out- 
crops of sulphur clays appear in the Rio Grande country near Rio 
Grande City. 

The Reynosa limestone with its associated clays, conglomerates, and 
marls has been considered of Pliocene age. 

Pleistocene deposits containing vertebrate fossils have been recog- 
nized in the Eqtius beds in the neighborhood of San Diego, although 
some doubt has been thrown on the age of these deposits, Cope con- 
sidering them to be Upper Pliocene. As in the case of the underl- 
ing Miocene deposits of the Bordas district, not enough work has yet 
been done to determine their areal extent or even to absolutely prove 
their existence. The beds here considered as Miocene, unlike any 
other deposits of Tertiary age in Texas, are all standing up at very 
high angles, in many places showing dips of 75° or 80°. This is the 
more noticeable in the southwest corner of Live Oak, northeast cor- 
ner of Duval, and southeast corner of McMullen counties. Man}^ of 
the smaller dome-shaped hills have the appearance of having been 
formed by a thrust from below, the sandstones forming them dipping 
in every direction. 

Bull. 212—03 2 



18 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 312. 

UNDERGROUND CONDITIONS. 

Throughout this portion of the Coastal Plain the actual geologic 
conditions underground are unknown. Numerous shallow wells 
ranging from 100 to 300 feet in depth have been drilled for water. 
The drillers report rock in a number of these wells at 50 feet and then 
a mixture of rock, clay, and sand to the bottom of the wells. Few 
wells of greater depth have been drilled. Years ago the State made 
arrangements for the drilling of a number of test wells for water in 
this region and proposed to pay for these by granting sections of land. 
Under this arrangement one well was commenced at "Magueyes," on 
the eastern side of Hidalgo County, but to what depth it was drilled 
is unknown. The next deep well was drilled at Corpus Christi to a 
depth of 1,765 feet. This well gives a small flow of very disagreeable- 
smelling sulphur water. Several wells having depths ranging from 
500 to 750 feet have been drilled for water on the Santa Gertrudes 
ranch, in western Nueces County, and yield strong artesian flows. A 
well at Alice is reported to have a depth of 1,000 feet. Northward, in 
the gray sandstone regions, the public well at Tilden has a depth of 
GOO feet, giving a strong flow of brackish water with gas. This well 
was drilled in rock with thin partings of clay. Twelve miles south 
of Tilden, at Shiner's ranch house, a well 900 feet deep gives a small 
flow of strong salt brine. 

So far as our knowledge of the structure of this region goes, it 
appears that the Fayette sand si ones had formed the shore line for a 
considerable period and had been extensively eroded before the suc- 
ceeding beds were laid down. The evidences of unconformity are 
plentiful. The Pliocene Re}aiosa limestone lies high up on the hill- 
sides, and also appears to form ridges on the gray, sandy plain. This, 
it is true, would give these limestones a gentle dip of about 10 feet 
per mile, but as the surface relief is greater than that, much of these 
deposits must have been destroyed. Whether these Keynosa lime- 
stones ever formed the surface or floor of the plain, and the existing 
ridges are due to erosion, or whether they form the crests of small 
anticlines brought up by some earth movement, is not known. 

SECTION FROM PLEASANTON TO PALITO BLANCO. 

A generalized section across this portion of the Coastal Plain from 
Pleasanton to Palito Blanco shows the following beds, in descending 
order : 

Section of Coastal Plain from Pleasanton to Palito Blanco. 

1. Brown sands of Coastal Plain. 

2. Blue clays. 

3. White or lemon-yellow limestones. 

4. White, yellow, and brownish-yellow clays. 

5. Thinly bedded gray sandstones, with white and gray clays. 

6. Thinly bedded gray sandstones and gray clays. 

7. Marine fossiliferons brown sand, with more or less gypsum in crystals. 

8. Lignitic beds found in wells at Pleasanton. 



H kk Y ^ne£y D ] GEOLOGY OF EASTERN DIVISION. 19 

PROSPECTING FOR PETROLEUM. 

Prospecting for petroleum in this region is not being carried on very 
vigorously. For a number of years petroleum has been obtained 
from a well in the northwestern part of Starr County, but the quan- 
tity is so small that the oil is usually drawn up by an ordinary water 
bucket and is sold to local consumers for medical purposes. 

A well has recently been drilled at Piedras Pintas, near Benavides, 
on the Mexican National Railroad, in Duval County, to a depth of 
1,200 feet. Small quantities of oil were found at various depths, but 
not enough to justify further developments, and the work has been 
abandoned. This well is in the sandstone region near the northern 
margin of the Coastal Plain and has an elevation above sea level of 
400 feet. 

Another well, drilled on the La Parra ranch, in the northern portion 
of Cameron, to a depth of 1,500 feet, has been abandoned. The con- 
tractor states that he drilled through clay and sand the whole depth. 

GEOLOGY OF THE EASTERN DIVISION. 
GENERAL SECTION. 

The general section of the Texas Tertiary formations shows consid- 
erable variation in the character and thickness of the various beds, 
and there are such extensive erosions and overlaps that it is somewhat 
difficult to say whether some of the beds actually occur at a stated 
locality or at what depth the rocks belonging to the given stage may 
be found. The beds thicken and thin rapidly, and change frequently 
from soft sand to indurated sandstone, while the clay bodies all appear 
to have a somewhat wavy or lenticular form. 

In the following section the maximum thicknesses have been given, 
as it has been thought better to place before the w r ell driller the 
utmost thickness of any of the beds he may be expected to go 
through. But, as will be pointed out later, this section will be mate- 
rially modified as to the thicknesses by the location of the well. 

The section down to the Eocene is constructed chiefly from well 
records. It has been thought best, for clearness of presentation, to 
give a generalized description of the various formations which make 
up the Coastal Plain, to be followed by the detailed sections and local 
descriptions on which it is based. 

General section of eastern division of Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coastal Plain. 

Thickness 
in feet. 

1. Recent: Coastal marshes consisting chiefly of sea flats subject to 
overflow at extremely high tides, swamps and partly submerged 
lands, and the bottom lands along the rivers. The life represented 
by recent shells, such as Rangia cuneata and Ostrea. Beds of 
these shells occur along the rivers and at many of the smaller 
lakes in this region 5 to 25 



20 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

2. Pleistocene, with probably some Pliocene. T /n C fel\ eSS 

a. Beaumont clays: Brown, blue, and yellow clays, carrying nodules 

of limestone in places irregularly distributed through the 
clays, making the soil black where found; brown and blue 
sands with great quantities of cypress wood and recent shells 25 to 400 

b. Columbia sands: White, yellow, gray, and mottled sands with 

beds of blue and yellow clay, some decayed wood, and a heavy 
deposit of gravel at base. In the clays belonging to these beds 
at Sour Lake such vertebrates as Mam in at, Megalonyx, Equ us, 
Smilodon fatalis, etc. , have been found « 50 to 200 

3. Neocene (Miocene, with probably some Pliocene). 

a. Lafayette sands: Blue and red thinly laminated clays; massive 

red and brown clays: and red and brown cross-bedded sands 
and gravels carrying pinkish inclusions of clay 30 to 375 

b. Blue, brown, and gray clays; sands with thin beds of limestone 

and c< mtaining small quantities of oil 300 to 4S() 

c. Blue clays and thin-bedded irregularly deposited sandstones 200 

d. Blue, red, and gray clays and sands and thin-bedded limestones; 

limestones dolomitized and associated with sulphur, gypsum, 

gas, and petroleum. Sands carry fossils of Miocene age 300 

4. Eocene. 

a. Frio clays: Blue, brown, red. yellow, and green clays, thinly 

laminated, partially stratified and massive. The laminated 
clays carry small crystals of gypsum and the massive clays 
numerous concretions of lime from 2 to 4 inches in diameter 
and calcareous-ferruginous concretions from 6 inches to 2 or 
more feet in length. Fossiliferous in places and changing to 
sandy calcareous clays to the west 200 

b. Fayette sands: Gray sands and gray and white sandstones inter- 

stratified with gray, white, and pink clays and sandy clays. 
The lower sandstones are often hard and glassy, and bluish 
or pinkish in color. The upper sandstones are soft and chalky 
white, and contain numerous casts of grass, reeds, palmetto, 
and other marsh plants. At some localities a thin bed of 
limestone in these upper sandstones carries Lower Claiborne 
fossils, and a yellowish-brown sand contains a considerable 
number of plant impressions 400 

c. Yegua clays: Dark-blue gypseous clays and dark bluish-gray 

sands with considerable deposits of lignite 1 , 000 

d. Upper marine beds or Cooks Mountain beds: A series of green- 

sands, fossiliferous greensands, fossiliferous clays, stratified 
black and gray sandy clays, black and yellow clays with limy 
concretions. A very prolific Claiborne fauna 390 

e. Mount Selman beds: Brown sands, blue clays, greensands, 

glauconitic sandstone, and heavy deposits of limonite. More 

or less fossiliferous, but fauna mostly represented by casts.. _ 260 

f. Lignitic: White, yellow, gray-brown, red, blue, and black sands 

with interstratified and interlaminated blue, gray, and brown 
clays with heavy beds of lignite. Apparently unfossiliferous 
except for a few plant remains, including the palmetto 1060 

g. Wills Point clays: Yellowish-brown sands containing bowlders 

of sandstone and limestone with some calcite concretions; 
dark-blue and brown laminated and massive clays and fossilif- 
erous white limestone 260 

5. Cretaceous. 

aLeidy, Extinct Vertebrate Fauna, vol. 1, Hayden Survey of Territories. 



U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 



BULLETIN NO. 212 PL. II 




Character <>k Strata 



i oast marsh. 



Brown clays and sands with Recent shells and wood 



White, yellow, gt 



>ttled sands will, trace- of 



Red. I)lue, and mottled clays and sands with gravel at 
base. 



Blue and red clays and sands. 



Blue and brown clays and li mot our. 



Blue clays and sandstones 



Blue and red clays, sands, and limestones; limestones 
dolomitized; associated with rulphur and petro- 
leum. 



Blue, brown, red. yellow, and green clays, thinly lam- 
inated, containing numerous limestone concretions, 
fossilit'erous in places, changing to sandy clay to 
the west. 



Gray sands and sandstone, gray and white clays. 



lark-blue gypseous clays and gray sands, with beds of 
lignite. 



Greensands. greensand marl with thin seams of car- 
bonate of Iron, fossilit'erous greensands, green fos- 
silit'erous class, iron ores, and a few small deposits 
of lignite. 



Brow n and blue sands and clays and glaiiconitic snnd- 
stone, « ii 1 1 limonite. 



White, yellow . brow n. red. ^ ray. bin e. and black sands 
with interstratifled and interlaminated clays :nu\ 
heavy beds of lignite. 



GENERAL SECTION OF THE TEXAS-LOUISIANA GULF COASTAL PLAIN. 



H KBNNEUY?j GEOLOGY OF EASTERN DIVISION. 21 

BASE OF COASTAL FORMATIONS. 

So far as the coastal formations are involved it is unnecessary for 
present purposes to go below the Fayette sands, as their outcrops 
form the northern limit of the Gulf Coastal Plain. In some localities 
it may not be necessary to go below the Frio clays. These clays in 
point of time are, so far as known, the last division of the Eocene 
in Texas. Owing to the overlapping of newer deposits and exten- 
sive erosion which has frequently completely cut through and removed 
portions of these Frio clays, great uncertainty exists in relation to 
this point, and it has been deemed best to assume the Fa} r ette sands 
as the base (or rather as lying immediately below the base) of the 
coastal formations. 

FAYETTE SANDS. 

The Fayette sands are sandstones and clays with occasional small 
irregular deposits of limestone carrying Lower Claiborne fossils, and 
sands containing imprints of leaves.- The limestones are not of 
frequent occurrence. 

The Fayette sands were considered Grand Gulf by Hilgard, Hop- 
kins, and Loughridge. Hilgard considered these and the next suc- 
ceeding clays to be the equivalent of his Mississippi beds. Penrose 
included them with the underlying Yegua claj^s and overlying Frio 
clays as the Fayette beds, and as such they are described in the early 
reports of the Texas geological survey. 

The structural difference between the underlying clays and the 
sandstone group led to a separation and the placing of the clays at 
the base of the Fa} 7 ette beds under the title of Yegua clays. The 
Frio clays were afterwards assigned to a separate division and the 
name Fayette was retained for the middle division of sandstones and 
clays. 

It is with these Fayette sands in their restricted definition that we 
have to deal. These beds form a well-marked horizon from the Mis- 
sissippi River westward through Louisiana and Texas past the Rio 
Grande into Mexico. 

On their northern side they show abrupt faces in numerous local- 
ities, indicating extensive erosion. When seen to the south they 
apparently slope off gently at a dip of only a few feet per mile. This 
dip is such that if the beds continued with uniform composition 
they should be found in the wells at Spindletop at depths not exceed- 
ing 1,200 to 1,500 feet. They do not occur in these wells, however, 
and it may be inferred that considerable erosion has taken place 
along their southern margin as well as on the northern side. That 
these sandstones formed the shore line for some time is evident, not 
only in the eastern division of the Coastal Plain, but also farther 
west, where the sandstones and the later deposits can be seen abut- 
ting against eacli other in such a manner as to indicate that the sands 
formed a steep shore line when the later deposits were laid down. 



22 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

The rapid changes of texture of these beds from sands to sandstones 
and again to sands may account for the difficulty of recognizing the 
Fayette sands in the boring of the wells around Spindletop, and it is 
possible, though improbable, that some of the thin-bedded irregularly 
deposited sandstones reported belong to these beds. 

In connection with the Fayette sands a comparatively heavy bed of 
thinly laminated brown and gray clays, carrying considerable quanti- 
ties of iron pyrites, is often found, and a considerable amount of 
sulphur is disseminated through them. These clays first make their 
appearance on the Brazos River, and occur on the Colorado and on 
Elm Creek near Muldoon in Fayette County. They also occur in 
Starr County on the Rio Grande. They do not appear on the Trinity, 
and their extent east of the Brazos is unknown, as no exposures are 
found. They appear to lie in a long, narrow trough and to be from 
10 to 50 feet in thickness. In Faj^ette County they are associated 
with small quantities of petroleum, and It is possible that they are the 
source of the small seeps of oil found in the overlying sandstones in 
Waller County. 

FRIO CLAVS. 

The geologic horizon of the succeeding Frio clays a is not so clear 
as in the case of the Fayette sands, on account of the enormous 
amount of erosion that must have taken place between their deposi- 
tion and that of the next succeeding formation, and on account of 
the great extent to which the Frio clays are overlapped by later 
formations. 

The character of the Frio cla3 r s is more persistent than that of the 
Fayette. A heavy deposit of blue clay with its conspicuous line of 
calcareous nodules forms a horizon as prominent and well marked as 
the most continuous ledge of sandstone in the Fayette. The other 
clays of the Frio are not so uniform either in thickness, texture, or 
continuity. While they generally contain carbonate of lime, at some 
places this lime is replaced by gypsum, and the clays themselves by 
sands. The Frio beds appear to have been found in the Federal Crude 
well at Beaumont at a depth of 2,300 feet. From the nearest outcrops 
of these clays to the well the distance is about 75 miles. This would 
give the beds an approximate dip of 35 feet per mile. The Frio clays 
have not as yet been recognized in the logs of any wells producing 
petroleum. From west to east the Frio clays change considerably in 

«In the Third Annual Report of the Texas geological survey the Frio clays were described 
under the name of the Fleming beds. Later, Dumble, working on the Frio River, found the 
same beds well developed and suggested the name Frio clays, which was adopted, and these 
clays have been known as Frio clays ever since. Quite recently Mr. A. C. Veatch examined the 
same clays in the vicinity of Burkeville, Newton County, Tex., and in his report suggests the 
name "Burkeville beds" for them. The writer, having examined the whole series from their 
exposures on the Frio River eastward through Texas, including the exposures at Fleming, near 
Jasper and Burkeville, and across the Sabine as far as the line of the Kansas City Southern Rail- 
way in Louisiana, and finding these clays the same in each place, considers that the name Frio 
clays should be retained, and that it is unnecessary to introduce the name "Burkeville beds,' 1 at 
least into the nomenclature of the Texas areas.— W. C. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



GEOLOGY OF EASTERN DIVISION. 23 



composition and texture. The beds as exposed along the Frio River 
are a series of gypseous clays with sand and sand rock. a Between 
the Brazos and Trinity rivers the beds are grayish sandy clays with 
nodular concretions of lime and occasional deposits of gypsum crys- 
tals, thin strata of sandstone, and bluish-gray sands containing 
nodules of lime and clay. East of the Trinity the calcareous clay 
beds become predominant and the sandstones are never very strongly 
represented, losing their continuity of stratification and appearing 
simply as large concretions or bowlders. Another peculiarity in the 
Frio beds, which appears more prominently in the eastern division than 
in the other sections, is that when they are thin bedded the calcareous 
concretions are largely replaced by crystals of gypsum, while where 
they are thick bedded gypsum crystals do not occur and calcareous 
concretions are found exclusively. 

There has been considerable disagreement as to the age of these 
clays. Hilgard, Hopkins, and Loughridge assigned them to the Grand 
Gulf and considered them as of Miocene age, and lately Harris has 
been inclined to consider them as Grand Gulf but belonging to the 
Oligocene. The Texas geological survey held them to be of Eocene 
age and placed them at the top of the Eocene column. They have 
been assigned to that portion on account of their containing fauna 
which appears to be distinctly of Eocene age. 

BURIED BEDS. 

The next succeeding beds do not outcrop, and their existence has 
been demonstrated by drilling. These are the beds marked b, c, and 
d in the general section (p. 20). The uppermost of these divisions, 
b, has a thickness of from 300 to 480 feet, and consists of a series of 
blue, brown, and gray clays with thin beds of limestone. The second 
division, c, has a thickness of 200 feet, and is chiefly blue clay with 
thin-bedded sandstones. The third division, d, comprises blue, red, 
and gray clays and sand carrying Miocene fossils 5 and thin-bedded 
limestones, with a fair proportion of the limestones changed to dolo- 
mite, and is associated with beds of sulphur and coarse sands carrying 
sulphur crystals and beds of pyrites. This division has a thickness 
of 300 feet. It appears to be the chief source of the petroleum and 
gas found on Spindletop and also the source of the petroleum found 
in the other producing fields. The Sour Lake, Saratoga, and Jen- 
nings fields, however, obtain their flow from the associated gray sands 
instead of limestone or dolomite. Division b also carries small quan- 
tities of petroleum and gas, but the blue clays and sandstones appear 
to be barren. 

These beds have been variously assigned to the Cretaceous and 
Tertiary. Professor Harris c places them in .the Cretaceous on account 

« Dumble, Jour. Geol , Vol. II, 1894, p. 544. c Science, new series, Vol. XIII, 1901, p. 666. 

''Determined by Dr. W. H. Dall. 



24 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIAKA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

of their association with gypsum and sulphur and their somewhat 
vague analogy with the deposits of sulphur and petroleum at Sulphur 
Mine, Louisiana. The latter deposits were regarded as Cretaceous by 
Hilgard in 1871, and have since been so considered without any very 
conclusive evidence. Harris assumed the presence of an anticline of 
sufficient elevation to bring the Cretaceous several thousand feet 
above its normal position. His assumption of an anticline is correct, 
but it was formed after the Eocene had been laid down, and con- 
sequently several thousand feet of beds of that age intervene between 
the Cretaceous and the oil-producing beds. Hill places these beds in 
the Neocene, but states that they mighl as well be placed in the Pleisto- 
cene, or Recent, or anywhere else, as NTeocene really means nothing 
in particular beyond the fact thai such beds are considered post- 
Eocene." 

On the other hand, Prof. Gilbert Van [ngen, of Columbia Uni- 
vesity, who examined the material from the Lucas well, reports it to 
be a compact quartz sandstone, with grains of round to crystalline 
pellucid quart/. The fossils are in Layers, the oyster shells having 
been apparently washed into their present position b}^ wave action. 
The interspaces between the oyster Shells are occupied hy less com- 
pact sand, full of lamellibranch shells. These are seldom perfect, and 
on the whole the material is so fragmentary that identification of the 
species is very difficult or impossible. They are clearly Tertiary, but. 
whether Eocene or Miocene does not clearly appear. Professor Van 
Ingen's list comprises Osirea sp., Turritella sp., and Mactra sp. 6 
These were all he could make out. 

It is noticed that Prof essor Van [ngen is doubtful as to whether 
these petroleum-bearing beds are Eocene or Miocene. Dr. W. IT. 
Dall examined material found in various wells in the vicinity of 
Beaumont and placed all the shells examined by him in the Miocene. 
The specimens examined were from the Island well at a depth of 800 
feet, the Bayou City well between L,875 and L,910 feet, and the Texas 
Oil and Pipe Line Company's well between 940 and 1,036 feet. The 
material from this last well was the actual oil-bearing rock and the 
source of supply for that well. The other two wells are not on Spin- 
dletop and are dry. r I ne fossils from the Island well are Natica 
tuomeyi Whitfield var. Crassinella, sp. like (jalvestonensis Harris, 
and Corbula (fragment). From the Ba3 7 ou City well the shells were 
badly broken and show small Mulinia, Balanus sp. (fragments), and 
the earbone of small fish. Of these Dr. Dall says: "These Bayou City 
fossils are uncharacteristic, but with very little doubt belong to 
the Miocene similar to that penetrated at about the same depth by 
the artesian well at Galveston some years since." In the Texas Oil 
and Pipe Line well the rock is described as a hard gray marl with 
water-worn oysters like O. virginica and probably Miocene. 

a Science, new series, Vol. XIV, 1901, p. 327. 
''Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Eng., Vol. XXXI, 1901, p. 366. 



HAYES Aitd 
KENNEDY. 



GEOLOGY OF EASTERN DIVISION. 



25 



Mr. T. II. Aldrich, a of Birmingham, Ala., on the evidence of some 
shells from a depth of 390 feet, assigns these petroleum beds to the 
Pliocene, saying, "Your fossils are very interesting, and confirm our 
previous theory that the formation that lies above the oil-bearing 
stratum around Beaumont is Pliocene, or even later." The specimens 
described by Mr. Aldrich were Nassa heaumontensis n. sp. Aldrich, 
Tornatina canaliculata Say, TurboniUa sp., and a young Mactra. 
Mr. Aldrich's determination of the oil-bearing deposits is not con- 
clusive, as at least GOO feet of clays, limestones, and sandstones inter- 
vene between his fossil beds and the oil-producing strata. As the 
evidence goes, therefore, it points strongly to the conclusion that the 
age of these petroleum beds is Miocene. 

A rough section showing the position of these beds may be con- 
structed from their contained fauna, but it must be borne in mind 
that the depths and thicknesses shown by particular wells vary from 
those shown in other wells either in the vicinity of Spindletop or at 
several miles distance. With the exception of those found at 40 feet, 
the shells are from wells on Spindletop or in the immediate vicinity. 

Section constructed chiefly by means of fossils obtained from wells in the Beau- 
mont district. 





Location. 


Character of strata. 


Depth. 


Fossils. 


Age. 


1 




Clay, yellow and blue . 

Clays and sands, blue 
and yellow. 


40 


Ostrea sp. 

Rangia euneata (Gray) 




9 




45 


















Nassa beaumontensis 
Aldrich. 




3 


Spindletop 


Blue clays with coarse 
bluish-gray sand 
and shells. 


390 


Tornatina canalicu- 
' lata Say. 

TurboniUa sp 


Pliocene. 








Mactra sp 












fNatica tuomevi Whit- 
field. 


| 


4 


Island well, on Neches 
River. 




800 


iCrassinella like gal- 
vestonensis. 


















Icorbula 




5 


Ira O. Wyse well, 
Spindletop. 


Bluish-gray coarse 
sand and' shells. 


1.0(H) 


Mulinia, Balanus 


Miocene. 


6 


Plunger well, Texas 
Oil and Pipe Line 
well No. 1, Spindle- 
top. 

Bayou City well, on 
Iowa Colony land. 


Dolomitic marls with 
gypsum; oil rock 
shown in every well 
on Spindletop. 

Coarse bluish-gray 
sand with shells 
same as found in Ira 
O. Wyse well at 1,000 
feet. 


1,036 

1,910 


Ostrea virginica 

[Mulinia, Balanus 

(Earbone of small fish. _ 


Miocene. 
Miocene. 








Crassatellites trapa- 
quara Harris. 




8 


Frio clays, Newton 
County. 


Blue clay with calca- 
reous nodules. 




Ostrea alabamiensis; 
Cerithium veneri- 
cardia, 2 sp. 

Crassatellitesantestri- 
ata(Gabb). 


•Eocene. 



Nos. 4, 5, 6, and 7 belong to the Miocene and are the divisions 
marked b, c, and d in the general section given on page 20. 



« Texas petroleum, by William B. Phillips: Bull. Univ. of Texas No. 5, 1900, p. 62. 



2G OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN. fBULL.212 

LAFAYETTE SANDS. 

The beds overlying these oil-bearing sands, clays, and limestones 
comprise a series of blue and red thinly laminated and massive red 
and brown clays and cross-bedded sands and gravels having a thick- 
ness of from 30 to 375 feet. They are probably the eastern extension 
of Dumble's Oakville beds of the western division, as they occupy a 
closely analogous position. 

These beds come to the surface and spread over a wide bell to the 
north, overlapping and completely obscuring the petroleum-bearing 
beds. In many places they even overlie and obscure the Frio clays, 
and are found resting direo^ly upon the Fayette sands. These beds 
are widely distributed 1 hroughoul 1 lie Coastal Plain and may probably 
be safely correlated with IMcGee's Lafayette. They have a compara- 
tively gentle dip compared with thai of the underlying Frio clays or 
Fayette sands. 

From the general structure of the country h seems that at the close 
of the Eocene the Frio clays were raised and tilted seaward slightly, 
remaining above water duringthe deposition of the Limestones, sand- 
stones, and clays forming the petroleum-bearing beds. These latter 
were evident Ly Laid down over a sea floor which was being tilted south- 
ward until the last of the petroleum clays, and possibly also some 
of the succeeding red and brown clays of the Lafayette, had been 
deposited. 

This t ill ing movement ceased soon after 1 he beginning of deposit ion 
of the Lafayette, and the land began to sink again. The Lafayette 
sea encroached upon the shores and gradually overran the petroleum- 
bearing beds, deposit Lng sandstones and Limestones, and even covered 
a considerable area occupied by the Frio clays and Fayette sands. 
With another change of movement these red and brown clays and 
gravels were in a Large measure reworked, probably while above sea 
level, and the finer clays and sands were washed into deeper water. 
The coarser material was left by the retiring sea, and now forms the 
extensive deposits of gravel. 

The age of these sands and clays has not yet been satisfactorily 
determined. It is probable that they are in part Miocene and in part 
of later age. They are here assigned to the Miocene, upon the gen- 
eral assumption that they are younger than the Eocene and even the 
oil-bearing beds, but older than any of the Pleistocene deposits. They 
may possibly belong to the Pliocene, although Ave have no proof of 
this. They do not appear to be fossiliferous. Some of the gravels 
contain fossils, but these fossils belong to the original formations 
from which the pebbles were derived. 

COLUMBIA SANDS. 

Overlying the Lafayette beds there is a heavy deposit of gravel, 1 he 
age of which has not yet been definitely determined. By some it has 



HAYES ANI 
KENNEDY. 



'] GEOLOGY OF EASTERN DIVISION. 27 



been considered as the upper member of the preceding sands and 
clays, and is therefore placed with the Lafayette. These gravels 
have evidently been derived from the Lafayette, by a process of 
assorting and rearranging, at a time when the sand beds of this age 
overspread the greater portion of this region. They are made up 
chiefly of chert, quartz, agate, jasper, and some crystalline rocks, of 
which only the quartz and crystalline pebbles bear evidence of having 
traveled very far. The chert is peculiar in its angular and suban- 
gular condition. These gravel beds are more extensive toward the 
Mississippi Valley region than to the west in Texas, where they appear 
to gradually thin out. 

These gravels have been here considered as forming the basal mem- 
ber of the gray sands, clays, and gravels which, with their overlying 
heavy beds of yellow, blue, brown, and black calcareous clays and 
brown and gray sands, form what McGee calls the Columbia and the 
deposits of clays and sands long ago denominated, by Hilgard the 
Port Hudson clays. This brings them within the Pleistocene. They 
appear in many of the wells to have a thickness of from 50 to 250 
feet, or even more. 

BEAUMONT CLAYS. 

Overlying the Columbia as above defined is a series of yellow, gray, 
blue, brown, and black clays with brown sands. These beds are 
sometimes thinly stratified or laminated, but frequently massive. 
The laminated beds are usually interstratified with thin beds of blue 
and gray or grayish- white sand. The clays carry considerable quan- 
tities of calcareous nodules irregularly distributed, in many places 
shells of Pleistocene or Recent age, and great quantities of decaying 
wood in the form of tree trunks, bark, and leaves. Among these 
the cypress appears as the most prominent, and among the inverte- 
brate fauna found the Rangia cuneata (Gray) and an undetermined 
oyster are the prevailing forms. 

In Texas the prevailing colors of these clays are blue, yellow, and 
brown ; in Louisiana are occasional deposits of red clay. In many fea- 
tures the blue clays of these Beaumont beds strongly resemble the 
blue Frio clays, and, from the generally low dip of the beds through- 
out the regions occupied by both and the known existence of small 
flexures or shallow undulations, might be erroneously correlated with 
these underlying Frio beds. The chief differences between them, 
apart from their geologic position, appear to be the presence of wood 
in the Beaumont beds and the condition of the calcareous nodules. 
In the Frio clays these nodules appear to have a definite horizon and 
to lie in a more or less stratified condition, to have regular lines, and 
to be continuous with the blue clay. Although in several regions 
replaced by gypsum crystals, they continue in the regular lineal 
arrangement. In the Beaumont beds these nodules do not appear to 



28 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

have any definite position among the clays. It is true that they 
always accompany the blue clays, but they are always found scattered 
in small pockets and occupying irregular patches a few acres in 
extent. It is possible that by some chemical action during or after 
the deposition of the clays the lime had been segregated into small 
depressions or softer portions of the clays. 

The country occupied by these clays is flat and, as a general thing, 
poorly drained. As a result the greater portion is unforested. Occa- 
sional mottes of small trees appear scattered over the prairie, and 
straggling lines of timber are found along the banks of the water 
courses. Owing to these conditions very Little knowledge of the 
structure can be obtained from the surface; nowhere do we find 
sections exposing more than a few feet, and these show only the pre- 
vailing bed of clay. Knowledge of the structure of this, area can 
be gained only from the records of the various wells. Along the 
Neches in the vicinity of Beaumonl and on Pine Island Bayou a few 
natural sections occur. At Beaumont the beds are seen to be lami- 
nated blue clays with brown partings, and on Pine Island a small sec- 
tion of blue and yellow clays is shown. 

This series of clays and sands has been named the Beaumont 
beds, from its greatest development in the neighborhood of that city, 
sections showing as much as 400 feet having been obtained from 
many of the wells. The greatest areal extent of these beds is found 
between the Trinitj^ and the Sabine rivers in Texas, where the maxi- 
mum width, north ami south, is a little over 20 miles. To the east 
of the Neches River their outcrops narrow rapidly, forming but a 
narrow strip across Orange County. In the Louisiana regions they 
appear to widen again to a considerable extent. These clays occur 
at Lake Charles and extend eastward in a broad belt to Abbeville, 
in Vermilion Parish. Passing westward from Beaumont, the areal 
extent of these clays decreases gradually to a few miles, and though 
they have been traced as far west as the Guadalupe River, in Cal- 
houn County, they do not appear to again widen greatly, though their 
chief characteristics remain constant. The Beaumont beds can usu- 
ally be detected by the peculiar nature of their soil, which is in many 
places highly calcareous, while the accompanjing clays are black, 
owing to the mixture of lime and the decaying vegetable matter 
contained in the clay. 

The well sections given on pages 132 and 136 show the relations of 
these clays to the underlying clays in the Louisiana parishes, and the 
records given of deep wells in the oil-producing areas show their con- 
nection in Texas. 

Large tracts where the Beaumont clay is exposed lie in very nearly 
the same marshy condition as the coastal marsh country itself. In 
some areas the surface blue and yellow clays form a low bluff or ridge, 
separating the two divisions. This is more noticeable in the Louisiana 



regions than in Texas. 



H ken B ne£y D ] GEOLOGY OF EASTERN DIVISION. 29 

Throughout the Beaumont clay region large numbers of peculiar 
mounds or hillocks occur, forming the often-described "pimpled 
plains." These mounds extend, in a few cases, within the limits of 
the coastal marshes. 

RECENT OR PORT HUDSON CLAYS. 

The recent Beaumont clays are overlain by very recent materials, the 
present river alluvium and the coast marshes. The first river bottom 
or alluvium proper fringes all the rivers in the Coastal Plain, whether 
they originate in or pass through the plain. No average width can be 
assigned to these deposits, as the low bluffs following the margins of 
the river valley may open out for several miles and again close within 
the distance of a mile so as to restrict the river to its actual water 
channel and efface the bottom land or newer alluvium altogether. If 
the lands subject to overflow be considered the representative of the 
very recent deposits, these will range from a half mile to 5 miles in 
width along each side of the river. Along the Sabine the Fayette and 
Frio clays are exposed at many places in the form of high bluffs. On 
the Trinity the overflow lands have widths of from 3 to 5 miles, and 
the Brazos bottoms at several points and at certain seasons present 
the appearance of a river from 12 to 25 miles in width. In thickness 
these deposits range from 4 to 25 feet. 

The coast marshes are restricted to the southeastern portion of 
Texas and southern Louisiana, not existing west of Galveston Bay. 
These marshes include a broad belt, but little elevated above sea 
level, extending from Galveston Bay eastward through Texas and 
southern Louisiana as far as the eastern side of Vermilion Parish. 
The northern border of this belt is extremely irregular, and in many 
places tongues of the underlying clays extend for several miles, forming 
ridges and islands, as these elevations are called. The plain is covered 
with a heavy growth of marsh grass, and with reeds and other vege- 
tation where water forms the permanent covering. Throughout the 
most southerly portion there are numerous sink holes or floating 
marshes, absolutely impassable for man or beast. 

In these coastal marshes a few sluggish bayous are found. They 
have apparently little or no current, and are more or less affected by 
tidal influences. Of these the most important in Texas are East 
Bayou and Mud Bayou in Chambers and Galveston counties, and Tay- 
lors Bayou and Hildebrands Bayou in Jefferson County. In Louisiana 
the bayous are few in number, but those which occur have expanded 
to broad sheets of water, such as Calcasieu, Grand, and Mud lakes. 

At several points along these bayous the banks form small bluffs, 
ranging from 2 or 3 feet to 20 and sometimes more feet. These bluffs 
are generally made up of shells of Gnathadon cuneatus, with a 
few species of oyster. Probably the most prominent of these is 
Grigsbys Bluff on the Neches, Shell Bluff near the mouth of the 



30 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 312. 

Sabine, and the low bluffs along Black Lake near Hackberry Island 
in Cameron Parish, La. 

. Between the coastal marshes and the Gulf there is a narrow, newly 
formed strip of sand, with considerable quantities of recent shells. 
This strip appears to form a barrier between the Gulf waters and the 
marsh, and is in most localities elevated a few feet above the marsh. 

DETAILED SECTIONS OF COASTAL PLAIN FORMATIONS. 

The foregoing generalized description of the formations of the Gulf 
Coastal Plain will give most leaders a sufficiently complete idea of 
their character and thickness. For the oil prospector, however, local 
details are important, and these are therefore given in the following 
pages. There is necessarily some repetition of what has gone before, 
since the generalized section is Largely based upon these special sec- 
1 ions. The eastern division of the Gulf Coastal Plain as above 
defined will be described from its western end eastward. 

DETAILED SECTIONS ON THE GUADALUPE. 

The detailed geology of the western end of this eastern division of 
the Gulf Coastal Plain is not well known. South of the outcrops of 
gray sandstones of tin- Fayette beds the country is mostly prairie, and 
the surface, as eastof the Brazos, is made up of clays and sands. Very 
few well records are available, and consequently very little knowledge 
of the underground formations is obtainable. Along the Guadalupe 
River the banks are mostly obscured by deposits of recent material, 
and the few sections seen are referable more to the Fayette sands than 
to the Coastal Plain format ions. 

Throughout this region the ridges forming t he northern boundary 
of the plain may be placed in part with the Fayette sands and in part 
with the succeeding Frio clays, and may be roughly characterized as 
follows : 

General section near the Guadalupe. 

1. Ferruginous gravel containing pebbles of quartz, jasper, carnelian, and chal- 

cedony. 

2. Conglomerate formed from underside of gravel beds. The cementing material 

is calcareous and the conglomerate is only found where the white or gray 
sands prevail. 
8. Brown to red clays and sands, more or less mixed with pebbles, occasionally 
indurated and showing considerable ledges of red or brown sandstone in 
places. 

4. Bluish-gray to gray or dirty white sands, more or less calcareous; and limy 

clays of blue or grayish-blue color. 

5. Thin-bedded, soft, grayish, calcareous sandstones, changing frequently into 

gray calcareous sands. 

6. Red and blue mottled sands. 

No. 4 of this section belongs to the Frio clays, or to that phase of 
those beds peculiar to this section of the country. With but slight 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY 



D | DETAILED SECTIONS. 31 



local variations these beds may be traced eastward as far as the 
western edge of Montgomery County. 

No. 5 is the uppermost member of the Fayette sands and appears 
to have the same characteristics wherever found. It, therefore, is a 
good guide across the country separating the underlying Fayette sands, 
clays, and sandstones from the overlying Frio clays. 

Surface sections showing the relations of the beds are few. A sec- 
tion at Buchel's dam on the Guadalupe River, in Dewitt County, is as 
follows : 

Section at BucheVs dam on Guadalupe River. 

Feet. 

1. Gray sandy soil 1 

2. Black subsoil 2 

3. White gravel £ to 1 

4. Hard, brown sandstone 4 

5. Thin beds of sandstone with clay partings to water 8 

Four miles farther down the river the soft, white, calcareous sand- 
stones of No. 5 of this section outcrop, and form the capping of the 
second bottom lands, being here directly overlain by brown sands and 
brown gravel. 

Throughout the eastern portion of Dewitt County the ridge shows 
the same general structure, with the exception that in the Chicoleet 
country and eastward in the neighborhood of Perryville the brown 
and red sands and gravels are in great measure replaced by beds of 
light-colored (almost white) gravel and beds of heavy, white, calca- 
reous conglomerate. 

On Irish Creek, on the A. Biddy league," a section is as follows: 

Section on Irish Creek. 

Feet. 

1. Black soil 4 

2. Soft white limestone or calcareous sandstone 12-15 

3. Joint clay 25 

4. Sandstone and gravel with water in gravel 6 

Still farther east, on the North Chicoleet, the following section is 
shown : 

Section on the North Chicoleet. 

Feet. 

1. Gray soil _•_ 1 to 3 

2. Gray gravel 2 

3. Coarse gray sandstone 1 

The gray conglomerate appears throughout this region in associa- 
tion with the gray gravels; in fact, the one appears to be comple- 
mentary to the other. 

Lying along the southern side of the ridge are more or less distinct 
deposits of brown and gray sandstones. These appear broken or in 

a The league is still used in Texas for lands surveyed during Mexican possession. It contains 
4,428.4 acres. 



32 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

a bowlder-like form. From these beds the country slopes very gently 
until it merges into the great Coastal Plain proper. Very few sections 
are obtainable within the limits of the plain, but from the shallow cut- 
tings seen in this section the underlying beds appear to be blue limy 
clays. About 3 miles south of Port Lavaca, in Calhoun County, on 
Chocolate Bayou, a cutting along the bank is as follows: 

Section on Chocolate Bayou, ■>' miles south of Port Lavaca. 

Feet. 

1. Black soil 2to3 

2. Gray calcareous clay, in places blue with limy nodules 3 to 5 

3. Chocolate-colored clay 2 

These gray calcareous clays, or their blue phase, outcrop in a belt 
stretching across the country as far east as the Sabine River and 
probably much farther. The clays with their calcareous concretions 
have been recognized in Wharton and Brazoria counties, in the neigh- 
borhood of Houston and Beaumont, and near Orange, in Orange 
County. They also appear in Louisiana. 

DETAILED SECTIONS ON THE COLORADO AND BRAZOS. 

Eastward through the counties of Jackson, Matagorda, Wharton, 
Brazoria, Fort Bend, Colorado, and Austin the country presents the 
general appearance characteristic of the Coastal Plain. In Colorado 
and Austin counties the Fayette sands with their overlying Frio clays 
are fairly well developed. In the middle and southern portions of 
Austin County tin- Fayette beds, in the form of coarse calcareous 
sandstones, are found underlying the Frio clays, which in this locality 
are bluish-gray limy clays, with the limy concretions broken and pow- 
dery where exposed. Gray calcareous sandstones appear in the 
banks of the Brazos at Cochran's ferry, near Buckhorn post-office, in 
Austin County, underlying the grayish-blue calcareous Frio clays. 
Throughout the same area many of the higher grounds are occupied 
by ferruginous and gray gravels. At Seely, in Austin Count} 7 , the 
Frio clays are comparatively thin, being only 35 to -40 feet in thick- 
ness, and overlie the upper sandstones of the Fayette 

In the neighborhood of Richmond and Rosenberg, in Fort Bend 
County, the coastal deposits comprise a series of dark-brown to black 
calcareous clays, more or less intermixed witli deposits of sand. No 
surface sections are visible, and in the vicinity of the Brazos River 
the recent alluvium is so heavy that no reliable sections are to be 
found. Occasional low bluffs showing interstratified blue clays and 
sands occur, but these give no distinctive indications as to their age. 
The dip of these beds is apparently to the east of south, but the 
exposures are in such condition that no great reliance can be placed 
upon them. 

The only wells drilled to any depth in this portion of the country 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 



33 



are those at the Victoria Ice, Light, and Power plant, at Victoria, in 
Victoria County, and a prospecting well at O'Connorsport, on the 
shore of Matagorda Bay, in Calhoun County. Shallow wells for water 
are numerous, but no sections of these are available. They generally 
do not exceed 100 feet in depth and are mostly operated by windmill. 
Artesian water has been obtained at depths ranging from 400 to 600 
feet. In most of these deep wells, however, the water is brackish. 
The drillers state that the water is usually found in a coarse sand or 
fine gravel, which may possibly be No. 3 of the Victoria section. 

The section shown by the well at Victoria has been supplied by 
Mr. Heaton, who kept the records and a complete set of samples of 
the borings as far as possible. 

Log of well at Victoria, Victoria Count//. Tex. 



Character of strata. 



8 
9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
28 



Surface sands and clays _ _ . 

Heavy gravel 

Gray sand 

Pale-blue clay 

Gray sand 

Calcareous pale-blue clay 

Gray sand 

Light-gray sand 

Pinkish-gray clay 

Pale-brown clay 

Gray sand 

Fine grayish-brown sand 

White calcareous clay 

Said to be red clay; sample wanting 

Fine gravel and sand 

Gray sand 

Red sand with a little soil 

Red sand 

Red clay 

Gravel in brown sand 

Fine brown sand 

Fine gravel . 

Red sand 



Thickness. 



/•'' ■ /. 



40 
32 
10 
16 
12 
43 
60 
50 
41 
100 
22 
30 
40 
255 

1 
43 

8 
87 

4 

1 
57 

1 



From- 



/•'. . /. 




40 
72 
82 
98 
110 
153 
213 
263 
304 
404 
426 
456 
496 
751 
752 
795 
803 
890 
894 
895 
952 
953 



To— 



Feet. 



40 

72 



110 
153 
213 
263 
304 
404 
426 
456 
496 
751 
752 
795 
803 
890 
894 
895 
952 
953 



Bull. 212—03- 



34 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



Forty miles farther south, on the shore at O'Connorsport, a well 
drilled in prospecting for oil shows the following section: 

Log of well at O'Connorsport, Calhoun County, Tex. 



Character of strata. 



Black sandy soil 

Fine shells and sand 

Yellow quicksand 

Coarse sand . _ . 

Coarse variegated sand . . 

Finer variegated sand 

Fine black quicksand 

Sand and fine shells with artesian water 

Yellow clay and sand with traces of oil- 
Blue clay 

Yellow sand rock 

Blue clay 

Round sand and fine shells, strong artesian flow 
Rock ... 



Thickness. 


From— 


To- 


Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. > 


3 





3 


35 


3 


38 


87 


38 


125 


35 


125 


100 


35 


160 


195 


30 


195 


225 


85 


225 


310 


60 


310 


370 


7 


370 


377 


52 


377 


429 


1 


429 


430 


15 


430 


445 


45 


445 


490 


4 


490 


494 



This well is located within half a mile of the western shore of Mat- 
agorda Bay and not more than 10 feet above sea level. 

Well No. 2 of the O'Connorsport Mining Company has been drilled 
to a depth of 1,484 feet. The following is the log of this well as sup- 
plied by the drillers: 

Log of well No. 2 of the O'Connorsport Mining Company, O'Connorsport, Cal- 
houn County, Tex. 



Character of strata. 



Soil 

Fine white quicksand 

White and chocolate clay 

Greenish clay with shells 

Gray sand . . 

Hard yellowish clay 

Coarse shells and sand 

Hard clay and shells 

Sand 

Hard clay and oyster shells 

Round sand and fine shells, artesian flow . 

Blue clay with some shells 

Coarse gray sand and shells, artesian flow 



Thickness. 


From - 


To- 


Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


3 





3 


18 


3 


21 


22 


21 


43 


37 


43 


80 


3 


80 


83 


77 


83 


160 


6 


160 


166 


44 


166 


210 


15 


210 


225 


95 


225 


320 


45 


320 


365 


87 


365 


452 


24 


452 


476 



HAYES AN 
KENNEDY 



D ] DETAILED SECTIONS. 35 

Log of well No. 2 of the 0' Connorsport Mining ( 'ompany, etc. — Continued. 



14 
15 

16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
27 
28 
29 
30 
31 
32 
33 
34 
35 
36 
37 
38 



Character of strata. 



Conglomerate 

Gray sand 

Conglomerate and blue clay mixed . • 

Gray sand with traces of oil 

Hard rock 

Light sand with traces of oil 

Blue clay 

Hard rock with soft layers 

Gray sand with shells 

Shell concrete 

Sand; artesian water and oil flowed. . 

Concrete with bowlders 

Gray sand 

Blue clay with shells and bowlders . 
Light-colored clay and very fine sand 

Blue clay 

Rock 

Blue clay, bowlders, and shells 

White sand; traces of oil 

Blue clay, hard in places 

Light-colored clay and rock 

White water-bearing sand 

Red and blue clay 

Light-colored clay with red specks . . 
Red, white, and blue variegated clay 



Thickness. 



Feet. 

75 

16 

127 

10 

3 

3 

3 

12 

42 

120 

25 

4 

36 

66 

14 

17 

3 

9 

1 

4 

31 

10 

133 

232 

22 



Prom- 



Feet. 

476 

551 

567 

694 

704 

707 

710 

713 

725 

767 

887 

912 

916 

942 

1,008 

1,022 

1,039 

1,042 

1,051 

1,052 

1,056 

1,087 

1,097 

1,230 

1,462 



To— 



Feet. 

551 

567 

694 

704 

707 

710 

713 

725 

767 

887 

912 

916 

942 

1,008 

1,022 

1,039 

1,042 

1,051 

1,052 

1,056 

1,087 

1,097 

1,230 

1,562 

1,484 



Apparently No. 27 of this section agrees with No. 6 of the Victoria 
section and both may be regarded as Frio clays. This would give 
these clays a dip of 20 feet per mile in this region. 

This well is drilled about half a mile from the shore of Matagorda 
Bay and 3 miles southeast of the old town of Indianola. 

Within this area four of the small elevated areas occur. These 
are Big Hill, in Matagorda County ; Bryan Heights, near Velasco ; 
Kiser Heights, at Columbia, and Damon Mound, near the northern 
side of Brazoria County. The first two are comparatively low, and 
might probably be overlooked by the traveler. Damon Mound (see 
fig. 1), however, is a very prominent feature. Situated on the north- 
ern side of Brazoria County, on the Darst league, it forms a very 
prominent feature in the landscape. For at least 20 miles in any 
direction the surrounding country is a low, level prairie. The mound 
itself rises somewhat abruptly to an approximate height of 83 feet 



36 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



above the general level of the surrounding prairie and about 140 feet 
above sea level. 

The approximate area of this mound is 2,500 bo 3,000 acres, 
having a somewhat regular oval outline. Its longer axis lies in a 
general northeast-southwest direction. Viewed from the top of the 
highest point the surface appears as if the whole mound has been 
made up of a series of smaller mounds grouped around a central one, 
and the whole so intimately connected as to give the appearance of 




Fig. 1.— Sketch contour map of Damon Mound; by A. C. Veateh. 

one extended hill. The form of its surface is in part due to erosion, 
but the peculiar geologic structure of the mound suggests that these 
irregularities may be in part constructional. The presence of exten- 
sive deposits of salt shown in the Herndon well and its absence in 
other wells in the immediate vicinity, together with the occurrence of 
sulphur and the structure of the mound so far as it can be made out, 
suggest a close similarity with the Salt Islands of Louisiana. 

The greater portion of this mound is covered with blue and red 
clays. On the western slope brown sandy clays and shaly clays 



HAYES AND 
KfcNNEDY. 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 



37 



appear on the surface. Several small veins or seams of sulphur, evi- 
dently deposited by escaping- gases, fill cavities in the sand} T clays, 
and considerable quantities of the same mineral occur in the form of 
crystals disseminated through the beds. This brown sandy material 
with its inclosed sulphur, locally known as "sour dirt," was at one 
time mined l>y the Damonia Mineral Company and shipped to Chicago 
for medicinal purposes. 

In a well 40 feet deep a short distance southeast of the hotel at 
Damon post-office the water is saline, while wells along the south- 
western edge of the mound near the old town of Damon afford fresh 
water. 

Drilling operations in this field have been carried on by the J. M. 
Guffey Petroleum Company and the Damon Mound Oil and Pipe Line 
Company. The J. M. Guffey Company has drilled three wells — Nos. 
1 and 2 and the Herndon well. Well No. 1 is located near the base 
of the mound on its northwestern side, while No. 2 is located near its 
northeastern end. The Herndon well has been drilled near its sum- 
mit toward the south side. The Damon Mound Company's well is 
near its southeastern base. The New York and Texas Oil Company, 
although making preparations, has not commenced operations. 

No petroleum in any quantity has as yet been found in Damon 
Mound. In the Herndon well the drill entered rock salt at 587 feet, 
and was still cutting through it at a depth of 1,160 feet, thus giving 
a known thickness of salt in this well of 573 feet. 

The logs of the wells drilled in the Damon Mound field are as 

follows : 

Log of Herndon well, Damon Mound. 

[Elevation, 140 feet.] 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From — 


To— 






Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


1 


Soil 


11 
35 




11 


11 


2 


Red clay 


46 


8 


Blue clay 


36 


46 


82 


4 


Sand 


14 


82 


96 


5 


Blue shale , 


46 
4 

19 
6 


96 
142 
146 
165 


142 


6 


Lime rock . 


146 


7 


Blue shale 


165 


8 


Shells and fine gravel 


171 


9 


Gypsum 


378 


171 


549 


10 


Sulphur and gypsum _ _ . 


30 


549 


579 


11 


Loose sand, very coarse '. 


8 


579 


587 


12 


Salt 


i 573 


587 


1,160 









38 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bui^.212. 



No traces of oil were reported from this well, but considerable 
quantities of sulphur water were found. The upper beds of limestone 
and a portion of the gypsum-bearing beds were found to be badly 
fissured or fractured, occasioning a considerable loss of time and 
additional expense in drilling. 

Log of Well No. 1 of the J. M. Guffey Petroleum ( Umipany. 

[Elevation, (50 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Gray sand 

Black clay _ . 
Brown sand _ 
Blue clay 
White sand _...__. 

Clay 

Fine gravel 

Sand 

Clay... 

Sand 

Blue shale 

Sand 

Clay 

Blue shale _ 
Sand and shells 
Wood (cypress) . . 

Coarse water sand 

Blue shale 

Lime and sandstone mixed 

Clay... 

Sand and wood (wood 1 foot) 

Hard rock 

Blue shale 

Sand and shells 

Clay... 

Sand rock 

Blue shale 

Sand and shells 

Sand rock. ._ 

Clay 

Sand and cedar log 

Sand rock and gas 

Sand 

Clay . 



Thickness. 


From— 


To- 


Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


3 





3 


15 


3 


18 


22 


is 


40 


5 


40 


45 


20 


45 


65 


20 


05 


85 


6 


85 


91 


39 


91 


130 


9 


130 


139 


19 


139 


158 


32 


158 


190 


9 


190 


199 


22 


199 


221 


16 


221 


237 


18 


237 


255 


2 


255 


257 


40 


257 


297 


36 


m 


333 


:> 


:v.v.\ 


338 


22 


338 


360 


14 


360 


374 


2 


374 


376 


32 


376 


408 


17 


408 


425 


12 


425 


437 


4 


437 


441 


37 


441 


478 


23 


478 


501 


r- 


501 


508 


18 


508 


526 


14 


526 


540 


11 


540 


551 


9 


551 


560 


16 


560 


576 



HAYES A 
KENNEDY 



Nl) - ] 
V. J 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 



39 



Log of Well No. 1 of the J. M. Ouffey Petroleum, Company — Continued. 



Character of strata. 



Sand rock and gas 

Sand 

Sand rock 

Sand 

Sand and lime rock . _ _ 

Gravel and water 

Fine sand 

Sand rock 

Sand 

Loose dirt and sulphur, apparently the same 
bed as No. 10 in the Herndon well 

Blue shale 

Sand rock 

Very fine sand 

Sand rock 

Sand, medium 

Clay 

Fine sand 

Sand rock 

Blue shale 

Lime rock 

Blue shale 

Sand rock 

Blue shale 

Lime and sand rock, very hard and flinty ... 



Thickness. 



Feet. 

3 
10 
14 
41 
19 

2 
30 

2 
32 

17 
39 

8 
44 

3 
49 

6 
45 
18 
31 

3 
58 

6 
35 

6 



From- 



Feet. 
576 
579 
589 
603 
644 
663 
665 
695 
697 

729 

746 

785 

793 

837 

840 

889 

895 

940 

958 

989 

992 

1,050 

1,056 

1,091 



Log of the Damon Mound Oil and Pipe Line Company' 's well. 
[Elevation, 100 feet.] 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To— 


1 


Clay J 


Feet. 
260 

70 
200 
650 

50 


Feet. 


260 

330 
530 

1,180 


Feet. 
260 


2 


Limestone 


330 


3 


Clay 


530 


4 


Limestone ... 


1,180 


5 


Sand and clay . 


1,230 









This well is located a little over three-quarters of a mile south of 
the Herndon well. The gypsum of the Herndon well is here repre- 
sented by limestone, while the 650 feet of limestone No. 4 of the 



40 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN. [bull.21£ 



Damon Mound well apparently is equivalent to the salt deposits of 
the Herndon well, and also the 30 feet of sulphur and gypsum. 

Log of Equitable Mining Company well at Kiser Height*, about :.' utiles west of 

Columbia. 

[Elevation, 34 feet.] 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To— 


1 


White clav - - ..__.__.- 


Feet. 

2 

8 
15 

24^ 
10 

1 
23 

6 

15 
15 
14 
18 

4 

112 

1 

1 

18 

ry 

19 

6 

38 

1 

1 

20 

44 

76 


Feet. 



2 

10 

25 

25i 

50 

60 

61 

84 

90 

105 

120 

134 

152 

156 
268 
269 
270 
288 
295 
314 
320 
358 
359 
360 
380 
424 
500 


Feet. 
2 





Red clav . - - - .... 


10 


3 


Gray sand 


25 


4 


White clay 


25£ 


5 
6 


Quicksand 

Yellow clav - . - . 


50 
60 


7 


Quicksand 


61 


8 


Grav sand . 


84 


9 


Lignite with lo#s 


90 


10 


White (day _ 


105 


11 


Soapstone (clay) 


120 


12 


Blue shale 


134 


18 


Blue clay 


152 


14 


Rock and gas 


156 


15 


Blue sand and clay with thin streaks of rock, 
water in r< >ck 


268 


16 

17 


Rock . 

Sand ...__. 


269 
270 


18 


Blue clay 


288 


19 


Hard rock 


295 


20 


Blue clay . 


314 


21 
22 


Quicksand and gas .. _ . . _ 

Blue shale with some oil 


320 
358 


23 


Rock with black particles 


359 


24 


Oil sand 


360 


25 


Blue sand 


380 


26 


Sand . . _ 


424 


27 


do 


500 


28 


Rock with some oil 





This well has been drilled to about 600 feet, where the gas pressure 
was strong enough to blow the well out. This gas was accompanied 
with a large flow of water with a small quantity of oil. 

Along the San Bernard River, about 8 miles northwest of Damon 
Mound, there outcrops a soft grayish-white limestone which strongly 
resembles the Reynosa limestones of the West, and which may be 
traced to the upper exposed bed of limestone in Damon Mound. 



HAYES AND 

KENNEDY. 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 41 



Limestones also appear in the wells at Velasco at 785 feet and at 
Columbia at 156 feet. Whether or not these may be correlated with 
the Reynosa, sufficient knowledge is not yet available for determining. 
With the exception of the limestone reported in the Big Plill well in 
Matagorda County, no limestones are known to exist in this region, 
and the nearest Reynosa limestones occur at Rogers in Nueces County, 
at least 135 miles distant. 

It will be noticed that the first bed of limestone found in these wells 
lies in such a position as to appear in all. It is interbedded between 
two thick beds of clay, except in the Velasco well, where its under- 
lying bed is not known, and a thin bed of gravel intervenes between 
the clay and limestone. This limestone appears to be irregular in 
thickness. In the Guffey No. 1 and Herndon wells it does not show 
a thickness exceeding 4 to 5 feet. In the Columbia well the thick- 
ness recorded is 5 feet, but in the Damon Mound Oil and Pipe Line 
Company's well, about a mile south of the Herndon well, the reported 
thickness is 70 feet. Its thickness in the Velasco well is not known. 

From the depths given, this limestone appears to dip in a south- 
easterly direction from the summit of Damon Mound at the rate of 25 
feet per mile. On the northern side of the mound the dip is to the 
northwest at the rate of 93 to 95 feet per mile. About 8 to 10 miles 
northwest of the summit the same limestone comes to the surface in 
the bed of the San Bernard River. The beds shown in that locality 
are dipping toward the mound at a rate of approximately 33 feet per 
mile. Another noticeable feature of the region is the appearance of 
a minor fold in the Columbia field. The area or extent of this minor 
fold is not known. 

From these figures it would seem as if the regular dip of these beds, 
including the limestones as well as sandstones lying at greater depths, 
is southeast toward the coast. The dip is probably interrupted by a 
fold, and probably a fault at Damon Mound, beyond which the beds 
resume their normal southeasterly dip. 

How far to the east or west these folds may extend is not known. 
No drilling has been done to the west except at Big Hill, in Matagorda 
County, approximately 20 miles to the southwest. In the Big Hill 
well limestones occur at various depths, and it is possible that these 
are the same beds as those forming the minor fold in the Columbia 
field and that the minor fold has a length of at least 20 miles. From 
this it might be inferred that some traces of the main fold may be 
found lying in the same direction. 

Toward the east it is doubtful whether drilling would show any 
continuation of the Columbia well limestones. No drilling has been 
done in the line of the arch projected, but at Angle ton, a few miles 
to the south of such a line, the Brazos Valley Oil Company and New 
York and Texas Land Company have drilled wells, the former to the 
depth of 1,500 feet and the latter through sand and clay to a depth 
of 600 feet. 



42 OTL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

The limestone found in the Velascowell at about 745 feet, where the 
gas flow was struck, is apparently closely allied with the limestone 
found in the Matagorda County well at about 900 feet, in which a 
similar flow of gas occurred. In both cases it caused the abandon- 
ment of the wells. A similar heavy flow of gas occurred in the Equi- 
table Mining Company's well at Columbia at a depth of about 600 feet. 
Little or no gas occurs in the wells at Damon Mound. 

DETAILED SECTIONS BETWEEN BRAZOS AND TRINITY RIVERS. 

In the region lying between the Brazos and Trinity rivers a new 
topographic feature is introduced. From the western boundary of 
the region discussed eastward as far as Galveston Bay the coast line 
is protected by a series of long, narrow islands, or keys, separated 
from the mainland by narrow, shallow lagoons. These lagoons show 
more or less of a bluff structure along their inner or landward shores. 
This shore bluff, beginning at an elevation of a few feet at Point 
Isabel, gradually increases in elevation until it reaches its highest 
point in the neighborhood of Corpus Chxisti. From that point the 
bluff lessens in height until it reaches the shore of Galveston Bay. 
On the cast side of the bay, in the neighborhood of East Bayou and 
up along the eastern shore to the mouth of Trinity River and Cedar 
Bayou, commences the low, flat sea marsh area which continues east- 
ward and forms an extended territory in the southern portion of 
Jefferson and Orange counties in Texas and Cameron and Vermilion 
parishes in Louisiana. 

In the same limits there are also numerous mound-shaped eleva- 
tions which may be in part remnantal and due to erosion and in part 
due to the uplifting of the underlying beds. The Sun Mounds in 
Waller County are representative of the first class, and Dayton Hill, 
Barber Hill, and Davis Hill probably belong to the second class. 

In its general features this portion of the country has the same 
characteristics as the counties lying immediately to the west of the 
Brazos. The general section shows the Fayette sands to comprise a 
series of graj 7 and yellow sandstones, more or less calcareous in some 
portions, and interstratified with coarse, j^ellow sand and beds of sili- 
ceous yellow limestones. The beds are somewhat lenticular in form 
and the material is very irregular in texture, often passing from a 
solid, close-grained sandstone to a loose, unconsolidated sand in a 
distance of a few hundred yards. 

The southern boundary of this series and its contact with the suc- 
ceeding Frio clays is often obscured by heavy beds of gravel which 
form a belt over 3 miles in width and 15 to 20 feet in thickness. 
This boundary passes across the counties of Grimes, Montgomery, 
and Walker in a general northeastern diiection from near Chappel 
Hill, in Washington County, passing Courtne} 7 and Anderson, in 
Grimes County, and crossing the Trinity near Riverside on the Inter- 



HAYES 
KEN 



nbdy D ] DETAILED SECTIONS. 43 



national and Great Northern Railroad. In this portion of the State 
these sandstones occupy a somewhat restricted area and have an 
estimated thickness of 350 feet. 

The Frio clays overtying these Fayette sands have in this area a 
thickness of 75 to 100 feet and rest more or less unconformable upon 
the eroded surface of the Fayette beds. The Frio clays here comprise 
a series of blue, yellow, and sometimes red clays, with concretions or 
nodules of lime carbonate interstratified with occasional beds of gv&y 
calcareous sands and thin-bedded, coarse-grained, soft, calcareous 
sandstones. The clays are mostly massive (although occasionally 
shaly or thin-bedded deposits occur) and show a tendencj^ to break 
up into cuboidal blocks. The colors also tend to intergrade, although 
at most localities there is a strongly defined line of color demarcation, 
but no sign of any change in the character or texture of the clays. 
In other words, changes of color do not indicate an3 r change of bed- 
ding. The lime nodules vary from 2 to 4 inches in diameter and 
show different degrees of hardness. When exposed to the air they 
slake or crumble to a fine powder. The geological survey of Texas a 
gives two sections showing the character of these Frio beds. One is 
as follows: 

Section of Frio beds between Brazos and Trinity rivers. 

Feet. 

1. Brown sand 3 

2. Grayish sandy clay with concretions or nodnles of lime . _ 8 

3. Thin stratum of sandstone \ 

4. Blnish-gray sand with nodnles of lime and clay . . 2 

In the second section, near Courtne} 7 , the beds are shown to be blue 
clays, changing to red, and in places white, containing numerous 
nodules or concretions of lime. 

This series occupies a comparatively narrow strip, probably not 
more than 15 or 20 miles in width. The base of the series is seen 
in the Christian well, near Courtney, Grimes County, and is found in 
wells at Howth station, in Waller County, and exposed in Lime Creek, 
4 miles south of Hempstead. These clays can be traced in a general 
northeastern direction to Longstreet, Montgomery County. From 
Longstreet to Dodge, on the International and Great Northern Rail- 
road, they rarely come to the surface, being for the greater distance 
completely overlapped by the mottled sands and clays of the succeed- 
ing deposits. At Point Blank post-office, in the northern end of San 
Jacinto County, these calcareous clays are seen in the following 
section: 

Section at Point Blank post-office, San Jacinto County, Tex. 

Feet. 

1 . Brown sandy clay . _ 8 

2. Calcareous clays with lime in nodnles or concretions +5 

Succeeding the Frio clays, and in many places completely obscuring 
them, is a series of red and brown (days and sands, with occasional indu- 

« Fourth Ann. Rept. Geol. Surv. Texas, p. 11. 



44 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [hull. 212. 

rations or soft sandstone. The sands are often cross bedded and con- 
tain nodules or concretions of pinkish clay varying in size from a few 
inches to a foot in diameter; the clays are blue and red, laminated or 
tlii nly stratified, and bine and red mottled. These beds toward the 
western end of the district, or in the Brazos River section, appear 
chiefly in their brown cross-bedded sandy condition, and small expo- 
sures of them may be seen in the river banks north and west of Hemp- 
stead and also in the shallow cuttings on the Houston and Texas 
Central Railroad between Hempstead and Hockly, in Waller County, 
where they appear to merge into the general level of the Coastal 
Plain proper. So small a difference in elevation occurs that these 
brown sands may be said to be the lowest member of the coastal 
deposits in this region. At Conroe, in Montgomery County, these 
beds still maintain their brown sandy character, although they have 
risen more than 80 feet above their level at Hempstead. Northward 
from Conroe these beds occur as laminated blue and red claj^s, and 
eastward along the Trinity they appear as bright-red, pink, and brown 
heavy-bedded clays, rising to considerable elevations above the river 
valley. At Dodge, in Walker County, they are between 20 and 30 
feet in depth and overlie the blue joint clay of the Frio beds, and at 
Point Blank, 14 miles farther east, brown sands of this series are seen 
overlying the blue calcareous Frio clays. The red sands forming the 
capping of the Sun Mounds in Waller County may possibly belong to 
these beds, although the present conditions would presuppose a large 
amount of erosion or a considerable uplift after these sands were laid 
down. Occasional deposits of gravel appear in connection with these 
sands. 

These brown sands and clays appear to mark the beginning of a 
new epoch. They are unconformable with the underlying Frio clays, 
and in many places have so overlapped them as to obscure them alto- 
gether. At other places much erosion has taken place before the 
deposition of the brown sands and clays. In many places the sands 
are cross bedded and show an otherwise irregular deposition. The 
total thickness of the sands and clays of this division has been esti- 
mated at 350 feet. 

These beds are referred to the Lafayette and are correlated with 
the Oakville beds in the western end of the plain and the Loup Fork 
beds by Dumble and regarded as of late Miocene or early Pliocene 
age. 

Southward from these brown sands and clays is a series of gray- 
white, bluish-gray mottled, and yellow sands with occasional thin 
lens-like deposits of blue, gray, and yellow clays containing irregular 
gravel deposits and many concretions and beds of indurated sands 
forming a soft sandstone. These practically occupy the whole country 
from the upper margin of the underlying brown clays to the latitude 
of Houston. Owing to the generally level surface of the country 
occupied by these beds, reliable sections are rarely seen. These 



H kJnnedy D ] DETAILED SECTIONS. 45 

sands appear in several small cuttings along the line of the Missouri, 
Kansas and Texas Railway going westward from Houston ; and near 
Brunner, on Buffalo Bayou, in the vicinity of Houston, banks from 
15 to 20 or more feet high are made up of the brownish-gray sand 
with thin ledges of coarse soft sandstone or sand concretions of this 
formation. The same sands are also found in cuttings near the San 
Jacinto River, and at Crosby, on the Southern Pacific Railroad east 
from Houston. The sandy deposits also form the summit of Dayton 
Hill, in Liberty County, and show a thickness of at least 15 feet in 
cuttings along the line of railroad. South of Dayton they form the 
bluff marking the edge of the Trinity River bottom lands. Indura- 
tions of these sands in the form of sandstones occur at many places. 
Near Tarkington Prairie, in Liberty County, and between that place 
and the Trinity River, they form hills of considerable height and 
extent. These indurations also occur on the same river about 3 miles 
northwest of the town of Liberty, as well as at several places south 
and east, notably in old ballast pits a little east of the town. 

Of economic interest in connection with these sands are the various 
small deposits of carbonate of iron found in the form of thin, irregu- 
lar sheets or as stains throughout the beds. This ore is freely soluble 
in carbonated water, and seepage carries the solution out into small 
gulches or ravines, where, coming in contact with oxygen, the iron is 
precipitated and forms a brilliant iridescence on the surface of the 
water. This has frequently been mistaken for petroleum, and many 
of the so-called petroleum springs or seeps found in the areas belong- 
ing to these beds are this iron in course of deposition. 

From Houston south to the coast the country is almost flat, perhaps 
sloping at a rate of 10 inches to 1 foot per mile. This region is occu- 
pied by the clays and sands of the Beaumont beds and clays and sands 
of post-Pleistocene age, while in the immediate vicinity of the head 
of Galveston Bay the coastal or sea marshes begin. 

The underground conditions of this section are practically unknown. 

Few wells of great depth have been drilled, the most important being 

the deep well at Galveston (3,070 feet) and the deep well at Hunts- 

ville (about 2,203 feet). The section of the Huntsville well is as 

follows : 

Section of well at Huntsville. 

Feet. 

1. Clays and sandy clay, with water bed at 339 feet .» 417 

2. Water-bearing sand 67 

3. Clays, etc ' - 506 

4. Sand . 159 

5. Clays 477 

6. Sands 577 

2, 203 

Several wells, ranging from 600 to 900 feet in depth, have been drilled 
at Houston. The Brazos Valley Oil Company and the New York and 
Texas Land Company's wells at Angleton have already been referred 



46 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



to. On the Smith league, ou Cedar Bayou, a well 238 feet, giving the 
following section, was drilled several years ago: 

Log of well on Siriith league, on Cedar- Bayou, Texas. 

Feet. 

1. Red clay 75 

2. White sand _ _ _ 75 

3. Bluish clay, with shells 40 

4. Blue sand and pebbles 48 

At Dayton the J. M. Guffey Petroleum Company drilled a well 1,900 
feet deep, and on the north side of the hill the Taylor-Dayton Com- 
pany has been drilling to depths of from 500 to 1,000 feet. At Still- 
son the Hill-Brown Rice Land and Irrigation Company has drilled two 
wells nearly 500 feet in depth. 

The log of the Taylor-Dayton Company's well shows that Dayton 
Hill is composed of blue clays and sands to a depth of 500 feet, with 
bowlders of a soft gray sandstone at several horizons. These bowl- 
ders are rounded and concretionary, readily breaking into thin slaty 
portions, and appear to lie in a blue marly clay and to overlie heavy 
beds of quicksand. At 600 feet this well i>assed into limestones to 
the depth of 800 feel and then rock salt to 1,200 feet. In the Guf- 
fey well, 6 miles farther south, thin beds of sandstone are reported at 
various depths, but chiefly below 800 feet. Gravels also occur in this 
well record in the lower depths. In the Stillson well, 3 miles west of 
Dayton, yellow clays were drilled through to a depth of 104 feet. 
These were followed by 19 feet of quicksand, and from that depth to 
447 feet the section shows mostly a series of blue clays. Lime con- 
cretions were found from 132 to 174 feet and again between 244 and 
263 feet. No bowlders were found in this well, which terminated in 
40 feet of coarse gravelly sand with water. The following are the 
logs of these wells as supplied by the companies: 

Log of Taylor- 1 )< i //ton Company well, sec. 1J4 Houston and Texas Central Rail- 
road Company's lands, Liberty County. 

[Elevation, 100 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Black dirt 

Blue clay 

Water sand 

Blue marl 

Quicksand 

Blue clay 

Bowlders ( sa ndstone ) 

Quicksand 

Blue marl 

Bowlders 



Thickness. 


From— 


Feet. 


Feet. 


6 





22 


6 


8 


28 


37 


36 


12 


73 


15 


85 


2 


100 


39 


102 


GO 


141 


2 


207 



To- 



Feet. 

6 

28 

36 

73 

85 

100 

102 

141 

207 

209 



^nnedy D ] DETAILED SECTIONS. 47 

Log of Taylor-Dayton Company well, etc. — Continued. 



Character of strata. 



Coarse quicksand 

Blue marl and bowlders 

Blue marl - 

Bowlders 

Blue marl (gas at 244) . . 

Quicksand . 

Water sand 

Quicksand 

Blue marl 



Thickness. From 



Feet. 



20 

6 

3 

32 

47 
6 
3 



Feet. 

209 
229 
232 

238 
241 
273 
320 



To- 



Feet 



229 
232 
238 
241 
273 
320 
326 
329 



This well is now nearly 1,200 feet deep and is being- drilled in rock 
salt. 

The log of the Hill-Brown Rice Land Company's well, at Stillson, 
shows the following: 

Log of Hill-Brown Rice Land well, on sec. 138 of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe 
Railroad lands, Liberty County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 85 feet.] 



1 

2 

3 

4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

11 

15 

16 

17 

18 

19 

20 

21 



Character of strata. 



Yellow clay 

Quicksand 

Hard clay 

Sand 

Hard clay and lime pebbles 

Soft clay 

Sand ... 

Hard blue clay 

Soft blue clay 

Soft blue clay with lime 

Hard blue clay 

Soft blue clay _ - 

Hard blue clay 

Soft blue clay 

Hard blue clay 

Fine gray sand 

Hard blue clay 

Yellow clay and sand 

Very hard yellow clay 

Yellow sand and clay 

Coarse gravelly sand to bottom 



Thickness. ! From — 



Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


104 





104 


19 


104 


123 


6 


123 


129 


3 


129 


132 


4* 


132 


174 


10 


174 


184 


10 


184 


194 


44 


194 


238 


6 


238 


244 


19 


244 


263 


13 


263 


276 


16 


276 


292 


5 


292 


297 


17 


297 


314 


20 


314 


334 


15 


334 


349 


9 


349 


358 


49 


358 


407 


5 


407 


412 


35 


412 


447 


40 


447 


487 



To- 



48 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 312. 

The log of the J. M. Guffey Petroleum Company's well is not avail- 
able. 

The section shown in the Galveston well has already been published 
in several places/* so need not be repeated here except to show the 
ages assigned to the various deposits. According to Harris 6 the 
deposits found appear to be as follows: 

Section of Galveston well. 

Feet. 
Pleistocene 46 to 458 

Doubtful 458tol,510 

Upper Tertiary -. 1,510 to 2,158 

Miocene (Upper) 2,158 to 2,920 

These have been partially correlated with the deposits found in the 
well at the State penitentiary at Ihintsville. 

DETAILED SECTIONS IN VICINITY OF NECHES AND SABINE RIVERS. 

Eastward from the Trinity the general features of the country are 
very similar to those of the seel ion last described, west of that river. 
The topography is that of a level plain, mostly prairie, but timbered 
along its northern margin and swampy along the Gulf coast. 

It is in this eastern division that the so-called hills, or more prop- 
erly prairie swells, which play so important a role in oil prospecting, 
are most extensively developed. Near the coast are High Island and 
Big Hill, in Jefferson County, while farther inland are the present oil- 
producing regions of Spindletop, Sour Lake, and Saratoga. In addi- 
tion to these there are several smaller and apparently less developed 
elevations, of which the more important is Fairchild Hill, situated 
about 4 miles west of Sour Lake station. It rises with considerable 
abruptness to an elevation of 25 to 30 feet above the general level of 
the country and covers approximately 50 acres. Small ponds or 
depresssions holding water are scattered over the top, and more or 
less gas appears in the neighborhood of these depressions. About 2 
miles southwest of Fairchild Hill lies another hill of about the same 
extent and elevation. This is of a somewhat irregularly oval form 
and is nearly covered by a single pond. The crest of the hill forms 
a natural embankment, and confines the water, which covers 2 or 3 
acres. Gas also occurs in the neighborhood of this pond. 

In Orange County occur several similar though smaller elevations, 
but these, as well as some others in other portions of the Coastal Plain, 
are not named. 

In the Louisiana region the most important elevations are Hack- 
berr}^ Island, in Cameron Parish, Vinton and Sulphur mine, in Cal- 
casieu Parish. Besides these are a number of other smaller and less 
noticeable elevations. 

« Fourth Ann. Rept. Geol. Survey Texas, 1893, p. 89 et seq. 
&Idem, p. 118 



HAVES AND 
KENNEDY. 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 49 



While some of these hills, and perhaps most of them, are due to the 
geologic structure, others are probably due in part at least to erosion. 

A peculiar topographic feature of the Gulf Coastal Plain in Texas 
and Louisiana, but especially well developed in this eastern division, 
is the "pimpled plain." Large areas a;*e covered with small mounds, 
generally circular in outline, from 20 to 60 feet in diameter and from 
2 to 10 feet in height. In some cases they are so close together as to 
be in contact, but they are generally separated by distances varying 
from a few rods to a quarter of a mile. Large areas of the plain are 
entirely free from the mounds, though not otherwise different in char- 
acter of soil or underlying formations from the pimpled plains. The 
mounds are composed of fine sand or sandy loam even where the 
surrounding plain has a clay soil. Numerous theories have been pro- 
posed to explain the origin of these mounds, but none of them are 
entirely satisfactory, and they need not be enumerated here. 

The presence of these mounds was considered, during the early pros- 
pecting of the Texas field, a favorable indication of the presence of 
oil, and much drilling was done on the strength of this indication. 
No rational theory for their origin, however, connects them in any 
way with deep-seated commercial deposits of oil or gas, and experi- 
ence has shown that they have no connection with such deposits. 
Their presence or absence should, therefore, be wholly ignored by the 
oil prospector. 

The northern boundary of the Fayette sands crosses the Trinity a 
short distance south of Hyde's ferry in Houston County, passing in a 
general northeast direction past Pennington, where it turns easterly 
and reaches the south side of the Neches River near Clark's ferry, 
where the Houston East and West Texas Railroad crosses that stream. 
Crossing the river near Rockland, in Tyler County, the line turns 
northeastward past Brookland, about 8 miles north of Jasper, and 
crosses the Sabine River near the mouth of Little Sandy Creek, in 
Sabine County. 

From the crossing of the Trinity near Riverside the southern bor- 
der follows a somewhat irregular line in a generally eastern direction, 
passing between Corrigan and Moscow, near Bowers, on the Missouri, 
Kansas and Texas Railroad; Summit, on the Texas and New Orleans 
Railroad; Jasper; Farrs, a few miles north of Burkesville; and crosses 
the Sabine about 3 miles north of Burr's ferry. 

The composition of the Fayette beds has generally been described 
as gray sands, sandstones, and gray clays. In this area the Fayette 
is made up of gray and white sandstones; gray and pinkish-gray 
sands; gray, pinkish-white, and white, with occasional beds of pale- 
green clay; one or more beds of white fossiliferous limestone, and 
brown or yellowish-brown sandy clays containing many impressions 
of leaves and stems of plants, among which leaves resembling the 
gum appear to be the prevailing form, Along the line of the Hous- 

Bull. 212—03 4 



50 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

toD East and West Texas Railroad, between Clark's ferry crossing 
and Moscow, the following section occurs : 

Section on Houston East and West Texas Railroad between Clark's ferry and 

Moscow. 
Frio: Feet. 

1 . Coarse gray sand 50 

2. Laminated blue and white sand 15 

Fayette: 

3. Brownish- gray to yellow sandstone, gradually losing its brown tint 

as it nears the base. The upper, brown division is thinly laminated 
and contains plant impressions and nodules of pure clay. The lower, 
gray division contains clay nodules but no plants; 4 feet in railway 
cut, but 15 feet in Hitchcock's quarry 20 

4. Gray sand '. 22 

5. White limestone containing casts of Venericardia planicosta and other 

shells 2 

6. Indurated gray sand or soft sandstones 

7. Gray cross-bedded sands 35 

8. Gray sands with opalized wood 25 

9. Laminated pink clay 6 

10. Gray laminated and grayish-brown sand . 2i 

11. Gray sandy clay 3 

12. Gray sandstone 3 

13. Shaly gray clay 1 

14. Gray and yellow sand 3 

15. Light-yellow or cream-colored clay 2 

16. Thinly laminated gray sandstone 3 

17. Brown laminated clay 3 

18. Thinly stratified white or gray sandstones ... 1 

19. Gray sandstones stained brown -.. 3 

Yegua: 

20. Thinly stratified or laminated blue clay with gypsum in crystals 35 

At Rockland these beds give the following section : 

Section at Rockland. a 

Feet. 

1. Gray sand and siliceous pebbles 18 

2. Mottled blue and brown sandy clay 20 

Frio: 

3. Green sandy clay 20 

4. Brown sandy clay 20 

5. Pale-blue sand and clay 15 

6. Dark-blue clay with lime concretions 20 

7. Drab-gray sandy clay 30 

Fayette: 

8. Gray sandstones, coarse grained on top but changing to a fine-grained, 

blue, hard quartzitic stone at base 120 

In this section the Frio clays overlie the Fayette beds and are in 
turn overlain by the blue and brown sands and sandy clays seen at 
Colmesneil. 

« Third Ann. Rept. Geol. Survey T^xas* l§93, pp, 61. 120, 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 51 



Still farther east, at Rock Branch, 5 miles south of Brookland, in 
Jasper County, the coarse gray sandstones are shown in a bluff on 
the bank of the creek, but their thickness is unknown. In this region 
the rock is badly broken up and covers the face of the hill for over 
200 feet, the sandstones being broken into large blocks, in many 
places over 3 feet in thickness. Along the line of the Gulf, Beau- 
mont and Kansas City Railwaj^in this vicinity the upper bed of sand- 
stone appears to vary from 2 to 4 feet in thickness and to be under- 
lain by heavy beds of yellow and pink clays. Several of the cuttings 
show that the sandstones have been eroded, leaving the clays to form 
the surface throughout the valleys. The region comprises a hilly 
country, showing deep valleys and knob-like hills. These hills are 
generally covered with a brownish-graj^ conglomerate containing 
great quantities of white quartz pebbles. 

In Newton County the sandstones are not much exposed. The 
rounded knob-like hills found in Jasper County extend across New- 
ton County and into the lower portion of Sabine County. A section 
on Little Sandy Creek shows the lignites of the underlying Yegua 
beds beneath the sandstones. The section is as follows : 

Section on Little Sandy Creek. 

Fayette: Feet. 

1. Gray sandstones 4 to 6 

2. White clays and sands 60 

Yegna: 

3. Lignite. 2 

On the Sabine River the sections seen at Snells Landing, Madden 
Perry, and Runyons Bluff show the Fayette beds in this region to be 
gray sandstones with thinly laminated pink and white clays, the 
sandstone beds ranging from 1 to 6 feet in thickness. 

Passing into Louisiana, the same sandstones, with their associated 
clays, appear in the SW. i sec. 2, T. 5 N., R. 13 W. Between Horn- 
beck and Christie the section shows the sandstones underlying the 
blue calcareous clays of the Frio beds. The sandstones also occur at 
Kisatchee, Lena, Fairmount, and as far east as Harrisonburg, in 
Louisiana. 

Along the southern border of these beds the exposures are by no 
means satisfactory. They usually pass under the Frio clays in such 
a way as would lead to the inference that the sandstones underwent 
considerable erosion during the period in which the Frio beds were 
deposited. The Fayette beds dip S. 30° E. 

Succeeding the Fayette beds the Frio clays occupy a belt of country 
of somewhat irregular width but probably never exceeding 15 miles. 
The Frio beds are dark to pale blue, brown, red, yellow, and green 
clays, with a few thin strata of a ferruginous sandy conglomerate. 
Some thin beds of sand appear interbedded among these clays, 



52 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

but the sands nowhere seem continuous, appearing to form lenses. 
Occasionally the sands are indurated, and in places the}' occur in the 
form of bowlders scattered through the clay beds. The clays are 
sometimes thinly laminated or partially stratified, but are more fre- 
quently massive, and have a tendency to break into cuboidal blocks. 
The most important bed of clay in this group is a heavy bed of blue 
clay containing numerous concretions of carbonate of lime. The 
arrangement of the lime concretions gives to this clay the appearance 
of being partially stratified, as in most exposures seen these concre- 
tions lie in regular planes, and while for the greater part rounded and 
nodular in form, in several sections they appear as flat concretions, 
sometimes being over a foot in length while not more than 2 or 3 
inches in thickness. 

( )wing to the nature of the country underlain by these beds very few 
sections of any value are to be seen. Near Oorrigan, on the Missouri, 
Kansas and Texas Railroad, in Polk County, laminated gypseous 
cla} 7 s of this series occur, the thickness being a little over G feet. 
The}' also appear at Fleming, Chester, and other localities along this 
railroad. Near Fleming, in the eastern edge of Polk County, the fol- 
lowing section appears in a railroad cutting: 

Section near Fleming, Polk County. 

Feet. 

1 . Surface gray sand ... .} 

2. Brown mottled sand . 2 to 4 

3. Gray stratified sand containing fossil palm wood in great abundance, 

with numerous quartz, jasper, and other pebbles; gravelly in some 
localities . . ... . _ 20 

4. Blue clay partially stratified, hut showing a tendency to break up into 

conchoidal blocks, and containing numerous nodules of calcareous 
matter . . 50 

5. Red clay having practically the same structure as No. 4, but without 

limy concretions 10 

(5. Yellow sand, visible 4 

Five miles farther east the same clays appear underlying the gray 
sands, but in this place they appear as a partially stratified mottled 
clay containing nodules of lime. This mottled condition may be due 
to a mixture of the red and blue clays, as in none of the localities 
observed does there appear to be any real parting or line of division 
between the red and blue clays, except that the red does not contain 
calcareous nodules, which appear to be altogether confined to the blue 
clays. In the Rockland section the blue clays have a thickness of 20 
feet, while the other Frio deposits in the same section consist of 
green, brown, and pale-blue clays having a thickness of 60 feet. 
In this locality the blue clays contain a small quantity of gypsum 
crystals in close association with the calcareous nodules. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY 



J D ] DETAILED SECTIONS. 53 



Between Roganville and Jasper, on the Gulf, Beaumont and Kan- 
sas City Railroad, in Jasper County, the blue clays, with lines of irregu- 
lar stratification and ferruginous and calcareous concretions, appear in 
the cuttings for over 2 miles. In this localit}^ the ferruginous and 
calcareous concretions appear to lie in definite lines, although broken 
in their longitudinal direction. These concretions are flattened oval 
in shape and range in length from a few inches to 2 or 3 feet. These 
beds again appear between Newton and Burkeville, but in this locality 
are very generally covered by a ferruginous gravel containing consid- 
erable quantities of quartz and jasper and carnelian pebbles, and in 
several places indurated brown sand and ferruginous sandstone. In 
the neighborhood of Burkeville, in Newton County, they form a small 
prairie with black calcareous soil, and carry a thin seam of hard fer- 
ruginous sandstone containing such Eocene fossils as Ostrea alaba- 
miensis, Cerithium sp., Venericardia, Crassatella antestriata Gabb, 
C. trapaquara Harris, Cardium, Astarte, Chama, Cytheria sp., Cor- 
bula sp. , and Area like mississippiensis Conr. 

In Louisiana the calcareous blue clays are seen near Hornbeck in 
Vernon Parish, and at intervals along the Kansas City Southern Rail- 
way northward beyond Christie. A general section in the vicinity of 
Hornbeck shows the sequence of the beds to correspond with the 
Texas section. 

General section near Hornbeck, La. 

1. Surface brown, red, and mottled sands, in places weathering to a gray or brown- 

ish white. 

2. Bine calcareous clays with some sandstone bowlders and ferruginous and cal- 

careous concretions. 

3. Gray sandstone. 

Few wells have been drilled in the areas occupied b}^ these Frio 
clays and the underground conditions are not well known. These 
beds are not usually water bearing, and when water is afforded by 
them it is generally unfit for use. When water is not obtainable from 
the surface creeks and smaller streams, or from shallow wells where 
the overlying sands overlap the clays, it is usually got from ponds or 
cisterns. The only wells drilled to any depth throughout the region 
are two recently drilled, prospecting for petroleum. These are widely 
separated, the first being situated 5 miles west of Valda in Polk 
County, Tex., and the second being about 12 miles southwest of 
Many, in Sabine Parish, La. 



54 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 



Five miles west of Valda, in Polk County, a well drilled to a depth 
>f 543 feet gave the following log: 

Log of Dean well 5 miles went of \'<thl<<. Polk County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 225 feet.] 



9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
27 



( iharacter of strata. 



Thickness. 



From 



Surface sands and gravels . _ 

White sand _ _ . 

Strong water sand 
Frio: 

Clay with lime . 

Blue clay 

Greenish clay with water al 195 feei 

Green shale 

Green shale with gravel 
Fayette: 

Quicksand 

Quicksand with lime and shells 

Blue clay - 

Green shale 

Shale 

Soft green shale . . 

Green clay 

Green sand with pyrites 

Quicksand 

Green sand 

Blue clay 

Green shale 

Blue clay 

Shale rich in iron pyrites . 

Dark shale . . . 

Light shale 

Shale . 

Water sand 

Grav sand 



22 

14 
59 

45 
20 
35 
35 

10 

11 
33 

s 

4 
25 

4 
25 
34 
10 

3 
21 

6 
30 
36 
11 
13 
10 
10 

:; 



Feet. 



95 

140 
160 
195 
230 

240 
251 
284 
292 
296 
321 
325 
350 
384 
400 
403 
424 
430 
460 
496 
507 
520 
530 
540 



To- 



Feet. 



22 
36 

95 

140 
160 
195 
230 
240 

251 

284 
292 
296 
321 
3.25 
350 
3S4 
400 
403 
424 
430 
460 
496 
507 
520 
530 
540 
543 



This well has been drilled through the Frio clays into and almost 
through the Fayette sands. The Frio beds here apparently have a 
thickness of 145 feet, giving the Fayette beds a thickness of 303 feet. 



HAYES ANP 
KENNEDY. 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 



55 



In T. 5 N., R. 12 W., Sabine Parish, La., the D. M. Foster well gives 
the following log to 630 feet. 

Log of 1). M. Foster well, in T. 5 N., R. 12 W., Sabine Parish, La. 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


Prom 


To— 






Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


1 


Soil and clay , - - 


18 





18 


o 


Quicksand 


5 


18 


23 


3 


Blue clay changing to blue shale 


27 


23 


50 


4 


Blue limestone . . ... 


o 


50 


52 


5 


Blue clay with bowlders, first sign of oil at 75 
feet 


23 


52 


75 


6 


Blue shale, oil signs, and plenty of gas 


125 


75 


200 


7 


Lignite 


5 


200 


205 


8 


Blue shale and gas 


135 


205 


340 


9 


Brown gummy shale , oil on water 


10 


, 340 


350 


10 


Blue shale with oil and gas 


80 


350 


430 


11 


Slate-colored talcky rock 


64 


430 


494 


12 


Bluish-gray lime rock, very hard. Gas blew 
out drillings 


8 


494 


502 


18 


Tan-colored shale with yellow sand . . 


40 


502 


542 


14 


Milky-white talcose rock 


38 


542 


580 


15 


Blue shale with small white pebbles 


20 


580 


600 


16 


Blue hard and flinty limestone ; gas under this 
rock ... 


4 
26 


600 
604 


604 


17 


Shells and pebbles with strong indications of 
oil and much gas 


630 









The location of this well is such that the Frio and Fayette sands 
are both absent owing to the extensive erosion that has taken place 
in this region. The gray sandstones occur both to the north and to the 
west of the well. These deposits are considered lignitic by Harris. a 

The red and brown sands, clays, and sandy clays, and the blue and 
red laminated clays which go to make up the series of deposits suc- 
ceeding the Frio clays have in this portion of the State an approxi- 
mate width of from 25 to 30 miles, with a slight increase in width as 
they enter Louisiana. Along their northern border these sands, often 
bleached white or brownish yellow, overlap the underlying beds at 
many places for considerable distances, and in several localities com- 
pletely obscure them. It is a question not yet satisfactorily answered, 
whether much of the grayish sands with fossil palm wood found in 
several localities and over considerable areas overlying the Frio beds 
should not be referred to this series of sands. The palm-bearing 



«Geol. Survey Louisiana, Report for 1899, p. 92 et seq. 



56 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

sands are in close connection with and in many places form a portion 
of the upper margin of these deposits, so that in all probability they 
will ultimately be found to be of the same age as these red and white 
sands, the difference in color being largely due to bleaching. 

Along their southern edge the sands of this division merge so imper- 
ceptibly into the overlying Columbia sands that it is often difficult 
to say where the line should be drawn. To add to this difficulty, the 
upper sands of both Lafayette and Columbia have a tendency to 
weather to a dirt} 7 brown white, and few sections showing the con- 
tact are visible anywhere. Both series are water bearing to a high 
degree. The Columbia sands also contain a series of mottled brown 
and blue and brown and white sands, although no clays of this char- 
acter have been observed. 

In their general composition these beds resemble those toward the 
middle and western portion of the field, and it is hardly necessary to 
describe them here. Few sections of over 10 to 25 feet are obtainable 
anywhere throughout the area, and even wells scarcely ever exceed the 
latter depth. In the overlapping at Colmesneii the section shows a 
heavy deposit of brown sand containing nodules or inclusions of a 
pinkish-purple clay. These inclusions generally have a rounded or 
nodular form and appear to have been transported to their present 
location. 

On the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad, near Colmesneii, in 

Tyler County, these mottled sands appear to have a thickness of 10 

feet and to overlie the fossiliferous cross-bedded sands. A section is 

as follows: 

Section near Colmesneii, Tyler County, Tex. 

Feet. 

1. Gray sand 6 to 8 

2. Mottled blue clay in small irregular elliptical pockets i to 2 

3. Mottled brown sand or soft sandstone broken into irregular blocks and 

containing lenticular patches of pale grayish-blue clay stratified at each 

end of cut •_ _ . 10 

4. Gray cross-bedded sand, containing siliceous pebbles and fossil wood .__ 15 

Three and a half miles south of Colmesneii the contact between 
these brown sands and the underlying Frio clays may be seen in the 
following section : 

Section 3\ miles south of Colmesneii, Tyler County, Tex. 

Feet. 

1. Gray sandy soil 1 

2. Brown clayey sand 4 

3. Brown laminated sand 3 to 10 

4. Brown sand with pale-blue streaks 4 

5. Brown sand with a pinkish shade . _ 1 to 10 

6. Thinly stratified blue clay and red sand 6 

7. Blue clay with lime nodules (Frio) 6 

The purplish-pink clays of the Lafayette extend eastward through 
Jasper and Newton counties. In these locations, however, the} 7 



H k^ne£? D ] detailed sections. 57 

assume a laminated condition and overlap the underlying Frio beds 
for several miles. In a laminated or mottled condition they also 
appear in Louisiana. In the Texas region they occur mottled in the 
railroad cuttings between Call and Roganville. North of Roganville 
they are laminated, and they lie in contact with the Frio calcareous 
clays near Walnut Creek a short distance south of Jasper. North of 
Burkeville, in Newton County, a section on the AVilliam Williams 
survey is as follows : 

Sectio?i on William Williams survey, north of Burkeville, Newton Count//, Tex. 

Feet. 

1 . Brownish sands weathering white on the higher grounds 7 

2. Variegated bine-brown and white clays in thinly laminated condition, colors 

about equal in thickness and not exceeding half an inch. 2 

2. Brown sand mottled with blue 15 

4. Thinly laminated white, brown, and blue clays similar to No. 2_ . 5 

5. Ferruginous sandstone. 

Near the town of Warren, in Tyler County, these beds are seen in 
contact with the Columbia sands in the following section in a well: 

Section near Warren, Tyler County, Tex. 

Feet. 

1. Red sand with spots of blue 40 

2. Grayish-blue sand i 

3. Coarse brown sand with pink clays . 2 

4. Pinkish-red sandstone with soft gray water sand . : 8 

Few deep wells have been drilled in the regions occupied by these 
beds, and until now only one has been bored for petroleum-prospecting 
purposes. 

Log of well drilled between Rush and Wolf creeks, about 2 miles from Neches 
River, in Tyler County, Tex. 



Character of strata. 



Clay.. 1 

Sand and gravel 

Clay 

Coarse sand with some gravel 

Blue shale with sight indications of oil and gas 
Blue sand 



Thickness. From 



Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


8 





8 


160 


8 


168 


4 


168 


172 


428 


172 


600 


60 


600 


660 


164 


660 


824 



To— 



No division of this record is possible, but from the depth it must 
have been drilled through the Fayette sands, the last 224 feet at least 
apparently belonging to that division. 

The eastern extension of the gray, white, bluish-gray, and yellow 
sands and accompanying yellow and blue clays of the Columbia finds 



58 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN. [bult,.2I2. 

its greatest development in this region. Beginning at the Trinity 
River these beds cover an area from 12 to 15 miles in width. In the 
Village Creek region this width has increased to about 30 miles, which 
is maintained as far east as the Sabine River, and apparently also 
along the line of the Kansas City Southern Railway in western Louis- 
iana. Their areal extent has not been mapped in Louisiana, but they 
probably cover the greater portion of the territory generall} T classed 
as long leaf pine fiats. The sands appear in T. X S., R. W., along 
Hickory Branch, and also at Phillips Bluff on the Calcasieu River, in 
T. 8 S., R. 6 W., and at a number of places between. They are also 
found in the Mendelsohn well about 2 miles north of Sulphur station, 
where they arc reported to be 200 feet thick and underlain by gravel. 

Closely associated with these sands and within a short distance 
from the surface tin' dark-blue clayey sands and clays give the 
water rising from them a peculiarly disagreeable fetid smell and 
taste, similar to that from decaying vegetable matter. Even boiling 
the water docs not destroy its peculiar taste. The surface material 
at these localities is usually dark gray in color and apparently almost 
impervious to water, and in wet weather remains covered with water 
for some time. These conditions are noticeable at Nona, Kountze, 
and other places. 

Several beds of clays are included in the division, but sands 
form the prevailing material. Where the Texas and New Orleans 
Railroad crosses Village Creek these sands have a thickness of 20 to 
30 feet and their texture and grayish color maybe seen in the old ballast 
pits of the railroad. Similar bluffs occur along the creek between 
this point and the crossing of the Gulf , Beaumont and Kansas City 
Railroad, in which locality the beds have a thickness of over 50 feet, 
ami occur as clear, white, fine sands overlain by brown ami gray 
mottled sands, showing in some places ferruginous indurations 
resembling a brown sandstone. 

In the Kountze region the sands have a thickness of 46 feet and 
over, as shown by well sections. Six miles west of the town the well 
dug for the Avater station of the .Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad 
shows a section of 46 feet, of which the upper 10 feet are mottled and 
the lower 10 feet white sands. Twelve miles west of Kountze the 
same sands are shown to be over 30 feet thick. 

These sands form the surface deposits covering the higher grounds 
in the neighborhood of Saratoga, Balson Prairie, in Hardin County, 
and Sour Lake. In the neighborhood of Saratoga they are yellowish 
white and contain considerable quantities of indurations of a soft 
sandstone. These sandstones or indurations also occur in the 
neighborhood of Sour Lake and at several places along the Trinity 
River. 

The Columbia sands form a very important member in the geologic 
section of the Beaumont oil fields, as the expensive drilling in this 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 



59 



field is due chiefly to these beds. It is also due to their water-bearing 
qualities that the shallow wells drilled for water purposes in this 
region afford so steady and liberal a supply that extensive areas of 
rice lands are irrigated wholly from them. 

The dip of these beds appears to be comparatively gentle, and while 
their thickness is very irregular, its average maybe taken as approxi- 
mately 200 feet. 

Several deep wells have been drilled in the territory occupied by 
these sands, but very few of the logs are available. In the Saratoga 
oil field these sands appear in the Hooks well No. 1 to have a thick- 
ness of 173 feet and to be underlain by a blue and white clay. In the 
Libbie well, 3 miles farther west, the section of the well gives these 
sands a thickness of 135 feet. Here they rest upon blue limy clay. 
The following is the log of this well: 



Log of Libbie Oil Company'' s well on the Joseph Blake tract, 3 miles /rest of 
Saratoga, Hardin Count//. Tex. 

[Elevation, 90 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Brown sandy clay 

Gray sand 

G ray sand with gas at 65 feet _ . 

Grayish-brown sand with gas . . 

Grayish-brown sand 

Bine clay with lime nodules _ . 

Grayish-bine sand with lime _ _ 

Grayish- white sand 

Gray sand : 

Gray sandy clay . 

Gray sand 

Clay . 

Gray rock with artesian water and small 
quantities of oil immediately under the rock 

Sand with oil 

Clay „. 

Sand 

Clay 

Rock 

Sand 

Rock in thin layers with clay partings _ 

Rock and sand 

Sand and rock (bowlders) 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



HI 
20 
in 
10 

■V> 

18 
56 
22 
39 

38 
10 

•jo 

10 
5 
5 

17 

::; 
13 
86 
11 
14 
is 



Prom- 



Feet. 


40 
60 
70 

so 

L35 

15:; 
209 
281 
270 
308 
818 

338 
348 
858 
358 
375 
412 
425 
511 
523 
537 



To- 



40 

60 

70 

80 

135 

153 

209 

231 

270 

308 

318 

338 

348 
353 
358 
375 
412 
425 
511 
523 
537 
585 



60 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



This well has since been drilled to a depth of 958 feet. During the 
drilling some oil and two streams of hot water were encountered. 
The first stream had a temperature of 100° and was found at about 
938 feet, and a second, hotter stream was encountered at 950 feet. 

On the Bridges survey, about 3 miles northeast of Sour Lake, the 
Empire State Oil, Coal and Iron Company's well has been drilled to 
a depth of 1,284 feet. 

Log of Empire State Oil. <'(><</ <nt<l iron Company's well, Isaac Bridges survey, 

Hardin County, Tex. 
[Elevation, 95 feet.] 






Character of strata. 



Fine yellow sand . . 
Sand and clay mixed 

Yellow sand 

Dark-bine clay _ . 
Blue sand . . 

Green clay 

White sand 

Blue clay 

White sand • 

Blue clay 

Sand and wood 

Pale-blue clay 

Gravel 

Pale-red clay 

Fragmentary rock . _ . 
Blue clay. _. 

Solid rock 

White sand 

Blue clay 

Blue clay with pyrite 



Thickness. 



r> 
10 

50 

121 

15 

47 

82 

53 

26 

54 

13 

537 

7 

16 

3 

116 

10 

21 

54 

44 



Prom- 



Feet. 



5 

15 

65 

186 

201 

248 

330 

383 

409 

463 

476 

1,013 

1,020 

1 . 036 

1,039 

1,155 

1,165 

1,186 

1,240 



To- 

Feet. 

5 
15 
65 

186 

201 

248 

330 

383 

409 

163 

476 

1,013 

1 , 020 

1,036 

1 , 039 

1,155 

1,165 

1,186 

1,240 

1,284 



In the Gold Thread well, southwest of Sour Lake, the bine clays 
with calcareous nodules are overlain by 160 feet of sand and are 
apparently the clays No. 12 of the above section. 

It may also be noted that in the area occupied by these sands a 
number of salt licks and salt marshes occur. These extend across 
the country from the Trinity to the Calcasieu and cover areas from a 
few hundred yards to nearly 100 acres in extent. One of the largest 
of these marshes occurs in the immediate vicinnty of Sour Lake, and 
has an area of approximately 100 acres; another large one is located 
2 miles west of the Libbie well at Saratoga, and has an area of 
about 60 acres. 



H k™=£y d ] detailed sections. 61 

Few wells of which the records are available have been drilled in 
this eastern section of the Coastal Plain outside of the oil fields in the 
immediate vicinity of Beaumont. At the Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas 
City Railroad station the section shows 175 feet of clays and sands, 
as follows: 

Section at Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas City Bail road station at Beaumont. 

Feet. 
i. Clay 6 

2. Sand 2 

3. Blue clay _ 37 

4. Sand with shells 4 

5. Blue clay with thin streaks of sand 71 

6. Sand with water 55 

About 22 miles southwest of Beaumont, on sec. 50, Texas and New 
Orleans Railroad lands, a well 104 feet deep shows 100 feet of mottled 
clay overlying 4 feet of white sand. The deep wells at Landrum, in 
Jefferson County, and near Winnie, in Chambers County, show the 
same conditions. 

The following is the log of the Dixie Oil and Pipe Line Company's 
well, 3 miles north of Winnie, on the J. M. Durant league, in Cham- 
bers County. 

Log of well of Dixie Oil and Pipe Line Company, 3 miles north of Winnie, Cham- 
bers County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 26 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Soil 

Yellow clay (2-foot log at 56 feet) 

Water sand ■_ 

Yellow clay ..'.__ 

Water sand 

Blue tough clay 

Water sand 

Tough clay 

Clay shells 

Blue tough clay ... 

Blue rock 

Blue clay and shells 

Gray sandstone 

Tough clay 

Clay with shells 

Hard shale 

Soft clay 

Gravel 



Thickness. From 



Feet. 



58 
30 
90 

124 
70 

243 

212 
21 
20 
20 

163 
1 

318 
62 
20 
20 
30 



To- 



Feet. 


2 

60 

90 

180 

304 

380 

623 

835 

856 

876 

897 

1,059 

1,060 

1,378 

1,440 

1,460 

1,480 



Feet. 


60 
90 
180 
304 
380 
623 
835 
856 
876 



1,059 
1,060 
1,378 
1,440 
1,460 
1,480 
1,510 



62 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

GRAVELS. 

Lying at the base of the Columbia beds, and apparently more inti- 
mately connected with them than with the underlying red and brown 
sands, there generally occurs a heavy bed of beach gravel. This 
gravel covers the whole of the territory occupied by the underlying 
red clays and sands, and in many places overlaps other underlying 
deposits as far north as the outcrop of the Yegua clays. The gravel 
is irregularly deposited, being found in heavy deposits at some local- 
ities and in very small quantities at others, without any apparent 
cause for the irregularity. Along the northern border of the forma- 
tion there appeal's an intermingling of the sands and pebbles, but 
within a very short distance southward the gravels have generally 
disappeared from the sand beds. 

The pebbles forming these beds include clear and milky quartz, 
agate, jasper, carnelian, and some chalcedony, with considerable 
quantities of gra} r -blue and black chert, and some ciystalline rock. 
The chert and some of the other pebbles have retained their angular- 
ity to a considerable extent, which would lead to the conclusion that 
they have not traveled any great distance. Most of the others are 
rounded and waterworn. AVhile in some places the pebbles occur 
mixed with sand or in an unconsolidated gravelly condition through- 
out the greater portion of the field, as especially shown in the records 
of the deeper well drillings, the pebbles are cemented by a white 
calcareous mat rix and form a conglomerate of variable hardness. 

The actual areal extent of these gravels and conglomerates is not 
known with any certainty, but they appear to be coextensive with 
the Columbia beds and with them to pass under the overlying clays. 
The}' are found in one or the other form in every well sufficiently 
deep throughout the whole coast country from the Mississippi west- 
ward to the Guadalupe River, and probabl3 T even farther west. 

In almost every well drilled or dug down to them these gravels are 
shown to lie between the two sands. In thickness they vary from 10 
to 80 feet; their greatest thickness as well as greatest areal develop- 
ment is toward the eastern or Mississippi end, and they gradu- 
ally thin out toward the west and southwest. They also lie at a 
much greater depth in the western than in the eastern portion of the 
Coastal Plain. Throughout the parishes of St. Marys, New Iberia, 
and St. Martins they lie at depths ranging from 94 feet at Arise la 
Butte to 150 feet 3 miles southwest of Jeanerette, a where they have a 
thickness of 64 to DO feet. In Arcadia and Vermilion the} 7 have 
thicknesses of from 41 to 80 feet, and lie at depths ranging from 140 
to 170 feet in Arcadia Parish and from 100 to 170 feet in Vermilion. 
In this region it is evident from Mr. Clendenning's sections, as well 
as those made by Mr. Hager, & that these gravels underlie the clays 



« W. W. Clendenning, G-eol. and Agric. of Louisiana, Part III, 1896, p. 243. 
b Communicated to writer by Mr. Lee Hager. 



HAYES AND"! 
KENNEDY. J 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 



63 



succeeding the Columbia, beds. The position of these gravels with 
reference to the overlying deposits may be seen in the following logs: 

Log of Pioneer Oil ( 'ompany's well at Anse la Butte, La. 

[Elevation, 45 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Thickness 



Red clay 

Red sand 

Gray sand 

Gravel and gray sand 

Gravel with wood ... 

Sandstone 

Light gravel 

Sandstone 

Gravel and sand 

Rock 

Heavy gravel 

Sand, gravel, and oil 

Coarse gravel 

Sand 

Sandstone 

Sand and blue clay 

Sand and gravel . _" 

Gravel 

Sand and clay . 

Blue clay 

Rock, 18 inches sandstone with oil 

Blue shale 

Sandstone 

White sand 

Rock with oil, flinty 

Hardpan and clay 

Blue clay 

Blue sand 

Rock . 

Blue clay 

Rock . 



Oil sand and gravel, with oil and salt water 



Feet. 

36 
15 
23 
40 
40 
2Q 
16 

4 
26 
14 
16 
35 
43 

5 

1 
28 
32 

6 
20 
71 

M 
12 \ 
43 
51 
21 
54 
446 
50 
20 
14 
26 

1 



From- 



r e et. 

36 
51 
74 
114 
154 
174 
190 
194 
220 
234 
250 
285 
.328 
333 
334 
362 
394 
400 
420 
491 
4921 
535 
578 
629 
650 

704 
1,150 
1,200 
1,220 
1,234 
1,260 



To— 
Feet 

36 

51 
74 

114 

154 

174 

190 

194 

220 

234 

250 

285 

328 

333 

334 

362 

394 

400 

420 

491 

492* 

535 

578 

629 

650 

704 
1 , 150 
1,200 
1,220 
1,234 
1,260 
1,261+ 



Another well in the vicinity gave gravels at depths between 40 and 
50 feet, with another bed 50 feet thick between 150 and 200 feet. 



64 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

Among the shallow wells the following sections show near Abbeville, 
in Vermilion Parish, La. : 

Section near Abbeville, Vermilion Parish, La. 

Feet. 

1. Yellow clay 30 

2. Blue clay 20 

3. Sand _ 30 

4. Dry blue and gray clay . 25 

5. Sand . 25 

6. Gravel 40 

In Arcadia Parish, 12 miles north of Crowley, a section is as follows: 

Section 1 .' miles north of Crowley, Arcadia Parish . La. 

Feet. 

1. Gray clay 50 

2. Blue clay . . . 100 

3. Gray sand . . 20 

4. Gravel 35 

At Welsh, in Calcasieu, a well gives a section as follows : a 

Section at Welsh, Calcasieu Parish, La. 

Feet. 

1. Soil i to f 

2. Mottled clay 70 

3. Red quicksand 20 

4. Chalkyclay.. 50 

5. Blue clay .... 10 

6. Beach sand and gravel 100 

In the western portion of Louisiana these gravels lie at a consider- 
ably greater depth and are somewhat thinner than in the eastern 
portion of the field. At Lake Charles the Walkins well No. 1 shows 

44 feet of gravels mixed with sand, underlying sand, at a depth of 400 
feet. At depths of 550 and 600 feet gravels also occur in this well, 
which otherwise shows nothing but sands and clays throughout its 
entire 2,400 feet. At Sulphur the gravels appear at 300 feet and are 

45 feet thick, and at Vinton, about 12 miles to the southwest, the 
gravel beds are reached at a depth of 440 feet, having in that locality a 
thickness of 25 feet. Here they are strong water-bearing beds. 

In the Texas regions the gravels disappear in the vicinity of Hillister, 
in Tyler County, on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. This is the 
farthest south at which the siliceous pebbles have been seen. They 
also pass under the Columbia sands to the west in the neighborhood of 
Shepherd, in San Jacinto County, on the Houston, East and West 
Texas Railway. They are, however, reported from every well drilled 
to the south of the Columbia outcrop. On Spindletop they appear in 
the Higgins well No. 2 at 120 feet. In the original Higgins well of 

« Clendenning, loc. cit. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



DETAILED SECTIONS. 65 



1893 the black cherty gravel was passed at 200 feet. In the Lucas 
well and the Iliggins well No. 1 the gravels occur at 245 feet, in the 
Geyser Development well at 295 feet, and in the Tread way at 454 feet. 
Westward the Texas Gulf Coast Land and Oil Company passed 
through 40 feet of conglomerate at a depth of 360 feet. In the Bryan 
Heights well near Velasco, in Brazoria County, the gravels were 
reached at a depth of 735 feet. At Damon Mound the gravels are 
associated with shells at 171 feet in the Ilerndon well and at 255 feet 
in the Guffey No. 1, about a mile to the northwest. In this latter 
well they have a thickness of 18 feet, while in the Herndon well they 
show only 6 feet. The thickness shown in the Velasco well is over 10 
feet, but the actual thickness is not known. 

It appears from the above well records that throughout the whole 
of the Texas region these gravel beds are much thinner than in 
Louisiana. In the Texas wells they range from 10 to 26 feet, except 
in the Gulf Coast well as given above. 

At the time of the deposition of these gravels the land must have 
stood at a comparatively slight elevation above the level of the sea 
and have had only a moderate inclination seaward, since their dip as 
shown by the borings does not at present exceed 9 feet per mile. 

The determination of the age of these gravels and their correlation 
with similar deposits elsewhere are somewhat difficult, and involve 
questions which can not be definitely answered without carefully 
tracing the beds over extensive areas toward the northeast. What- 
ever their age, whether late Tertiary or early Pleistocene, they should 
probably be correlated with the Plateau gravels of central Texas and 
the Uvalde formation of southwestern Texas, as described by Hill, 
and with the latest episode of the Lafayette formation east of the 
Mississippi, as described by McGee, or, more properly, the earliest 
Columbia. Since these deposits of coarse material were probably laid 
down at the margin of a transgressing sea, they can not be regarded 
as strictly contemporaneous, except along lines parallel to the former 
sea margin. 

Like their associated overlying sand beds, the presence, thickness, 
and position of these gravels are of the utmost importance to the 
well driller. They are usually strongly water bearing, and the driller 
after water is almost certain to get a considerable supply when he 
reaches them. To the oil-well driller these gravels often offer a strong 
barrier to his further progress. The rotary method of drilling is not 
adapted to raising such heavy material to the surface, and more than 
one well has been lost because the driller was not prepared to handle 
this gravel when reached. Where the gravel beds are heavy the 
driving of the casing has usually to be resorted to. This entails con- 
siderable risk, and often the loss of the well by damage to the casing. 

Bull. 212—03 5 



66 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 

CHANGES OF LEVEL DURING DEPOSITION OF COASTAL PLAIN 

FORMATIONS. 

At the close of the Eocene the Frio clays occupied a broad belt 
above sea level and formed the coast line of this portion of the conti- 
nent. The coast had been rising for a long time, and then remained 
practically 'stationary at a comparatively high level long enough to 
permit of the extensive erosion to which the Frio beds have been sub- 
jected, and at the same time to permit the deposition of some 900 to 
1,000 feet of sandstones and limestones in the comparatively shallow 
water offshore. During the deposition of these sandstones and lime- 
stones there appear to have been considerable oscillations, the land 
sinking toward the east and rising to the west. It formed a low sandy 
shore, with broad stretches covered at intervals by tide. 

FolloAving the deposition of these sandstones the land began to sink 
again, and continued sinking until a depth of at least 500 feet was 
reached throughout southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. 
This sinking enabled the deposits then being laid down to cover a very 
wide stretch, extending as far northward as the old Cretaceous shore 
line in the Texas areas and in some places overlapping it. These 
deposits, however, did not completely submerge the whole of the 
Eocene of Texas. Some of the higher divides appear to have been 
above water at 1 hat time, as they are not covered with the brown sands 
and sandy clays of these later deposits and there are no evidences of 
their ever having been covered. It was during this period that the 
brown sands, sandy clays, ami gravels of the Lafayette were laid down. 

Another change took [dace and the land again began to rise. The 
elevation was apparently al a more rapid rate than the previous 
depression. This elevation gradually increased until the present 
shore line in the Texas areas had an approximate elevation of 400 
feet and the Lafayette shore lay at least 150 miles seaward. 

This elevation of the land continued for a period long enough to 
permit of the removal of these sands from a very large area and the 
formation of wide channels along the courses of the rivers and the 
deposition of the heavy beds of gravel which now everywhere cover 
the lower levels of the country. 

During this period the rivers then in existence had extended their 
channels seaward, and the Brazos, Trinity, and Sabine united in their 
lower reaches and flowed for miles through a single channel. 

Following this high continental condition was another depression, 
and the brown and gray sands and sandy clays of the Columbia epoch 
were deposited. Again the sea enroached upon the land, but not 
nearly to the extent it had done during the preceding Lafayette, as 
the present shore line sank only to a depth of about 100 feet below sea 
level. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



CHANGES OF LEVEL. 67 



This sinking appears to have been accompanied with a series of 
oscillations or tilting of the land, and it was probably during this 
period that a considerable part of the flexing or faulting of the beds 
which resulted in the formation of the anticlines, or lines of dome- 
shaped elevations, took place. 

Again the sea began to recede, and the Columbia sands were raised 
above the level of the water. High-level conditions again prevailed, 
and there followed a period of nearly stationary conditions with only 
a few slight oscillations. The flexing or folding that was active in the 
preceding period evidently continued through this also, and the domes 
were raised still higher, until probably their crests approached the 
surface of the water and formed reefs and islands occupied by such 
marine shallow-water life as the Ostrea. 

The land subsequently tilted seaward, and it was during this time 
that the disposition of the Beaumont clays took place. These clays 
and muddy deposits associated with them were evidently laid down 
in water comparatively shallow and subject to prolonged periods of 
alternate marsh and lake conditions. They are very generally filled 
with stumps and logs, and at a depth of from 45 to 100 feet appear to 
have had a period of vicissitudes very closely approaching those to 
which the overflow bottom lands of many of the present rivers are 
subject. Marshy conditions doubtless occurred, and during that time 
the cypress appears to have flourished. Floods brought down from 
the higher grounds the dead and fallen wood and other debris, and 
the small streams and rivers, upon entering the comparatively quiet 
waters covering these flats, dropped their burdens, which were after- 
wards assorted and distributed by the tide. 

A further slight rise took place and these clays became dry land, 
and the shore line was moved much farther southward, until it prob- 
ably stood about where the Trinity shoals are now situated. The 
final change followed this elevation and present conditions were 
inaugurated; the sea again began to encroach slowly upon the land, 
which it appears to be doing at the present time, at least in the region 
eastward of the Trinity, though west of that river the land is slowly 
rising. 

It appears that the area between the Brazos and Guadalupe rivers 
was less affected by these changes of level, and that even in Lafayette 
times this area formed a ridge extending seaward, and that through- 
out all the fluctuations it maintained a comparatively higher altitude 
than the regions on either side. 

Evidence pointing to the same conclusion is the presence of beds 
belonging to the Miocene and earl}'- Pliocene at the surface through- 
out several portions of the margin of the western Coastal Plain, while 
these beds do not appear anywhere throughout the eastern end, but 
lie buried to a depth of several hundred feet. 



68 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 213. 

GEOLOGY OF THE OIL POOLS. 

ENUMERATION OF OIL DISTRICTS. 

The foregoing account of the Gulf Coastal Plain lias been given in 
some detail in order that the geologic environment of the oil pools 
might he readily understood. The latter, so far as they are now 
known, occupy an extremely small fraction of the region described. 
Excepting the Spindletop pool, their limits are in no case defined with 
any degree of accuracy. It is probable that the actually productive 
territory will be confined to small areas similar to the Spindletop pool, 
which may vary in extent from 200 to 2,000 acres. 

The districts which at present give promise of productiveness, and 
which will be described in the order given, are the following: 



In Texas: 




1. 


Beaumont district, including 


Spindletop. 


2. 


Port Arthur-Sabine Pass district. 


3. 


Sour Lake district. 




4. 


Saratoga district. 




5. 


Dayton district. 




('). 


High Island district. 




7. 


Columbia district. 




8. 


Velasco district. 




In Louisiana: 




9 


. Jennings district. 




10 


. Anse la Butte district. 




11 


. Sulphur district. 




12 


. Vinton district. 




13 


. Hackberry Island district. 




14 


. Minor Louisiana localities. 





It is not implied thai the districts mentioned above include all the 
productive territory in the Texas-Louisiana field. It will readily be 
understood from the geologic conditions already described that pre- 
diction in this field is exceptionally hazardous. On another page the 
most favorable regions for prospecting are indicated, but it is entirely 
within the range of possibility that elsewhere than in these apparently 
favorable localities oil may be found in commercial quantities. All 
that can be said with regard to the greater part of this field is that 
no evidence of the existence of such deposits has yet appeared, and the 
only way in which their presence or absence can be definitely deter- 
mined is by systematic and expensive drilling. 

BEAUMONT DISTRICT. 

This district includes the small area which is actually productive, 
generally known as Spindletop, and a much larger surrounding area 
in which active prospecting has been going on for more than a year, 
but which has not yet developed any paying wells. The Spindletop 
pool will first be described and then the surrounding unproductive 
portion of the district. 



U S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 




• froducing we//s(numbers refer fo listofwef/sm body of report) 
O Drilling wells 
© Wooden tanks 

O st ee/ tanks 

Pipe lines 

Numbers in red, well index 
Numbers in black, land subdivisions 



BULLETIN NO. 212 PL. Hi 




JULIUS BIEN &COLITHN' 



IT AT 
K.I 



cknnfdy?] BEAHMONT DISTRICT. 69 

SPINDLETOP POOL. 

LIMITS OF THE POOL. 

The delimitation of this pool, as shown on the map (tig. 3, p. 86), 
has been practically completed by a series of borings made on almost 
every side of the heights and in close proximity to them. Outside of 
the line indicating the limits of the pool these borings have in every 
instance proved to be dry holes. To the south two Avells — the McFad- 
den oil and gas well (No. 40) and the Hebert well (No 39), drilled to 
depths of 1,500 and 2,000 feet, respectively — have been abandoned. 
On the east the Gober No. 1 (No. 37), 1,840 feet; the Stribling (No. 
30), 1,530 feet; and a little farther east the United States No. 7 (w^ell 
No. 38), 2,100 feet, have all been abandoned as dry. Northeast and 
north there are several wells of different depths, bat most of these 
have been abandoned as dry. Among them are the Bayou City (No. 
12), 2,010 feet; the Treadway (No. 18), 1,800 feet; the Allyne (No. 13), 
2,015 feet; the Chicago Crude (No. 21), 1,050 feet; and the T. and 
N. O. Company's well (No. 17) — the celebrated " Keiser-Kelly " — 
2,100 feet. In the same region the Slaughter-Masterson (No. 22) and 
the Ilarby (No. 4) wells are drilling. The Slaughter-Masterson is at 
present (May, 1902) one of the deepest wells in the field, being at a 
depth of more than 2,250 feet. The Harby has reached a depth of 
1,840 feet. 

On the west and southwest the Acme (No. 45), 1,080 feet; the 
Trenton Rock (No. 30), 1,500 feet; the Buffalo (No. 28), 1,400 feet, and 
the Federal Crude (No. 29), 2,350 feet, have been abandoned. A test 
well is now being made of the Federal Crude, and arrangements have 
been made to drill to 3,000 feet if necessary. 

These wells, all of which go to considerably greater depths than any 
of those within the productive territory, practically limit the Spindle- 
top pool to an oval area about 3,000 feet in length and 2,700 feet in 
width. This gives a total productive area of about 200 acres. The 
longer axis of the pool lies approximately southwest and northeast. 

CHARACTER OP OVERLYING BEDS. 

Notwithstanding the great number of wells which have been drilled 
on Spindletop, it is somewhat difficult to obtain accurate detailed 
well records. While the drillers and owners can supply the depth at 
which oil was found, very few appear to have kept anything like a 
reliable log. The general consensus of opinion, based on statements 
of the drillers and on the few logs obtainable, appears to be that the 
first 500 feet of strata from the surface are composed of sands and 
clays, with occasional deposits of shells and thin, irregular seams of 
sandstone. At depths varying from 500 to (500 feet many of the wells 
have passed through limestone and sandstone, which from their irreg- 
ularity and fractured condition are looked upon as large bowlders. 



70 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bui.l.212. 

From their size and position it is, however, more probable that these 
so-called bowlders are fractured beds brought into their present con- 
dition by the uplift of the dome. Following these limestones is 
another series of clays, sands, shells, and limestones extending down 
to the so-called cap rock, which is a limestone of the same age as the 
overlying beds. It is of variable thickness, ranging from 3 to 50 feet. 
Throughout the beds, from the depth of 500 feet downward to the cap 
rock, occasional oil-bearing horizons are met with. Some of these 
exhibit considerable strength, and have in several wells been heav}^ 
enough to interfere with the drilling. Very heavy gas pressures have 
also been met with between the 500-foot sandstone and the cap rock. 
The depths at which the cap rock has been struck varies between 
900 and 1,000 feet. A few have fallen below the 000-foot mark, while 
some have slightly exceeded 1,000 feet. 

CHARACTER OF THE OIL ROCK. 

The oil rock is a dolomite, fairly uniform in composition and 
structure.' It is not a pure dolomite, but contains a considerable 
preponderance of calcium over magnesium carbonate, sufficient to 
cause it to effervesce rather briskly in cold dilute hydrochloric acid. 

The most striking characteristic of the oil rock is its extreme 
porosit}^. In some wells, under the pressure of the escaping oil and 
gas the rock was broken down and large quantities were carried up the 
casing to the surface, appearing as coarse sand or gravel, the frag- 
ments varying from a very small fraction of an inch to an inch in 
diameter. In addition to this disintegrated rock many large frag- 
ments were thrown out by the gushing oil, their size being limited 
only by the size of the casing. These fragments always have a porous 
structure, and even their most compact portions, as shown under the 
microscope, contain a larger proportion of vacant space than most of 
the oil-bearing Trenton dolomite of Ohio and Indiana. In addition 
to these minute spaces between the crystals composing the rock, such 
as characterize ordinary oil sands, the rock contains many large 
cavities, certainly as much as an inch across and probably very much 
more. Naturally the maximum size of these cavities can not be 
determined from the rock fragments which form their walls, but 
there appears to be nothing unreasonable in the supposition that 
they may in some cases be measured in feet rather than in inches. 
Reports from drillers of tools dropping several feet after passing 
through the cap rock are in support of this view, though such reports 
are always to be accepted with caution. 

The cavities in the oil rock are always lined with a layer of crystal- 
line calcite, the free ends of the crystals extending into the open 
spaces. It is evident, therefore, that the latest action of the circu- 
lating liquid in these cavities has been that of deposition rather than of 
solution, although the latter must have been at one period extremely 






HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



SPINDLETOP POOL. 7l 



active. From the samples of the oil rock thus far obtained it is 
impossible to make any accurate determination of the relative volume 
of the open cavities, but the proportion can hardly be less than one- 
third, and may be somewhat more when account is taken also of the 
minute spaces between the crystal grains of the more compact porl ions 
of the rock. 

The exceptional character of this oil rock explains in a measure the 
remarkable features of the Spindletop pool. Its extreme porosit} 7 
favors the storage of a very large volume of oil, and also favors the 
yielding of this oil with great rapidity when the reservoir is tapped. 
It also favors the early exhaustion of the oil in the pool and its rapid 
replacement by the underlying brine. 

From some of the wells, along with the dolomite large pieces of 
crystalline gypsum or selenite have been thrown out by the escaping 
oil. Their surfaces are always deeply corroded, giving evidence that 
they have been subjected to the action of some solvent. 

Another important accessory mineral in the oil rock is native sul- 
phur. Large crystals, an inch or more in length, have been obtained 
from many of the wells, and it is reported by several of the drillers 
that the oil rock is overlain by a heavy bed of sulphur. In the 
National Oil and Pipe Line well No. 1 this sulphur deposit is claimed 
to have a thickness of 40 feet. A large amount of material was 
brought out by the bailer, consisting of coarse sand, about 25 per 
cent of which was pure sulphur and the remainder granular dolomite 
and crystalline calcite. The grains are slightly rounded, probably 
by the friction of the bailer, and the sand is doubtless derived from 
the disintegration of a soft dolomite in which the sulphur ciystals are 
embedded. In wells Nos. 2 and 3 of the same company a similar bed 
of pure sulphur is reported, separated from the oil rock by from 23 to 
2G feet of sulphur-bearing sand. In the Heywood wells Nos. 1 and 2 
this bed of sulphur is also recorded, and there is said to be about 70 
feet of it in Gladys well No. 3. A similar bed of sulphur is claimed 
to underlie 10 feet of oil sand in the Higgins well No. 1, but does not 
appear in Higgins well No. 2 nor in the Lucas well. It is also absent 
in the Geyser Oil and Development well on the north side of the hill. 

BEDS UNDERLYING THE OIL ROCK. 

While the actual thickness of the oil-bearing beds throughout the 
greater part of the pool is undetermined, certain minimum thick- 
nesses are known, as wells have been drilled as deep as 77 feet into 
these beds, and one well has gone down to a depth of 96 feet without 
passing through the oil rock. 

Only a few wells on Spindletop have passed entirely through the 
oil rock, and there is therefore little information available concerning 
the character of the underlying rocks. The Robertson well, toward 
the western side of the pool, is reported to have passed through 50 



72 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bitll.212. 

feet of oil rock and a distance of 100 feet into a white limestone under- 
neath. No samples of the latter were obtained, but from the descrip- 
tion given by the driller it is regarded as at least probable that this 
bed is gypsum rather than limestone. The thickness of 50 feet for the 
oil rock indicates that the bed thins out toward the western edge of 
the pool. 

The Higgins No. 3 well passed through 19 feet of oil rock at a depth 
of 855 feet. This was cased off and the drilling continued, with a 
view of determining whether or not there were any lower oil-bearing 
horizons. A second bed of oil rock was reported, 21 feet in thickness, 
below which the drill penetrated 70 feet of rock similar to that found 
in the bottom of the Robertson well. The Higgins Company put 
down another test well in the immediate vicinity of the No. 3, which, 
after passing through the oil rock, entered gypsum at about 1,040 feet 
in depth, and at 1,650 feet encountered salt, which continued to a 
depth of 1,960 feet, where the drilling stopped. The entire thickness 
of the salt is not known. 

STRUCTURE OF SPINDLETOP POOL. 

In the records of wells drilled on Spindletop the only horizon which 
can be identified with any degree of certainty is the oil rock itself. 
It is generally supposed that the so-called cap rock on which the casing 
is set represents the same stratum in every case, but this is by no 
means certain. Each driller decides when he has reached a bed suf- 
ficiently solid to set his casing, and this point probably varies rather 
widel} 7 , which explains in some measure the differences in reported 
depth to the cap rock in closely adjoining wells, and some, at least, 
of the apparent irregularities in the surface of the oil rock. Elimi- 
nating these minor irregularities the structure of the pool appears to 
be that of a dome or quaquaversal with steep sides and rather flat 
summit. The dome in the beds at the oil-bearing horizon coincides 
closely with the surface elevation, Spindletop Hill, although the dips 
of the beds around the margin of the dome are much steeper than the 
corresponding slopes of the land surface. 

The accompanying sections across the pool on the lines shown on 
the map, nearly at right angles to one another, show the structure so 
far as it has been made out. Outside of the producing territory the 
numerous wells which have been put down, some to depths of more 
than 2,000 feet, fail to reach any stratum which can definitely be 
correlated with the "cap rock." Hence the lines indicating structure 
can be extended beyond the limits of the field only by inference. 
All the indications are, however, that the dip away from the dome is 
very abrupt, possibly more so than shown on the sections. These 
sections are drawn upon a natural scale — that is, the horizontal and 
vertical scales are the same — and the lines represent the actual slopes 
of the beds so far as they can be determined from data now in hand. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



SPINDLETOP POOL. 



73 



The section A — A crosses the eastern side of the hill, its direction being 
N. 48° W. , coinciding very nearly with the southwestern boundary of 
the Hogg-Swayne tract. Along this line the arching of the strata is 
not very striking, although there is considerable ascent from the 
Guffey No. 9 to the National No. 1, and then a slight descent to the 
Geyser-Kaltenbach, which is the last well in this part of the pool from 



HORIZONTAL , 



9 5* 






Jrregu) ar, alternating • beefs of clay, sand.an d 



day 



and 



sand with th/n , ?eds 



Oil rock 1 forous 



"'At?, 



' S/L e>n e 



sw. O 



Jrre i *u/ar, alternating » 6 eds of cla v, s md, a, ?d grave/ 




Is 

■Si! 



•8* 
5 s> 



Sa/t P 



Fig. 2.— Sections of Spindletop oil pool. (See map, PI. III.) 



which a record was obtained. Continuing the line about 2,000 feet 
beyond the Geyser-Kaltenbach, the Chicago Crude well is reached. 
This is a dry hole, and to a depth of 2,100 feet encountered nothing 
which could be identified as the oil-bearing bed of the Spindletop 
pool. It is evident, therefore, that the oil rock either dips very 
rapidly toward the north between these two wells or does not retain 
its peculiar characteristics beyond the limits of the productive terri- 



74 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 



tory. Or the failure to find the oil rock in any of the wells outside 
the proved field may be due to a combination of these causes. 

The second section, B — B, is upon a line N. 15° E., coinciding approx- 
imately with the long axis of the pool. It shows very clearly the 
arching of the strata in this direction. About 1,100 feet beyond the 
Denver and Beaumont well, toward the northeast, is the Big Jumbo, a 
dry hole, which stopped, after passing 14 feet into limestone, at a 
depth of 2,000 feet. This is not certainly identified as either the cap 
or oil rock, but probably represents approximate^ the horizon of the 
latter, which would indicate a steep dip, about 40°, immediately 
beyond the margin of the productive territory. The same indications 
of very steep dips away from the pool are afforded by all the dry 
wells which have been drilled immediately about its margin. 

WELL SECTIONS. 

Several sections of wells in the Spindletop pool have already been 
published, notably that of the original Lucas well. Considering the 
number of wells drilled in this small area, very few logs having any 
degree of accuracy are obtainable. The method employed in drill- 
ing — by means of the rotary drill, which is described on a subsequent 
page — does not favor the keeping of accurate records. The only 
means which the driller has of determining the character of the mate- 
rial which he is passing through is its relative hardness and the 
material brought up by the return-water flow. By the caving in of 
the sides of the hole below the casing any soft material which lias 
been passed through and not cased off may be brought up, and not 
necessarily represent the bed at the bottom of the well, but a mixture 
of materials from various depths. A few logs have been kept with as 
much accurac}^ as the method of drilling permitted, and two of these 
will be given, chiefly to indicate the extreme variability of the 
materials overlying the oil horizon. 

Log of the Geyaer-Kaltenbaeh well, block S3, Spindletop. 
[Elevation, 25 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Yellow clay 

Quicksand 

Blue clay 

Quicksand. 

Coarse gravel _ . 

Blue clay 

Hard blue shale 

Blue clay 

Coarse gravel - 
Blue clay 



Thickness. 


From— 


Feet. 


Feet. 


20 





36 


20 


134 


50 


105 


190 


20 


295 


10 


315 


4 


325 


51 


329 


17 


380 


13 


397 



To- 



Feet. 



20 
56 
190 
295 
315 
325 
329 
380 
397 
410 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



SPINDLETOP POOL. 75 

Log of the Geyser- Kaltenbach well, block 23, Spindletop — Continued. 



Character of strata. 



Coarse gravel 

Coarse sand with gas 

Blue clay 

Blue clay mixed with small bowlders 

Quicksand 

Blue clay 

White lime rock 

Sulphur and oil sand 

Blue sand rock 

Hard white lime rock 

Blue clay 

Soft sand rock 

Hard white lime rock 

Blue clay 

Soft sand rock 

Blue clay 

Shell formation 

White lime rock 

Gray clay 

White lime rock 

Gray clay with shells 

Shells 

Blue clay 

Gray clay 

Shells 

Oil sand : 

Blue clay 

Hard lime rock 

Black sand 

White lime rock 

Soft dark shale 

Soft white lime rock 

Soft dark shale 

Blue sand rock 

Quicksand 

White lime rock 

Sand showing oil 

Blue clay 

Iron pyrites. . ... 

Dark clay 

Oil sand 



Thickness. 


From— 


To— 


Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


18 


410 


428 


37 


428 


465 


15 


465 


480 


15 


480 


495 


12 


495 


507 


83 


507 


590 


10 


590 


600 


2 


600 


602 


18 


602 


620 


5 


620 


625 


(7 

1 


625 


632 


11 


. 632 


643 


1 


643 


644 


8 


644 


652 


5 


652 


657 


23 


657 


680 


37 


680 


717 


20 


717 


737 


11 


737 


748 


1 


748 


749 


31 


749 


780 


i 


780 


787 


i 


787 


794 


16 


794 


810 


2 


810 


812 


3 


812 


815 


5 


815 


820 


4 


820 


824 


6 


824 


830 


2 


830 


832 


13 


832 


845 


7 


845 


852 


13 


852 


865 


5 


865 


870 


12 


870 


882 


3 


882 


885 


12 


885 


897 


10 


897 


907 


2 


907 


909 


3 


909 


912 


18 


912 


930 



76 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



Log of Higgins well No. 2, near southern margin of Spindletop pool. 

[Elevation, 25 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Soil, black sandy loam 

Yellow clay with red streaks 

Blue clay with limy concretions 

Bluish-gray sand 

Yellowish-colored clay with lime 

Dark-blue clay with some lime and shells 

Gray sand : 

Blue sand 

Blue clay with pyrites 

Blue sand with some clay and small pebbles - 

Fine bluish-gray sand 

Fine gray sand 

Fine gray sand with black sj>ecks 

Bluish-tinted gray sand 

Dark-gray sand with black specks 

Fine dark-gray sand 

Fine grayish -tinted sand 

Fine grayish-green sand 

Fine brownish-gray sand 

Fine brown sand with shells 

Fine brown sand with broken shells _ - 

Coarse blue sand with broken shells 

Very fine muddy sand 

Very fine bluish-gray sand 

Very fine gray sand with bluish tint 

Fine gray sand with bluish tint 

Fine sandy clay (fish bones at 628 feet) 

Fine blue sandy clay 

Very fine light-blue sand 

Light-blue rock 

Bluish-gray sand 

Light-gray sand with shells 

Marl with small shells 

Light bluish-gray sand and shells 

Fine sand and shells 

Very fine dark brownish-gray sand 

Hard grayish-blue sandy clay, with shells and 
heavy indications of oil 

Dark rock 2 feet, shells 1 foot 

Dark grayish-blue sand with some clay 

Lignite 



Thickness. 


From— 


To- 


Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


t 





t 


3* 


i 


4 


12 


4 


10 


G 


10 


22 


8 


22 


30 


10 


30 


40 


10 


40 


50 


13 


50 


09 


51 


09 


120 


20 


120 


140 


10 


140 


150 


31 


150 


187 


10 


187 


197 


05 


197 


202 


9 


202 


271 


44 


271 


315 


35 


315 


350 


50 


350 


400 


40 


400 


440 


30 


440 


470 


21 


470 


491 


9 


491 


500 


47 


500 


547 


17 


547 


504 


48 


504 


012 


12 


012 


024 


42 


024 


606 





006 


672 


13 


072 


685 


43 


085 


728 


8 


728 


736 


14 


730 


750 


G 


750 


750 


5 


750 


701 


04 


701 


825 


49 


825 


874 


20 


874 


900 


3 


900 


903 


12 


903 


915 


5 


915 


920 



HAYES AND 

KENNEDY. 



SPINDLETOP POOL. 77 

Log of Higgins well No. 2, near southern margin of Spindletop pool — Continued. 



Character of strata. 



Bluish-gray sand with shells 

Bluish-gray rock 

Very fine grayish-brown sand with shells 

Very fine sand with shells 

Dark gray rock, ' ' cap rock " 

Coarse dark gray sand with oil 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



:;i 

4 

24 

13 

5 

6 



From 



Feet. 
920 
954 
958 
982 
995 
1,000 



To— 



Feet. 
954 
958 
982 
995 
1,000 
1,006 



LIST OF PRODUCING WELLS IN SPINDLETOP POOL. 

The following list gives the names of the wells in the Spindletop 
pool which have shown a yield of oil sufficient to be considered of 
commercial importance. It is as complete np to June 15, 1902, as it 
has been possible to make it by consulting numerous sources of infor- 
mation, although there are doubtless some omissions and inaccuracies. 
This is especially the case with the ownership of the wells, which is 
subject to frequent changes, and is sometimes difficult to determine. 
The sisse of the bottom or inner casing and the depth of the well have 
been given wherever ascertained. Not all of these wells are to be 
credited with actual commercial production, since many of them, 
after having been "brought in" and allowed to flow long enough to 
free themselves of any obstructions, have been closed up and never 
connected with a tank or pipe line. They have been potentially pro- 
ductive but actually dead. The reason for this has been the lack of 
facilities for storing or transporting the oil. 

Producing wells in Spindletop pool. 



No. 
on 


Name of well. 


Name of owner. 


map. 






1 


McFadden No. 1 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co 


2 


National No. 1 


National Oil and Pipe Line Co - 


3 


Gladys No. 1 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co 


4 


Higgins No. 1 . 


Higgins Oil and Fuel Co 

J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co 

Heywood Oil Co 


5 


Gladys No. 2 


6 


Hey wood No. 1 


7 


Gladys No. 3 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co .... 


8 


Star and Crescent No. 1 . 


Star and Crescent Oil Co 


9 


Gladys No. 4 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co 


10 


Heywood No. 2 J 


Heywood Oil Co 


11 


McFadden No. 3 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co 


12 


McFadden No. 2 


do ,.. 



Size of 
casing. 



Depth of 
well. 



Inches. 



Feet. 

1,139 

1,018 

1,070 

1,040 

1,092 

925 

769 

935 

765 

967 

1,028 

970 



78 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 

Producing wells in Spindletoj) pool— Continued. 



Name of well. 



Hey wood No. 3 

Hogg Swayne No. 1 

Higgins No. 2 

Columbia No. 1 

National No. 2 

Spindle Top No. 1 

Ground Floor No. 1 ... 

GlaydsNo. 5 

Yellow Pine No. 1 

Cox Josey 

Manhattan No. 1 

Darragh 

Cattlemen's 

Alamo 

Beatty 

Export No. 1 

El Beaumont 

National No. 3 

Fountain 

El Paso. 

Spangler 

Palestine and Brut 

Mississippi and Texas. . 
Federal Crude (Grace) . 

Missouri, Kansas and 
Texas. 

Gober No. 2 

Drillers . . .' 

Fort Worth 

Gladys No. 6 _ _ 

Beaumont Confederated 
No. 1. 

Buffalo 

Enterprise 

Georgetown Waco 

Oteri No. 1 

Geyser-Kallenbach 

Eureka 

Trenton Rock 



Name of owner. 



Size of 
casing. 



Hey wood Oil Co 

Hogg Swayne Syndicate 

Higgins Oil and Fuel Co 

Columbia Oil Co 

National Oil and Pipe Line Co 

Spindle Top Oil Co 

Ground Floor Oil Co 

J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co . . . 

Yellow Pine Oil Co 

Alamo City Oil Co 

Manhattan Oil Co 

St. Marys Oil Co 

Cattlemen's Oil Co 

Alamo Oil Co 

Beatty Oil Co ... 

Export Oil and Pipe Line Co. . 

El Beaumont Oil Co 

National Oil and Pipe Line Co 

Fountain Oil and Fuel Co 

El Paso Oil Co 

Merchants and Mechanics 

Palestine and Brut Oil Co 

Mississippi and Texas Oil Co . . 

Federal Crude and Grace Oil 
Companies. 

Missouri, Kansas and Texas 
Oil Co. 

Gober Oil Co 

Drillers Oil Co 

Fort Worth Oil Co 

J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co... 
Beaumont Confederated Oil Co 

Buffalo Oil Co 

Moore Skinner Com. Co 

Georgetown and Waco Oil Co. 
Oteri Syndicate 

rGeyser Oil Development Co. . . 

iKallenbach Oil Co 

Eureka Oil Co 

Trenton Rock Oil Co 



Inches. 

6 
2 

6 

8 



8 


830 


6 


957 


6 




4 


937 


6 


970 


6 


935 


6 


960 


6 


1,017 


6 


1,060 


6 


920 


6 


965 


6 


938 


6 


1,025 


6 




8 


924 


6 




6 


1,025 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



SPINDLETOP POOL. 
Producing wells in Spindletop pool — Continued. 



79 



No. 
on 
map. 


Name of well. 


Name of owner. ' 


Size of 
casing. 


Depth of 
well. 








Inches. 


Feet. 


50 


Queen of Waco 

Star and Crescent No. 2 


Queen of Waco Oil Co 


6 




51 


Star and Crescent Oil Co 


6 




52 


German-American No. 
2 


German-American Oil Co 


6 


956 


53 


Paragon 

Cincinnati-Beaumont _ . 


Paragon Oil Co 


6 


914 


54 


Cincinnati and Beaumont Oil 
Co. 


6 


925 


55 


King 

Detroit, Beaumont and 
Home. 


King Oil Co 


6 


960 


56 


Detroit, Beaumont and Home 
Oil Co. 


6 


937 


57 


Alabama 


Alabama Oil and Pipe Co 


6 




58 


Hogg-Swayne No. 2 


Hogg-Swayne Syndicate 


6 




59 


Commonwealth _ 


Commonwealth Oil Co 


6 




60 


Twentieth Century 

No. 1. 


Twentieth Century Oil Co 


6 




61 


Manhattan No. 2 


Manhattan Oil Co 


8 


1,009 


62 


Hogg-Swayne No. 3 


Hogg-Swayne Syndicate 


6 




63 


Geyser _ . . . 


Geyser Oil Co 


6 


1,023 


64 


Gladys of Beaumont. _ . 
Saratoga .. 


Gladys Oil Co 


6 


1,025 


65 


Saratoga Oil and Pipe Line Co 


6 




66 


German- Ameri can 
No. 1. 


German- American Oil Co 


8 


920 


67 


Hogg-Swayne No. 4 


Hogg-Swayne Syndicate 


6 


1 , 060 


68 


Houston-Beaumont .... 


Houston-Beaumont Oil and Re- 
fining Co. 


6 


1,000 


69 


American Oil and Re- 
fining Co. 


American Oil and Refining Co _ 


8 




70 


Greater New York 
Home. 


Greater New York Home Oil Co. 


4 


986 


71 


Cartwright 


Cartwright Oil and Develop- 
ment Co. 


6 


941 


72 


Oteri No. 2 


Oteri Syndicate 


6 




73 


McFaddenNo. 8 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co ... . 


6 


860 


74 


Anglo-American No. 2_ 


Anglo- American Oil Co 


6 




75 


Twentieth Century 
No. 2. 


Twentieth Century Oil Co 


6 


1,051 


76 


Finlay 


Apex Oil Co .__._.____ 


8 


976 


77 


San Jacinto No. 2 


San Jacinto Oil Co 


6 


1,059 


78 


Trans-Mississippi 


Trans-Mississippi Oil Co 


4 




79 


Spindle Top No. 2 


Spindle Top Oil Co 


6 




80 


Stribling Cox No. 1 . . 


Stribling & Cox 


6 


1,015 


81 


Hogg-Swayne No. 5 


Hogg-Swayne Syndicate 


6 


1,003 


82 


Plunger 


Texas Oil and Pipe Line Co_. 


8 


1,036 


83 


1 IraO. Wise 


Ira O. Wise Beaumont Oil Co.. 


6 





80 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

Producing ivells in Spindletop pool — Continued. 



No. 

on 

map. 


Name of well. 


Name of owner. 


Size of 
casing. 


Depth of 
well. 








Inches. 


Feet. 


84 


Kiser 


Hayne & Bro . . . 


6 




85 


Keith Ward No. 1 


Keith Ward Oil Co 


6 




86 


Citizens' Consolidated - 


Citizens' Consolidated Oil Co . . 


6 




87 


Beaumont Confeder- 
ated No. 2. 


Beaumont Confederated Oil Co. 


6 


975 


88 


Tri-City No. 1 


Tri-City Oil Co.. 


6 




89 


Cincinnati-Beaumon t 

No. 2. 


Cincinnati-Beaumont Oil Co . . . 


6 


936 


90 


Old Reliable 


Cronin Land and Oil Co 


6 




91 


Two Republics 

Beaumont Confeder- 
ated No. 3. 


Two Republics Oil Co 


6 




92 


Beaumont Confederated Oil Co. 


6 




93 


Gladys No. 7 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co 


6 




94 


Lone Star No. 2 


Star and Crescent Oil Co 


6 




95 


Guarantee 


Guarantee Oil Co 


6 




96 


Arkadelphia 

Hogg-Swayne No. 1 


Arkadelphia Oil Co 


8 


1,025 


97 


Hogg-Swayne Syndicate _ 


6 




98 


Mercer Co 


Mercer County Oil Co _ . 


6 


996 


99 


Yellow Pine No. 2 


Yellow Pine Oil Co.. 


6 




100 


Caldwell No. 1 


Caldwell Oil Co 


6 




101 


Anglo-American No. 1 . 


Anglo-American Oil Co 


6 


1,053 


102 


Texas Standard No. 1 . _ 


Texas Standard Oil Co 


6 


1,078 


103 


Mound City 


Mound City Oil Co 


6 


977 


104 


Brooks . 


R.E.Brooks 


6 
6 


1,090 


105 


Cronin 


Cronin Land and Oil Co 


940 


106 


Federal Crude, Grace 

No. 2. 


Federal Crude Oil Co 


8 


1,025 








107 


Beaumont and Damon 
Mound. 


Beaumont and Damon Mound 
Oil Co. 


6 


977 


108 


Madeline Consolidated. 


Madeline Consolidated Oil Co.. 


6 


990 


109 


Knickerbocker 

San Jacinto No. 1 


Josey Investment Co 


6 
6 




110 


San Jacinto Oil Co 


934 


111 


Globe 


Globe Oil Co . 


8 
6 


1,040 


112 


Granite Mountain 


Granite Mountain Oil Co 




113 


Fort Worth No. 2 

Keith Ward No. 2 

Hogg-Swayne No. 6 


Fort Worth Oil Co.. 


6 
6 
6 




114 


Keith Ward Oil Co.. 




115 


Hogg-Swayne Syndicate 




116 


Calloway Oil . _ . . 


Calloway Oil Co 

Anglo-American Oil Co 


6 




117 


Anglo-American No. 3_ 


6 


1,072 


118 


Diamond Crude 


Diamond Crude Oil Co _ 


6 


1,028 


119 


R.A.Josey ... 


R. A. Josey 


6 




120 


H.M.Mitchell 


Mitchell Oil Co 


6 





HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. . 



SPINDLETOP POOL. 



81 



Producing wells in Spindletop pool — Continued. 



No. 

on 

map. 


Name of well. 


Name of owner. 


Size of 
casing. 


Depth of 
well. 








Inches. 


Feet. 


121 


Hansen 

McFadden No. 7 


New York Oil Co 


6 
6 




122 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co ... . 


1,030 


123 


Equitable 


Equitable Oil Co 


6 




124 


Simms Bartlett 


Simms Bartlett & Harrison 


6 




125 


McFadden No. 


J. M. Guffey Peteoleum Co ... . 


6 


1,042 


1% 


Bunns Bluff 


Bunns Bluff Oil Co 

Independence Oil Co. . .... 


6 
6 




127 


Independence 




19,8 


Godcheux 




6 
6 




1?,9 


Beaumont 


Beaumont Oil Co 




180 


Seaboard No. 2 


Seaboard Oil Co 


6 




131 


Texas Geyser 

Lumberman 


Texas Geyser Oil Co. 


6 




13°, 


Lumberman's Oil Co ... 


6 




133 


Texas Oil and Pipe 
Line No. 2. 


Texas Oil and Pipe Line Co 


8 


1 , 008 


134 


Peoria Crude 


Peoria Crude Oil Co 


6 
6 


048 


135 


Becky Sharp _ . . 


Becky Sharp Oil Co 




136 


Jones Development 

Beaumont Petroleum 
and Gas. 


C. E. Jones and others 


6 


1,034 


137 


Beaumont Petroleum and Gas 
Co. 


6 


1,075 


138 


Silver Dime No. 1 


Silver Dime Oil Co 


6 




130 


Silver Dime No. 2 


do 


6 
6 




140 


Chicago-Texas No. 1 . . . 


Chicago-Texas Syndicate 


050 


141 


Hogg-Swayne No. 7 


Hogg-Swayne Syndicate 


6 




142 


Chicago-Texas No. 2- . . 


Chicago-Texas Syndicate 





1,055 


143 


The Mercantile 


The Mercantile Oil and Refin- 
ing Co. 


6 


014 


144 


German -American 
No. 3. 


German- American Oil Co 


6 


032 


145 


Queen of Beaumont . . . 


Queen of Beaumont Oil Co 


6 




146 


Paulhamus 


I. A. Paulhamus 


6 


1,018 


147 


Beaumont Associated. _ 


Beaumont Associated Oil Wells 
Co. 


6 




148 


R. L. Cox 

Alabama-Texas 


R. L. Cox Co 


6 
6 


1.050 


140 


Alabama-Texas Oil and Trans- 
portation Co. 




150 


Beaumont and Pacific 
Slope. 


Beaumont and Pacific Slope Oil 
Co. 


6 




151 


Illinois Oil Co. No. 1 . _ 

Rex Petroleum 

Gladys No. 8 


Illinois Oil Co 


6 
6 
6 




152 


Rex Petroleum Oil Co . . 




153 


J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co 




154 


Birmingham -Beau- 
mont. 


Birmingham - Beaumont Oil 
and Transportation. 


6 





Bull. 212—03- 



82 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. Si; 

Producing wells in Spindletop pool — Continued. 



Name of well. 



Adams 

Chicago-Texas No. 1_ _ _ 

Chicago-Texas Export . 

Chicago-Texas Syndi- 
cate. 

Mercer County No. 2 . . 

Forward Reduction _ . . 

Robertson 

Oklahoma and Texas _ _ 

Hey wood No. 4 

Higgins No. 3 

Hogg-Swayne No. 8 

Ground Floor No. 2 

Missouri, Kansas and 
Texas No. 2. 

Georgetown- Waco No. 
2. 

Beaumont and Damon 
Mound No. 2. 

Forward Reduction No. 

2. 

Denver-Beaumont No. 1 
Lucky Dime No. 2 
Empire State 



Name of owner, 



Gladys of Galveston.. 

Huntley 

Tri-CityNo. 2 

Guffey 

Do 

Spindletop No. 3 

Borealis 

Geyser of Galveston. . 

Lone Star 

Lone Acre No. 1 

Lone Acre No. 2 

Lone Acre No. 3 

Maskemp No. 2 

Sunset No. 2 

St. Louis-Spindle Top 

Drummond 

Texas Live Oak 



Adams Oil Co 



Mercer County Oil Co . 
Forward Reduction Co 
J. Robertson 



Heywood Oil Co 

Higgins Oil and Fuel Co. 
Hogg-Swayne Syndicate . 
Ground Floor Oil Co ... . 



Missouri, Kansas and Texas 
Oil Co. 

Georgetown- Waco Oil Co 



and Damon Mound 



Beaumont 
Oil Co. 

Forward Reduction Co 



Denver-Beaumont Oil Co 

Lucky Dime Oil Co 

Empire State Coal. Iron and 
Oil Co. 

Gladys Oil Co. of Galveston . . 

Huntley Oil and Refining Co. . 

Tri-City Oil Co 

J. M. Guffey Petroleum Co ... . 

do 

Spindletop Oil Co 

Borealis Oil Co 

Geyser Oil Co. of Galveston _ . 

Lone Star Oil Co 

Lone Acre Oil Co 

do 

do 

Maskemp Oil Co 

Sunset Oil Co _.' 

St. Louis-Spindle Top Oil Co _ . . 

Drummond Oil Co 

Texas Live Oak Oil Co. .. 



Size of 
casing. 



Depth of 
well. 



Feet. 



1,056 

1,085 



1,088 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



SPINDLETOP POOL. 

Producing wells in Spindletop pool — Continued. 



83 



Name of well. 



Zenith 

United States No. 1 _ . . 

United States No. 2. _ _ 

United States No. 3 _ . . 

United States No. 4. _ _ 

Babbit Syndicate 

British American 

Bayou City No. 2 

Mound City 

Magnolia. 

Sam Houston 

Chicago-Texas Syndi- 
cate. 

Higgins No. 4 

Kansas City 



Iowa-Nebraska 



Imperial 

Beaumont and Spindle- 
top. 

Black Hawk _ 

Burlington 

Buckeye 

Big Four 

Burt- Missouri 

Cascade 

Chemical 

Blue Grass 

Drummers . 

Continental 

Cedar Rapids 

Call & Polk 

R. L. Cox No. 1 

Lake Superior and 
Beaumont. 

R. L. Cox No. 2 

New England 



Name of owner. 



North American Crude 
Crescent 

Omaha and Texas 



Zenith Oil Co 

United States Oil and Fuel Co 

__„do 

....do 

do 

Babbit Syndicate Oil Co 

British American Oil Co 

Bayou City Oil Co 

Pittsburg Mound City 

Magnolia Oil Co 

Sam Houston Oil Co 

Chicago-Texas Syndicate 



Higgins Oil and Fuel Co 

Kansas City Oil and Refining 
Co. 

Iowa-Nebraska-Beaumont Oil 
Co. 

Imperial Oil Co 

Beaumont and Spindletop Oil 
Co. 



Black Hawk Oil Co 

Burlington Oil Co 

Buckeye Oil Co 

Big Four Oil Co 

Burt- Missouri Oil Co 

Cascade Oil Co 

Chemical Oil Co 

Blue Grass Oil Co 

Drummers Oil Co 

Continental Oil Co 

Cedar Rapids Mission Oil Co. 

D. Call and I. D. Polk 

R. L. Cox 



Size of 
casing. 



Inches. 



Depth of 
well. 



Feet. 



942 



Lake Superior and Beaumont 
Oil Co. 

R.L.Cox 



New England and Beaumont 
Oil Co. 

North American Crude Oil Co. . 

Crescent Oil Co 

Omaha and Texas Oil Co 



84 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 
Producing wells in Spindletop pool — Continued. 



No. 

on 

map. 


Name of well. 


Name of owner. 


Size of 
casing. 


Depth of 
well. 


227 


Cotton Oil 


Cotton Oil and Pipe Line Co _ _ 


Inches. 


Feet. 


228 


Sutchliffe 

Minnesota No. 1 

Minnesota No. 2 


Sutchliffe Oil Co 






229 


Minnesota Oil Co . 






230 


do : 






231 


Carroll & Co 


F. L. Carroll 






232 










233 


Consolidated 

Consumers 

Detroit-Saginaw 

Empire No. 2 

Eastern Texas- 

Equitable No. 2 

El Beaumont No. 2 

Flora Oil Co 


Consolidated Oil and Pipe Line 
Co. 

Consumers' Oil and Pipe Line Co 

Detroit-Saginaw Valley Oil Co 

Empire State Oil, Iron and 
Coal Co. 

Eastern Texas ( )il and Develop- 
ment Co. 

Equitable Land and ( )il Co 






234 






235 
236 







'-2:;: 






238 






239 


El Beaumont Oil Co 






240 


Flora Oil Co. 






241 


Fairfield 

Fairchild 

Galveston and Burt 

Good Luck 


Clarke Fairfield 






242 


L. H. Fairchild 






243 
244 


Galveston and Burt Oil Co 

Good Luck Oil Co 






?45 


Greater New York No. 2 
Greater New York No. 3 
Home 


Greater New York Oil Co . 






240 


do * . 






247 


Home Oil Co 






24H 


Interstate . 


Interstate Oil Co 






249 


Libbie 

Louisiana Purchase 

Midland 


Libbie Oil Co 






250 


Louisiana Purchase Oil Co 






251 


Midland Oil Co.. 






252 


Minnesota Oil No. 3 . _ . 
Michigan-Burt 

Mississippi-Texas 

Nickel Plate No. 1 

Nickel Plate No. 2. . 


Minnesota Oil Co .... 






253 


Michigan-Burt Oil and Refining 
Co. 

Mississippi-Texas Oil Co 






254 






255 


Nickel Plate Oil Co 






250 


do 






257 


People's 


People's Oil Co 






258 


Pittsburg 


Pittsburg-Texas Oil Co 






259 


Rock River 


Rock River Oil and Pipe Line Co 
N. Cabell Reed 






200 


Reed 






201 


Sun Oil 


Sun Oil Refining Co 






202 


Sabine 


Sabine Oil and Pipe Line Co 






203 


Sacramento 


Sacramento Oil and Pipe Line 
Co. 















HAYES AND 
KKNNEDY. _ 



REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOP. 



85 



Producing wells in Spindletop pool — Continued. 



No. 

on 

map. 



Name of well. 



Name of owner 



Size of 
casing. 



Depth of 
well. 



264 
265 
266 
267 
268 
269 

270 
271 

272 
273 
274 
275 
276 
277 
278 
279 
280 



Springfield 

Sterling 

Spindletop No. 3 

Sabine __ 

St. Marys 

Sarpy 



St. Louis-Spindletop _ . _ 
Texas Fuel Oil Co _ _ 
Thompson Hill No. 1 
Thompson Hill No. 2 _ . 

Texas- American 

The Fifteen 

Union 

Union Oil and Refining 

Waco-Bnrt 

White King 

Ward 



Incite a. 



Feet. 



Springfield-Beaumont Oil Co _ 

Sterling Oil Co 

Spindletop Oil Co 

Sabine Oil and Marketing Co 
St. Marys Oil Co 



Sarpy Oil and Transportation 
Co. 

St. Louis-Spindletop Oil Co 

Texas Fuel Oil Co 

Thompson Hill Development Co 

do 

Texas- American Oil Co 

The Fifteen Oil Co 

Union Oil Co 

Union Oil and R-efining Co 

Waco-Beaumont Oil Co 

White King Oil Co 

W. K. Ward 



REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOP POOL. 

In the region surrounding the Spindletop pool a large amount of 
prospecting lias been done, but up to the present time no productive 
territory has been developed. This region is a very level plain, for 
the most part treeless prairie, but with some considerable timbered 
areas. The monotony of the surface is relieved only by the broad 
flood plain of the Neches River, which is but slightty above tide level 
and generally occupied by cypress and other swamps. 

The wells, whose locations are shown on the accompanying map, 
fig. 3, vary in depth from 1,200 to 2,400 feet. Although none of 
them are productive, most have shown some signs of oil, probably 
derived from beds corresponding to those which yield small quanti- 
ties of oil over the main oil rock in the Spindletop pool. They fur- 
nish considerable information regarding the character of the beds 
underlying the Coastal Plain, and a number of the logs are here given 
in order that they may be on record. 

From what has already been said concerning the normal thickness 
of the Gulf Coastal Plain formations and the structure of the Spin- 
dletop pool, it is evident that a well in this region less than 3,000 feet 
in depth does not reach the oil-bearing horizon anywhere except upon 
the Spindletop dome. It can not be said, therefore, that the possi- 



86 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



bilities of finding oil in this region have been exhausted by the rela- 
tively shallow wells thus far drilled. On the other hand, it can not 
be said that the probabilities of finding oil in paying quantities at 
greater depth are sufficient to warrant the great expense of prospect- 
ing. It might, however, be expedient to put down a cooperative test 
well, at some carefulty selected locality, sufficiently deep to exhaust 




C Hi /te brand 

League M Grange League 



Fig. 3.— Map of region surrounding the Spindletop oil pool. 

the possibilities. One such well put down to a depth of 3,000 or 
3,500 feet would be of much more value than any number of wells 
half those depths. 

The well records available in this region show the underlying for- 
mations to be largely heav}^ beds of blue clay and blue and gray sands, 
the latter being generally denominated quicksands by the drillers. 



HAYES 
KENNEDY 



, A )Y D ] REGION SURROUNDING RPINDLETOP. 87 



Occasional thin beds of sandstone, with infrequent heavier beds and 
thin layers of limestone interstratified with sands and clays, also occur. 
In several of the wells many small fossils of Miocene age appear, usu- 
ally associated with a bed of grayish-blue sand. A number of the 
sand beds are water bearing, and might form a fairly good source of 
water supply for the Beaumont district, if properly exploited. Salt 
and sulphur water also accompany these sands at various levels, and 
in some of the wells have developed considerable flows. 

The upper 40 or 50 feet of these beds contain much decayed wood, 
and at an approximate depth of 45 feet the drillings indicate that 
when the land stood at that level it was subject to overflow by streams 
carrying great quantities of cypress and other timber. The only fos- 
sils found at this horizon were Rangia cuneata Gray and an undeter- 
mined oyster, from a depth of 45 feet, in the Ilarby well. These 
accumulations of buried vegetable matter continue downward to a 
depth of 800 feet in some of the wells. In the Island well Natica 
tuomeyi Whit, and Crassatella sp. were found at 800 feet. In the 
American Oil and Refining Company's well the drill passed through 8 
feet of bark and logs at 892 feet and again at 094 feet. In the Decker 
well logs of cypress occurred at a depth of 800 feet. These logs still 
possess the ordinary woody texture, while the bark retains its fibrous 
character and often by its toughness interferes seriously with the drill. 
In addition to this unaltered wood, more or less lignite occurs in the 
various wells, and small seeps or deposits of oil are found in nearly 
every well drilled throughout this area. 

Sands, clays, and even fair-sized bodies of sandstone and gravel 
make up the most of the strata encountered between 900 and 1,500 
feet. Below 1,500 feet the drilling is mostly through beds of blue, 
gray, and pink clays interstratified with limestones and sandstones 
down to the greatest depth yet reached. The limestones in these beds 
range in thickness from 2 inches to 2 feet. 

From the fossils found in the various wells in this region the geo- 
logic age of the beds appears to be approximately as follows 

1. Recent; to a depth of 45 feet. 

2. Pleistocene and Pliocene; between 45 feet and 800 feet. 

3. Miocene; between 800 feet and 2,200 feet. 

4. Eocene; below 2,200 feet. 

WELL RECORDS. 

The following well logs have been furnished, in all cases, by the 
owners of the wells or by the contractors with the owner's permission : 

Beginning at the northern end of the field, two wells have been 
drilled on the D. Easley survey near Pine Island Bayou, about 9 
miles north of Beaumont. These are known as the Sanger and Walker 
wells. Both are dry and have been abandoned. In drilling the Sanger 



88 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



well considerable trouble was experienced with water, especially in 
the first 600 feet. The following log is furnished by the contractors: 

Log of Sanger well on D. Easley survey. 
[Elevation, 25 feet.] 



No 



Character of strata. 



Clay 

Coarse water sand 

Blue clay 

Alernate layers of clay and coarse white 
sand, clay bine 

Shell rock 

Sand 

Bine clay and sand, more clay than sand 

Shell rock 

Sand 

Bine and red clay 

Sand and clay 

Shells 

Sand and clay 

Sand - 

Clay.___ 

Sand and shells 

Clay 



Thickness. 



Feet. 
6 
150 
6 

438 

40£ 

260 

1 

30 

GO 

239 

1 

27 

30 

20 



From- 



Feet. 

6 

156 

162 

600 

600i 

641 

901 

902 

932 

992 

1,231 

1,232 

1 , 259 

1,289 

1,309 

1,334 



To- 



Feet. 

6 
156 
162 

600 

600£ 

641 

901 

902 

932 

992 

1,231 

1,232 

1,259 

1,289 

1,309 

1,334 

1,419 



Five miles west of Beaumont the American Oil Company's well 
shows a section consisting almost exclusive ly of clays and sands. 

Log of American Oil Company' 's well in sec. 101, Texas and New Orleans Railway 

land. 

[Elevation, 50 feet.] 



No. 


Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To— 


1 


Sand 


Feet. 

3 

5 

10 

11 

3 

16 
18 
12 
10 
32 


Feet. 


3 
8 

18 
29 
32 
48 
66 
78 
88 


Feet. 

3 


9, 


Yellow clay .. . . . 


8 


3 


Quicksand 


18 


4 


Yellow clay _ . . - . . . 


29 


5 


Fine sand and shells. - 


32 


fi 


Bine clay _• 


48 


7 


Sand ... 


66 


8 


Bine clay 


78 


9 


Sand . . 


88 


10 


Bine clay 


120 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOP. 89 

Log of American Oil Company' 's well in see. 101, etc. — Continued. 



Character of strata. 



Fine sand and shells 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand with hard streaks 

Red clay 

Soft sandstone 

Sand 

Sand with hard streaks 

Blue clay „ 

Sand 

Blue clay 

do 

Sand 

Fine quartz gravel from pea to marble size 
smooth, and various colors 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Red clay 

Sand 

Bark and logs 

Blue clay 

Sand and shells 

Blue clay 

Sand 



Thickness. 


Prom— 


Feet. 


Feet. 


6 


120 


20 


126 


28 


146 


35 


174 


21 


209 


11 


230 


23 


241 


8 


264 


22 


272 


26 


294 


19 


320 


64 


339 


37 


403 


13 


440 


31 


453 


6 


484 


46 


490 


24 


536 


17 


560 


13 


577 


15 


590 


2 


605 


30 


607 


Q 


637 


15 


640 


20 


655 


17 


675 


8 


692 


65 


700 


10 


765 


65 


775 


13 


840 


11 


853 


6 


864 


22 


870 


8 


892 


16 


900 


10 


916 


8 


926 


56 


934 



90 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

Log of American Oil Company's well in sec. 101, etc. — Continued. 



Character of strata. 



Hard sand 

Bark and logs _ _ 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Red clay . . 

Sand, clay, and bark. 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay _ 
Sand__ 

Sand and gravel 

Blue clay 

do 

Sand 

Sand and fine gravel. 

Sand 

Sand and shells 

Blue clay 

Soft limestone 

Yellow clay 

Sand 

Red clay 

Sand and shells 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

do .... 

do ._. 

..do _. 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



4 

h; 
11 

25 

9 
15 
12 
28 
27 
21 
11 
35 

4 
30 
i<; 
55 
12 

7 

2 

4 
30 
12 

5 
41 
87 
H> 
25 
19 
23 

6 
12 
10 



Proin- 



Feet. 
990 
994 
1,010 
1,021 
1,040 
1 , 055 
1,070 
1,082 
1,105 
1,182 
1,153 
1,164 
1,199 
1,203 
1,233 
1,249 
1,304 
1,310 
1,323 
1,325 
1,329 
1,359 
1,371 
1,370 
1,417 
1,454 
1,464 
1,489 
1,508 
1,531 
1,537 
1,549 



This well has been abandoned as dry. 



HAYES ANBl 
KENNEDY. J 



REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOR. 



91 



Another well in the same vicinity was drilled to a depth of 770 feet 
and abandoned. 

In the southwest corner of the Bullock league a well drilled for 
the Almaden Oil Company to a depth of 1,400 feet gives the following 
section : 

Log of Almaden well in southwest corner of Bullock league, Jefferson 

County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 25 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Surface clay_ 

Orange sand 

Blue clay 

Dark-gray sand 

Blue clay 

Clay and bark 

Heavy dark-blue clay 

Fine sand with wood 

Clay 

Fine gray sand 

Clay 

Sand with slight showing of oil 

Sandy clay 

Fine gray sand 

Sandy clay with broken shells 

Fine dark sand 

Blue sandy clay with broken shells 

Fine gray sand 

Blue clay and sand 

Clay. 

Sand 



Thickness. 



Feet. 

10 

65 

100 
25 

100 
53 
47 

152 
5 
48 
18 
20 
82 

140 

130 
75 
65 
20 
15 
90 

140 



From- 



Feet. 



10 

75 

175 

200 

300 

353 

400 

552 

557 

605 

623 

643 

725 

865 

995 

1,070 

1,135 

1,155 

1,170 

1,260 



To- 



Feet. 



10 
75 
175 
200 
300 
353 
400 



605 
623 
643 

725 
865 
995 
1,070 
1,135 
1,155 
1,170 
1,260 
1,400 



This well has been abandoned as dry. 

South of the Texas and New Orleans Railway (Southern Pacific), 
in sec. 11, International and Great Northern Railroad lands, the Gulf 
Coast Oil and Land Companj 7 has drilled a well about 1,500 feet in 
depth, which gives the following section. 



92 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS- LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



Log of Gulf Coast Oil and Land Company well in sec. 11, International and 
Great Northern Railroad Company lands, Jefferson County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 25 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Red clay 

Quicksand . 

Alternate strata of sand and clay 

Hard bine clay 

Sand and clay . 

Shale 

Blue clay 

Hardpan, traces of oil 

Sand and shale 

Sand rock 

Red marl shale . _ _ ' 

Sand rock 

Sand and shale 

Blue clay with cypress logs 

Rock in thin layers with gravel 

Limestone and sandstone with traces of sul- 
phur 

Hard blue clay 

Rock in thin layers with sand and clay 

Shells and gravel 

Blue clay with small lumps of limestone 

Hard blue clay and shell 

Blue and red clay mixed with shells and gravel 

Thin rock, blue and red clay in layers 

Shells and clay 

Clay and shells 

Thin rock and gravel 

Black shale and traces of oil 

Yellow sand 

Red and blue clay and shells 

Sharp, coarse sand . _ _ : _ . 

Hard blue clay with limestone in hard lumps 

Soft blue clay 

Sand and clay 

Thin rock and gravel 

Sharp sand 

Hard blue clay 

Gravel and limestone 



Thickness. 



Feet. 
20 
30 
70 
50 

110 
30 
50 
40 
40 
1 
30 
1 
68 
40 

120 

80 
50 
70 
10 
80 
10 
00 
70 
GO 
10 
50 
30 
20 
40 
20 
50 
20 
20 
20 
10 
20 
16 



From- 



Feet. 


20 
50 
120 
170 
280 
310 
360 
400 
440 
441 
471 
472 
540 
580 

700 

780 

830 

900 

910 

990 

1,000 

1,060 

1,130 

1,190 

1,200 

1,250 

1,280 

1,300 

1,340 

1,360 

1,410 

1,430 

1,450 

1,470 

1,480 

1,500 



This well was abandoned as dry. 



HAYES AND"] 
KENNEDY. J 



REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOP. 



93 



On the Caswell tract in the immediate vicinity of Beaumont a well 
drilled to a depth of 1,518 feet gave the following: 

Log of "(Jaswell well" on Caswell tract, Beaumont, Tex. 
[Elevation, 30 feet.] 



1 
2 

3 

4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

18 

1!) 

20 

21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
27 
28 



Character of strata. 



Clay 

White sand 
Blue clay . _ 
Sand 



Clay.. 

Rock showing oil 

Clay 



Rock showing oil 

White quicksand with black specks 

Blue clay 

Sand 



Blue clay 

Sand, salt water at 930 feet 

Clay and coarse brown sand showing oil 

Hard blue clay 

Sand 

Clay and shells 

Hard white clay . 

Sand showing oil 

Three beds of limestone with 1 foot of oil and 
asphalt (?) , 

Oil sand 



Thickness. From 



Clay 

Sand 

Clay 

Thin bed of sandstone 

Clay 

Sand 



Hard red clay drying to light pink 



Feet. 



45 

65 
215 
165 
185* 

5 

1 
128 

20 

40 

20 

60 

20 

30 

50 
134 

13 
6 

37 

3 

32 

IV 

i 

104 
2 

1 

17 
112 



Feel. 



45 

110 

325 

490 

6751 

676 

681 

682 

810 

830 

870 

890 

950 

970 

1,000 

1,050 

1,184 

1,197 

1,203 
1,240 
1,243 

1,275 
1,282 
1,386 
1,388 
1,389 
1,406 



To— 



Feet. 

45 

110 

325 

490 

675^ 

676 

681 

682 

810 

830 

870 

890 

950 

970 

1,000 

1,050 

1,184 

1,197 

1,203 

1,240 
1,243 
1,275 

1,282 
1,386 
1,388 
1,389 
1,406 
1,518 



This well was abandoned on account of caving when setting the 
casing. 

South of the above the Bayou City well was drilled on the eastern 
end of the Iowa Colony lands and east of the Beaumont and Port 
Arthur public road. This well has a depth of 2,009 feet. No traces 
whatever of oil have been recorded from the Bayou City well. 



94 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



Log of Bayou City ivell, eastern side of Iowa Colony lands, Jefferson County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 25 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Red clay 

Red sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Clay 

Red sand 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Blue clay with hard shaly streaks „ 

Blue sand 

White sand 

Blue clay 

Greasy blue clay (called soapstone) 

Hard sand 

Blue clay same as No. 13 

Gray indurated sand 

Blue clay 

White sandstone _ _ * 

Indurated sand 

Tough red clay 

Indurated sand 

Broken shells 

Blue clay 

Sand and clay mixed 

Fine white sand_ . 

Blue clay 

Blue sand and small gravel 

Shale 

Brown oily clay 

Quicksand 

Coarse crystalline sand . _ 

Blue clay 

Clay and sand 

Gravel 

White sand 

Blue clay 

Rock 

Sand with salt water . 

Blue clay 

White sand 



Thickness. From— 



Feet. 


Feet. 


18 





23 


18 


17 


41 


20 


58 


13 


78 


2 


91 


8 


93 


1 


101 


128 


102 


15 


230 


11 


245 


11 


256 


3D 


267 


15 


306 


9 


321 


16 


330 


10 


346 


10 


356 


5 


366 


4 


371 


17 


375 


1 


392 


27 


393 


13 


420 


25 


433 


66 


458 


55 


524 


31 


579 


1 


610 


4 


611 


24 


615 


41 


639 


55 


680 


35 


735 


188 


770 


409 


958 


i 


1,367 


92^ 


1,3671 


51 


1,460 


180 


1,511 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOP. - 95 

Log of Bayou City well, eastern side of Iowa colony lands, etc. — Continued. 



41 
42 
43 
44 
45 
46 
47 
48 
111 

50 
51 

52 
53 
54 
55 



Character of strata. 



Sandstone showing clay 

Red clay 

Coarse sand with salt water 

Very fine white sand 

White clay and blue sand 

Sand with broken shells 

Compact white sand 

Sand and clay 

Coarse white sand with shells and wood, 
Mulinea balanus sp. , and fish bones . . 

Coarse sand, shells, and wood 

Fine gravel and shells and wood, shells same 
as No. 49 

Dark-blue shale 

Blue clay 

Red clay 

Blue clay with pockets of soft white sand . . . 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



to 

26 
9 

14 
3 

28 
14 



18 
30 

10 

7 
18 
L6 

58 



From- 



To- 



Feet. 
1,691 

1,731 
1,757 
1,766 
1,780 
1,783 
1,811 
1,825 

1,852 

1,870 

1,900 
1,910 
1,917 
1,935 

1.951 



Feet. 
1,731 
1,757 
1,766 
1,780 
1,783 
1,811 
1,825 
1,852 

1,870 
1,900 

1,910 
1,917 
1,935 
1,951 
2,009 



Northwest of Spindletop the character of the beds underlying this 
portion of the field is well shown in the records of the Harby well on 
the Chaison tract, close to the Texas and New Orleans Railway line. 
This well has been drilled to a depth of 1,840 feet and the drill is still 
at work (June, 1902). 

Log of Harby well, Jeff Chaison tract, Jefferson County, Tex. 
[Elevation, 20 feet.] 



• 


Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To— 


Clay 


Feet. 

34 

4 

7 

5 

20 

5 

25 

68 

14 

46 

2 

26 


Feet. 



34 

38 

45 

50 

70 

75 

100 

168 

182 

228 

230 


Feet. 

34 


Sand 


38 


, 


Clay 


45 


4 


Sand with shells and wood 


50 


r, 
6 

7 
8 
9 
10 
11 
12 


Clay 


70 


Clean white sand 


75 


Clay 

Sand 


100 
168 


Shale 

Blue clay 

Rock 


182 
228 
230 


Blue clay 


256 



96 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bui.l 212. 

Log of Harley well, Jeff Chaison tract, Jefferson County, Tex. — Continued. 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To- 


13 


Rock - - 


Feet. 

4 

30 
50 
65 
77 
1 
9 

16 

42 

5 

15 

1 

4 

29 

8 

12 

24 

50 

18 

19 

29 

110 

2 

10 

56 

8 

10 

4 

3 

i 
35| 

10 

199 

i 
5| 
46 
3 


Feet. 
256 

260 
290 
340 
405 
482 
483 
492 
508 
550 
555 
570 
571 
575 
604 
612 
624 
648 
698 
716 

735 

764 

874 
876 
886 
942 
950 
960 
964 
967 
967* 
1,003 

1,013 
1,212 
1,212* 
1,218 
1 1,264 


Feet. 
260 


14 


Soft blue clay with log at 290 feet; yellow 
streaks and some shells 


290 


15 


Yellow clay with log at 340 feet . 


340 


16 


Sand - 


405 


17 


Blue clay . - 


482 


18 


Hard rock . . 


483 


19 


Soft blue clay . ... ... 


492 


9,0 


Sand . . _ 


508 


?1 




550 


22 
93 


Sand 

Yellow clay _ .. . 


555 
570 


94 


Lignite 


571 


9,5 


Sand 


575 


96 


Clay 


604 


9,7 


Hard rock _ ... 


612 


9,8 


Soft blue clay _ . 


624 


99 


Shale rock . . 


648 


30 
81 


Blue clay and shale, very hard in streaks 

Fine white sand . . . . ... 


698 

716 


32 
33 


Hard blue shale with thin layers of sand 

Shale mixed with coarse sand; sand sharp 
with black and yellow specks 


735 
764 


34 


White sand; upper 30 feet hard in streak, 
last 30 feet showing black specks 


874 


35 


Blue clay 


876 


36 


Coarse sand . . . 


886 


37 


Blue clay with some shale _ _ 


942 


38 


Sand 


950 


39 


Blue shale with shells 


960 


40 


Sand with indications of oil 


964 


41 


Blue shale 


967 


49, 


Hard white rock- 


967| 


43 


Soft blue clay and shells _ . 


1,003 


44 


Sand 


1,013 


45 


Soft blue clay, with yellowish sand and lig- 
nite and shells, indications of oil at 1,065- 
1,071 


1,212 


46 


Rock 


1,219 


47 


Fine white sand _ 


1,218 


48 


Blue clay 


1,264 


49 


Fine white sand 


1,267 



HAYES 
KENNEDY. 



^ D ] REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOP. 97 

Loij of Harley well, Jeff Chaison tract, Jefferson County, Tex. — Continued. 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To— 






Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


50 


Hard blue clay with some shells 


13 


1 . 267 


1,280 


51 


Red clay 


37 


1,280 


1,317 


52 


Fine gray sand 1 


40 


1,317 


1,357 


53 


Red and blue clay . - . 


23 


1,357 


1,380 


54 


Fine white sand 


10 


1,380 


1,390 


55 


Blue, red, and brownish clay 


4 


1,390 


1,394 


56 


Blue and red hard clay, with streaks of rock 
from a few inches to 2 feet, mostly lime- 
stones. Strong indications of oil between 
1,450 and 1,460 


205 


1,394 


1,599 


57 


Blue clay with streaks of limestone from 2 
inches to 2 feet 


15 


1,599 


1,614 


58 


Red, blue, and brown clay with limestone 
rock; mostly rock .... 


9 


1,614 


1,623 


59 


Light-blue clay 


2 


1,623 


1,625 


60 


Limestones in thin layers with a few inches 
of mud between 


24 


1,625 


1,649 


61 


Fine white sand with blue clay and limestone 


12 


1,649 


1,661 


62 


Blue clay mixed with some limestone and 
sandstone 


8 


1,661 


1,669 


63 


Sandstone with thin deposits of clay . 


31 


1,669 


1,700 


64 


Blue clay with streaks of limestone and pyrites 


5 


1,700 


1,705 


65 


Sandstone with small quartz crystals and 
black specks and indications of oil at 1,735__ 


38 


1,705 


1,743 


66 


Fine white sand with indications of oil at 1 ,761 _ 


20 


1,743 


1,763 


67 


Blue and red clay and shale and mud 


31 


1,763 


1,794 


68 


Limestone with some very dark-red and blue 
clay 


41 


1,794 


1,835 


69 


Limestone 


2 


1,835 


1,837 


70 


Limestone and clay 


3 


1,837 


1,840 









In this well small seeps or pockets of petroleum were found at 
several depths between 805 and 1,761. Fairly strong indications of 
oil appeared between 1,450 and 1,460, and again between 1,743 and 
1,761. Salt water having a strong flow also appeared at 1,830 feet, 
and small flows of gas were found. 

The Slaughter-Masterson well located on Lot 2 of the Veatch survey 
is one of the deepest wells in the field, having readied a depth of 
2,250 feet. From its location as well as depth it is one of the most 
important holes drilled in this section. The following log has been 
supplied by Mr. Andrews, manager of the company. Owing to the 
death of the driller who was in charge at the beginning, the log of 
the first 360 feet can not be given. 

Bull. 212—03 7 



98 



OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN [bull. 213. 



The well is about midway between the Harby well and the Jones 
Development Company's producing well on lot 44 of Gladys City, and 
the producing well of the Denver-Beaumont Company on lot No. 5 of 
Spindletop Heights. The Denver well flows at 1,108 feet. Comparison 
and correlation of these well records should afford a fair knowledge 
of the structure of that portion of the plain lying to the northwest of 
the producing field at Spindletop. 

Log of Slaughter-Masterson well <>h lot ..' of Veatch survey. 

[Elevation, 25 feet.] 



10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 

17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
27 
28 
29 
30 
31 
32 



Character of strata. 



From surface to 360 feet lost 

Tough blue clay 

Alternate layers of gray clay and sandstone _ 

Gray clay 

Shelly rock 

Bowlders 

Gray clay and sand 

Hard gray sand 

Gray clay 

Limestone 

Gray clay with sandstone 

Hard sand; show of oil _ . 

Gray clay 

Gray sand with show of oil and gas . 

Clay and sand 

Coarse pebbly sand with sandstone and some 
gas _ 

Hard sandstone . _ . 

Soft gray clay 

Hard gray sandstone with marl . . 

Gumbo (blue clay) 

Soft gray sand 

Soft blue clay showing oil _ 

White sand showing gas_ _ _ 

Blue clay with shells 

Hard gray sandstone 

Soft fine sand . . 

Shells 

Clay with shells 

Shells with a little limestone . 

Hard gray sand 

Blue clay with hard streaks and shells 

Hard sand . . . 



•Thickness. 


From— 


Tc 


> — 


Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


360 







360 


40 


360 




400 


20 


400 




420 


131 


420 




551 


47 


551 




598 


5 


598 




603 


2 


603 




605 


32 


605 




637 


33 


637 




670 


1 


670 




671 


27 


671 




698 


3 


698 




701 


30 


701 




731 


59 


731 




790 


11 


790 




801 


45 


801 




846 


o 


846 




848 


16 


848 




864 


9 


864 




873 


14 


873 




887 


13 


887 




900 


22 


900 




922 


8 


922 




930 


11 


930 




941 


12 


941 




953 


41 


953 




994 


7 


994 


1 


,001 


19 


1,001 


1 


,020 


28 


1,020 


1 


,048 


13 


1,048 


1 


061 


108 


1,061 


1 


169 


4 


1,169 


1 


173 



h ke Y n E ne£y D ] region surrounding spindletop. 99 

Log of Slaughter-Masterson well on lot 2 of Veatch survey — Continued. 



38 
39 
40 
41 
42 
4:: 
44 
45 

46 

47 
48 
4!) 
50 
51 
52 
53 
54 
55 
56 
57 

58 
59 
60 
61 
62 
63 
64 
65 



Character of strata. 



Soft gray clay 

Hard blue clay 

Limestone with thin layers of clay 

Clay 

Thin layers of limestone with some gas, hard 
in lower division 

Gray sand showing oil and gas_ _ _ 

Hard limestone 

Hard clay 

Hard blue limestone 

Pebbly concrete 

Soft white lime with iron pellets . 

Coarse gray sand 

Limestones interstratified with blue and red 
clays and sand with pyrites 

Conglomerate 

Clay with thin layers of limestone 

Very hard bed of limestone 

Yellow sand . 

Soft limestone 

Clay with wood and iron pyrites 

Soft reddish clay 

Blue limestone with sand and pebbles 

Soft red clay 

White sandstone 

Limestone with pink pebbles , 

Coarse gray sandstone with some lime in 
lower division 

Gray clay 

Sandstone with lime 

Tough red clay 

Gray and pink limestone 

Blue clay and red clay 

Sandstone 

White limestone with iron pyrites 
Limestone 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



7 

14 
20 
47 

58 

57 

2 

10 

1 

2 

12 
5 

185 
18 
80 
8 
10 
17 
80 
15 
21 

:c> 
11 

8 

69 
24 
27 
14 
5 
20 
11 
20 
35 



From- 



Feet. 
1,173 
1,180 
1.194 
1,223 

1,270 

1,328 
1,385 
1,387 
1,397 
1,398 
1,400 
1,412 

1,417 
1,552 
1,570 
1,600 
1,608 
1,618 
1,635 
1,665 
1,680 
1,701 
1,756 
1,767 

1 . 775 
1,844 
1,868 
1,895 
1,909 
1.914 
1 . 984 
1,945 
1,997 



III the same belt, along the northern side of the hill, are the Tread- 
way and Allyne wells, which have been drilled to depths exceeding 
1, 800 and 2, 000 feet. In the Tread way the general series of sands, 
clays, and sandstones occurs, with occasional seeps of oil and proba- 



100 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.21; 



bly gas, although none of the hitter has been reported. A condensed 
log of the Treadway shows the following section : 

Log of Treadway well, on lot 36, Gladys City. 

[Elevation, 25 feet.] 



Character of .strata. 



Blue and yellow clay and sand 

Sand rock and shells 

Blue clay with shells and occasional thin 
layers of sandstone _ •- 

Sandstone 

Blue clay with indications of oil at 413 feet_ - 
Coarse gray sand with gravel in last 18 feet . 

Blue sand and shells 

Gray sandstone 

Blue clay 

Blue sand 

Sandstones, gray, with "brown gravel _ . . 

Sand * 

Blue shale and clay. 

Soft white rock 

Gray quicksand 

Brown sandstone with gray and white sand _ 

Blue clay 

Strata of limestones, sands, and clays 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



269 
22 

102 
14 
25 
40 
21 
22 
10 
64 
30 
21 
42 
21 

151 
70 



300 



From- 



Feet. 

269 

291 
393 
407 
432 
472 
493 
515 

r^r, 
589 
619 
640 
682 
703 
854 
924 
1,500 



To- 



Feet. 



269 
291 

393 

407 
432 
472 
493 
515 
525 
589 
619 
640 
682 
703 
854 
924 



1,800 



This well has been abandoned as dry at 2,250 feet. 

The log of the Allyne shows a somewhat similar series of beds. 
However, in this well much more gravel appears to have been encoun- 
tered than in any other well in this district the record of which is 
available. 

Log of Allyne well, on lot 28, Iowa Colony, Jefferson County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 32 feet.] 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To- 


1 


Sands and clays 


Feet. 

800 

50 
32 

118 


Feet. 



800 
850 
882 


Feet. 

800 


2 


Clear fine gravel or coarse sand with strata of 
limestone - 


850 


3 
4 


Very fine quicksand with artesian water. 

Wanting 


882 
1,000 



HAYES AND - ] 
KENNEDY. J 



REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOP. 101 

Log of Allyne well, on lot 28, Iowa Colony, Jefferson County, Tex. — Continued. 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To— 


5 


Sand, sandstone with gravel and shells; salt 
water at 1 ,050 . - _ _ . 


Feet. 

75 

170 

180 
30 

145 
55 

00 


Feet. 
1,000 

1 . 075 

1 . 545 
1 . 735 

1,755 
1,900 

1,955 


Feet. 
1 , 075 


6 


Blue clay with occasional beds of gravel and 
sand - . . - 


1,545 


7 


Pinkish-colored limestone with clays inter- 
stratified . - .- 


1,735 


8 


Gravel with a thin bed of blue clay 


1,755 


9 


Thin limestone beds with gravel, sand, and 
some clay _ _ . - _ 


1,900 


10 


Sand _, _ _ 


1,955 


11 


Blue, red, and chocolate-colored clay with 
thin streaks of rock .. - - ._ - - 


3, 015 









This well has been abandoned as dry. 

On the eastern side of the field and in a position that might lie 
directly in the eastern extension of the Spindletop field is the United 
States well. This well has been drilled to a depth of 2,075 feet and 
abandoned as dry. Oil seeps of considerable size occurred at various 
levels. 

Log of United States well east of Spindletop, on Bullock league. 

[Elevation, 2i feet.] 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To- 






Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet 


1 


Clay and sand . 


180 





180 


?, 


Sandstone 


00 

4 


180 
346 


246 


3 


Clay 


250 


4 


Sandstone 


10 


350 


260 


5 


Hard blue clay . . 


114 

107 

49 


360 
374 
481 


374 


6 


Rock with thin stratum of sand . 


481 


7 


Sand with slight traces of oil at 500 feet 


530 


8 

9 

10 

11 


Hard rock 


30 

50 

70 

101 


530 
560 

610 

680 


500 


Record wanting _ . 


610 


Blue clay.__ .. . 


680 


Sand and gravel with gas at 734 


841 


13 
13 

14 


Blue clay 


9 
30 
30 


841 
850 

880 


850 


Blue sand with traces of oil at MOO. _ . 


880 


Blue clay with traces of oil 


900 


15 


Sand 


31 


900 


921 


16 


Blue clay with loose rock and traces of oil 


110 


931 


1,037 



102 OTL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 213. 
Log of United States well east of Spindletop, on Bullock league — Continued. 



17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
27 
28 
29 

30 
31 
32 
33 
34 



Character of strata. 



Gray sand with indications of oil at 1.155 feet 

Blue clay 

Sand with shells 

Hard rock 

Sand with shells 

Blue and red clays 

Sandstone with oil indications below _ ^_ 

Sand with strong indications of oil 

Soft mud 

Sand with shells and indications of oil _ 

Soft sand with indications of oil 

Sandstone and sand with oil in sand 

Red and blue clay with slight indications of 
oil 

Soft mud 

Sand r 

Soft mud 

Sand . 

Blue clay 

Coarse sand and shells 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



199 
4 

108 
4 
23 
35 
90 
30 
53 

107 
30 
80 

15 

20 
65 
50 
50 
50 
25 



Prom- 



Feet. 
1 , 037 

1,236 
1,240 
1 . 348 
1,352 
1,375 
1,410 
1,500 
1,530 
1,583 
1,690 
1,720 

1 , 800 
1,815 
1 . 835 
1,900 
1,950 
2,000 
2, 050 



To— 



Feet. 

1,236 
1,240 
1,348 
1 , 352 
1,375 
1,410 
1,500 
1,530 
1,583 
1,690 
1,720 
1,800 

1,815 
1,835 
1,900 
1,950 
2,000 
2,050 
2,075 



West and south of Spindletop wells have been drilled to depths 
ranging from 1,200 to 2,400 feet. None of these records are available, 
but in general the deposits drilled through were similar in character 
to those found in the wells along the north and northwestern edges of 
this lower field. All these wells have been abandoned, with the excep- 
tion of the Federal Crude. This latter well, which in June, 1902, 
reached a depth of 2,350 feet, passed through considerable quantities 
of gas between 2,000 and 2,100 feet. Between 2,200 and 2,350 the 
drill was in gray sandstone with shells and pyrites, with considerable 
gas. These claj^s and sandstones may possibly be an extension of the 
clays and sandstones found at Rockland and westward along the 
Neches River to Corrigan, in Polk County, and form the floor on which 
the beds grouped as the Coastal Plain formations were laid down. 

This well is the most important one drilling on the western side of 
the field. It is located in an almost direct line along the course of 
the Spindletop anticline and may be expected to decide the question 
as to the conditions under which the oil-bearing rocks occur in their 
westward extension. 



HAYES AND"] 
KENNEDY. J 



REGION SURROUNDING SPINDLETOP. 



103 



LIST OF WELLS. 

Dry and abandoned icells in region surrounding Spindletop poolL 
[May 31, 1903.] 



Name. 



Carroll 

Caswell 

Pear Orchard 

Harby 

Swartz 

Almaden 

El Beaumont 

Texas and California 

Temple-Beaumont 

Texas Western 



Bayou City 

Allyne 

Texas and Pacific 

Maskamp 

Garrick 

Kiser-Kelly 

Treadway 

West Texas 

Warren 

Chicago Crude 

Slaughter-Masterson 

Beaumont and Los Angeles 

Beaumont and El Paso 

Beaumont and Pacific Slope 

Grace . 

Bryan Heard 

Buffalo 

Federal Crude 

Trenton Rock 

Southern Pacific 

Neches 

Spangler 

Roby 

Big Jumbo 

Stribling 

Gtober No. 1 



Location. 



Beaumont 

Caswell tract 

J. Garrison tract . - . 

Jas. Chaison tract 

J. D. Polk. Bullock league . _ . 

Henry Lewis. Bullock league 

Iowa Colony . 

do 

...do .'. 

__do 

Block 15, Bullock league ___■_. 
East side of Bullock league 
Block 28, Bullock league _ . 

Iowa Colony 

Block 33, Bullock league 

Block 15, Veatch league 

Block 6, Veatch league 

Block 30, Veatch league 

Block 31, Bullock league 

_.do 

Block 21 , Veatch league 

Block 2 . Veatch league . . 

Block 21 , Veatch league 

Block 113, Veatch league 

Block 111 , Veatch league _ _ 
Block 132, Veatch league. . 

James Rowe tract 

J. Douthet survey 

..do . 

...do 

Railroad right of way _ 

Block 9, Spindletop 

Block 10, Spindletop 

Block 8, Spindletop 

Block 7, Spindletop 

Block 44, Spindletop 

Block 42, Spindletop . . . 



104 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 
Dry and abandoned wells in region surrounding Spindletop pool — Continued. 






No. 

on 

map 



38 
39 
40 
41 
42 
43 
44 
45 
46 
47 
48 
49 
50 
51 



Name. 



United States . . 
Hebert . . 

McFaddin Oil and (las 
.do 

Island 

McCluer No. 1 

McCluerNo. 2 

Acme Oil and Fuel Co . 

Queen of Waco 

Madeline 

Gravier 

Sanger 

Walker 

I >ecker 



( '.Mil ml 



Location. 



East end of Spindletop 

Humphrey's league 

Lot 144, Humphrey's league .. . 

Block 31 . W. Carrol league 

Smith Island 

Humphrey's league 

do . 

Veatch league 

Block 1 1 . Veatch league 

Block 103, Gladys ... 

Stephenson league, Orange County . 

D. Easley . . _ . 

do 

South half Stephenson league, Or- 
ange County. 

3 miles south of Lucas 



Depth. 
Feet. 

2, loo 
2, 000 
1,500 
1.500 
1,500 
1,170 
1,878 
2,160 



1,500 
1,500 



1,200 



315 



PORT ARTHUR-SABINE PASS DISTRICT. 

This district includes an ill-defined region on 1 he Gulf coast around 
and between the two towns named and extending sonic distance into 
the Gulf. Although several test wells have been put down to moder- 
ate depths, no producing territory has yet been developed, and the 
chief promise in the district is afforded by Iho so-called "oil ponds" 
in the Gulf and the undoubted presence of oil in the mud at the 
mouth of the Sabine River. 

OIL PONDS. 

Situated a short distance offshore and within 3 miles west of the 
mouth of the Sabine are two small oval areas less than a mile in 
longer diameter, in which the water is always relatively smooth. The 
approximate size and location of these areas are shown on the accom- 
panying map, fig. 4. This peculiarity of the water in these areas, 
but particularly the westernmost of the two, has been known to local 
pilots, fishermen, and others for many years. It is stated on reliable 
authority that no matter how hsavy the sea may be on surrounding 
portions of the Gulf, within these restricted areas it never breaks, and 
this fact is constantly taken advantage of by coasting vessels, which 
find here a safe anchorage during storms. The commonly accepted 
explanation of this peculiarity, among sailors and others, is that oil 



HAYES AND"] 
KENNEDY. J 



PORT ARTHUR-SABINE PASS DISTRICT. 



105 



coming from submarine springs spreads over the surface of the water 
for a short distance around the vents, and thus prevents the waves 
breaking. So widespread is this view that accounts of these "oil 
ponds " are common in the literature relating to the use of oil on the 
water during storms at sea. It does not appear, however, that any 
oil film has ever been observed on the surface of these portions of the 
Gulf, and the commonly accepted explanation merely rests on an 
inference from the observed effect of oil artificially applied. 

Dr. A\ r . I>. Phillips" accepts the facts above stated, but offers another 
explanation, namely, that the quiet water is due not to oil, but to the 
presence upon the Gulf bottom of very fine mud containing a large 
amount of decayed organic matter which is stirred up by the waves 




Fig. 4. — Map of Sabine Pass, showing location of so-called oil ponds. 

and produces the same effect as oil spread upon the surface. Quoting 
Dr. Phillips's words: 

The true explanation of the so-called oil pond appears to be as follows: The bot- 
tom of the sea there is composed, for the most part, of a thick black mud in which 
are embedded various animal and vegetable remains. Under the incipient decom- 
position that is nearly always in progress in such material, substances of a more 
or less oily nature are formed. The absorption or segregation of oil by means of 
certain diatoms may also have contributed to the presence of oily substances in 
the ooze. When this mass becomes stirred up by wave action and diffuses itself 
through the water, rising even to the surface, the roughness of the water is affected 

"Texas petroleum: Bull. Univ. Texas No. 5, July, 1900. 



106 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. i 

in a manner comparable with the action of oil. The soundings in the so-called oil 
pond, according to Chart No. 203 of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, 
vary from 4 to 16 feet, while outside of the shallow water the depth increases to: 
20 and 25 feet, the 5-fathom curve lying about a mile to the south. The oil-pond 
area is then a sort of terrace, the bottom of which is soft black mud and ooze, j 
At one place on the chart a rocky bottom is marked, but this lies outside the area 
known as ' ' the pond ' ' and is between the present pond and the site of the old 
pond. Waves beating upon a terrace laid in material which from its very nature 
is more or less oily, or contains substances which would act in a manner compar- 
able with that of oil, would seem to present the true explanation of the calmness 
of the area under discussion. 

It may be said in objection to this explanation that these areas of 
calm water do not appear to be intimately connected with any pecul-i 
iarity in the topography of the Gulf bottom, or with the character of 
the material of which it is formed, or with the special abundance ort; 
peculiarity in the forms of animal or vegetable organisms living there. 
On the contrary, precisely the same conditions in all these respects) 
characterize the Gulf coast for many miles, and if they are sufficient 
to produce calm watar at one or two points they should produce thel 
same effect along the entire coast. An essential feature which must' 
be accounted for by any satisfactory explanation is the extremely 
local character of the quiet spots and their persistence for many years, 
practically unchanged, although it appears that the location of the 
western area was permanently shifted some distance to the east dur-| 
ing the great storm of 1878. 

Whether or not these areas of calm water are due to the presence 
of oil must for the present, therefore, remain an open question; but, 
at any rate, some other explanation than that offered by Dr. Phillips 
must be found. Although the presence of oil in these so-called oil 
ponds has not been proved, there is no question of its occurrence in 
the immediate vicinity. At various points along the west jetty at the 
mouth of the Sabine River oil globules may be obtained by stirring 
the mud to a depth of 6 to 10 feet. This localhty was examined by 
Dr. Phillips, and again by his assistants, and he expresses the conclu- 
sion in the report above quoted that the oil there found was derived 
from the Beaumont field; that it had been carried down the Neclies 
River, or Hildebrands Bayou, and had accumulated in the angle 
between the west jetty and the shore, becoming finally entangled with 
the mud. The possibility of this origin for the oil at the mouth of 
the Sabine was thoroughly examined by the writers, and it is not 
believed possible that it could have been derived from such a source. 

Anyone familiar with the behavior of oil upon the surface of water* 
will appreciate the difficulties of the explanation given by Dr. Phillips. 
Oil tends to spread out in a thin film, in which condition it is subject 
to rapid evaporation, and is thus quickly dissipated. Moreover, beinj 
lighter than water, and having the tendency, owing to its surface ten- 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



PORT ARTHUR-SABINE PASS DISTRICT. 107 



sion, of spreading in a thin film, it could scarcely sink to the bottom 
and become entangled in mud to the depth at which it is now found. 
Again, the oil is found only along the west jetty, whereas, if it had 
floated down the river it should be found in equal or greater quanti- 
ties along the east jetty, owing to the direction of the prevailing winds 
and currents. Finally, while the chief attention has been attracted 
to it since the discovery of the Beaumont field, it is reported on good 
authority that the oil was observed while the jetties were being con- 
structed, many years before it could possibly have been derived from 
Beaumont. 

The conclusion appears inevitable, therefore, that the oil is either 
indigenous in the mud forming the Gulf bottom, or, if derived from 
any extraneous source, that this source is the underlying beds. It is 
of course possible that it has been formed in place, through chemical 
or organic agencies, chiefly by living diatoms, as suggested by Dr. 
Phillips in the report above quoted. While he does not state his con- 
clusion explicitly, he apparently inclines to the view that while the 
oil actually found is derived from the Beaumont field, oil of similar 
character may be secreted by the diatoms living in the mud. In order 
to determine this point numerous samples of mud were collected at 
various places in the vicinity, from the surface, at different depths 
of water, and from a considerable depth below the surface. These 
were submitted for chemical and microscopical study to Dr. Harold 
J. Turner, of Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Turner's results are 
here given in full: 

EXAMINATION OF MUD FROM GULF OF MEXICO. 
By H. J. Turner. 

"In the plasma" of certain species of diatoms numerous minute 
globules of oil are contained. They are distributed irregularly 
through the body. In the genera Navicula and Pleurosigma the 
globules are relatively large, and in Navicula most numerous. Under 
the microscope the globules of oil in the body of the diatom strike the 
eye at once by their great refraction of the light. The fatty nature 
of the globule is shown by its immediately turning dark upon stain- 
ing with osmic acid, as was first pointed out by Schultze. 6 Diatoms 
are plants, and build up their organic structure under the influence 
of light from carbon dioxide and water. Starch and sugar are not 
formed, and it may well be that the oil is the first product of assimila- 
tion. Both Li'iders'' and Pfitzer'' have observed that the fatt}^ oil is 

«E. Pfitzer, Ban mid Entwickmng der Baoillariaceen, in J. Hanstein's Botanische Abhand- 
lung, 1871, p. :«. 
bSchultze, Bewegung der Diatomen, p. 874. 
c Liiders, Beobaehtung, n. s. w., p. 42. 
^Pfitzer, Hanstein's Botanische Abhandlung, p. 34. 



108 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

accumulated especially at the time wheu the cells are existing under 
unfavorable conditions, as when they are contained in a basin of 
water in a room. When the water in the basin is renewed, and con- 
sequently the oxygen also, the oil is largely reabsorbed in the plasma 
of the diatom. 

"In a recent investigation Kraemer and Spilker" have suggested 
that in the oil of diatoms petroleum may have its origin. They worked 
upon some material to which the name ' Seeschilck' (sea slime, ooze) 
has been applied. The material occurs in Uckermark, a subdivision 
of Prussia, north of Berlin. It underlies a peat bog and reaches the 
depth of more than 40 feet. To the hand it has a somewhat fatty feel. 
The mass contains 90 per cent water, which dries out slowly in the 
air. The material is rich in nitrogen, containing more than 3 per 
cent; and it is used both for fertilizing purposes and for the extrac- 
tion of ammonia on a large scale. Under the microscope the ooze is 
seen to consist principally of diatoms, such, for example, as species of 
Navicula, Melosira, and Pleurosigma. Upon extracting the dried 
mass with hot benzine and crystallizing the material obtained from 
alcohol, a crystalline product melting at 75° C. is obtained. The 
residue, insoluble in alcohol, closely resembles paraffin oil obtained 
fro in certain petroleums. 

"By treating the ooze with 5 per cent hydrochloric acid (by which 
operation about one-half of the weight is lost as hydrocarbons, 
organic acids, etc.) and drying the insoluble portion, there was 
obtained on the average 3.0 per cent of diatom wax which could 
hardly be distinguished from ozocerite. It had a black color, a fatty 
luster, an asphalt fracture, melted between 50° and 70° C, and con- 
tained 0.97 per cent sulphur. Upon combustion it yielded 73.5 per 
cent carbon, 11.2 percent l^drogen, and some oxygen. By investi- 
gating various specimens of ozocerite Kraemer and Spilker found thai 
the diatom wax had closely similar properties and they argue a com- 
mon origin of the two. They suggest that the diatom is an agency in 
the formation of petroleum. The minute oil globules contained in 
the plasma of the diatom may be the origin of some T)etroleum. 

"The region where is found the mud yielding the oil is on the mar- 
gin of the Gulf of Mexico near Sabine Pass, immediately west of the 
west jett} r and about 3,200 feet from its landward end, at the point 
marked 'F' on the accompanying map. The mud is thick and black. 
It appears to be composed of thoroughly macerated organic matter 
mixed with grains of silica. The shells form only a very small part 
of the whole. By stirring the mud to a depth of 3 to 4 feet abundant 
globules of oil, 1 to 4 mm. in diameter, rise to the surface and there 
break. It appears that the number of globules increases as the depth 
of the mud which is stirred becomes greater. The strata of mud 



«Ber. Deutsch. chem. G-esell., vol. 82, 1899, p. 2940. 






HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



POKT ARTHUR-SABINE PASS DISTRICT. 109 



upon which rests the mat upon which the jetty is constructed yield 
the most oil. The oil is not equally distributed, but is more abun- 
dant at some points than at others, being most abundant at the edge 
of the mat. It is reported that the workmen observed oil in the mud 
at the time the jetty was constructed. 

"A sample of 2 cc. of this oil was collected under great difficulties, 
as the globules break on reaching the surface of the water. From 
it the oil was extracted with ether. Upon evaporation of the ether a 
thick black oil was obtained, possessing not a disagreeable odor, and 
much thicker than crude Beaumont oil. An attempt was made to 
compare it with Beaumont oil by violently shaking a sample of the 
latter with mud and sea water at intervals for three days, distilling 
with steam for two hours, and extracting with ether. The residual 
oil still possessed its characteristic odor, though not so marked, and 
it was not as thick as the oil collected from the mud. It did not seem 
possible to identify other oil from the mud with the Beaumont oil. 

"The various samples of mud were carefully examined for oil. 
Each sample was repeatedly extracted with redistilled ether. The 
extracts, after evaporation of the ether, yielded a very thin film of a 
greenish-yellow residue containing sulphur. A blank determination 
showed that the method was capable of extracting a globule of oil about 
3 mm. in diameter after it had been thoroughly worked into the mud. 
Two samples, Nos. 109 and 114, yielded trace of oil. The other sam- 
ples were free of oil. The presence of sulphur is not unusual in dark- 
colored muds, arising as it does from the decomposition of organic 
material. 

"The salt-water diatoms multiply very rapidly, and their shells 
would in time fill up the tropical seas were in not for their enemies, 
which devour them in enormous numbers. The region in the Gulf of 
Mexico, whence were obtained the samples of muds, is not especially 
favorable for the accumulation of diatoms, judging from the number 
of diatoms actually found in the mud. Many species of diatoms 
belonging to the various genera, namely Navicula, Pleiirosigmn, 
Rhoicosigma, Mellosira, and Coscinodiscus, were found in the sam- 
ples. The species of Navicula and Pleurosigma are the most numer- 
ous. Of the entire mass only a very small fraction consists of diatom 
shells. The mud consists largely of thoroughly macerated organic 
material mixed with grains of silica. A 10 per cent hydrochloric 
acid produced just a slight effervescence. 

"The microscopical and chemical examination of the samples of 
mud gave the following results : 

No. 105. Collected 6 feet below the surface, which was covered by 4 feet of water 
at mean tide, on beach, at point marked "A" on map. Few whole 
diatom shells; no living diatoms: no oil. 

No. 106. Collected 30 feet below surface at same place as No. 105. Few pieces of 
broken shells. No living diatoms; no oil. 



110 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

No. 107. Collected 18 feet below surface and 171 feet below tide level, on beach, 
at "B." Same as No. 106. 

No. 108. Collected 30 feet below surface, at same place as No. 107. Same as No. 
107. 

No. 109. Collected from surface, uncovered at low tide, west of west jetty, Sabine 
Pass, about 600 feet from landward end, at "C." This sample con- 
sists of two kinds of mud, one black, the other greenish-yellow in 
color. In the dark-colored mud the shells were numerous. The 
greenish-yellow mud was plentifully supplied with diatom shells and 
contained living diatoms of the species Navicula and Pleurosigma. 
The entire sample of 115 grams yielded a trace of oil. The sample 
was from mud showing oily film on surface. 

No. 110. Collected 5 feet below surface, in same place as No. 109. Many shells; 
no living diatoms; no oil. 

No. 111. Collected 6.8 feet below surface, expjosed at extremely low tide, 200 feet 
west of west jetty, 3,500 feet from its landward end, at "D." Few 
shells; no diatoms; no oil. 

No. 112. Collected 6 feet below surface, which is covered at mean low tide, 300 
feet west of west jetty, 5,500 feet from its landward end, at "'E." 
Same as No. 111. 

No. 114. Collected 4 feet below surface, covered by 2 feat of water, at mean low 
tide, west of west jetty, 3,200 feet from its landward end, at i 'F.' , 
Shells no more numerous than in No. 111. 100 grams of mud yielded 
a trace of oil. 

No. 115. Collected 10 feet below the surface, which is covered by a few inches of 
water at low tide, 250 feet east of east jetty, 50 feet from edge of 
marsh, at " G." Few whole shells; no living diatoms; no oil. 

No. 1 1<>. ( lollected at surface, same place as No. 115. Few shells; living diatoms 
present; no oil. 

No. 117. Collected 2 feet below surface covered by 9^ feet of water, 6,000 feet 
west of west jetty, at " H." No living diatoms: some shells; no oil. 

"Diatom shells are found in all the samples, but they are not abun- 
dant in a single one. They are, however, more abundant in samples 
Nos. 109 and 116 than in any of the others. Both of these samples 
were collected from the surface of the mud, while all the others were 
collected from below it. In each of the samples collected from 2 to 8 
feet below the surface, i. e., Nos. Ill, 112, 114, 115, and 117, a few 
shells are found. The shells are least abundant in samples Nos. 100, 
107, and 108, which were collected from 18 to 30 feet below the surface 
along the shore. 

"Living diatoms were found in the two samples taken at the sur- 
face, Nos. 109 and 110, but they were absent from all the samples 
which had been collected below the surface of the mud. The com- 
pact nature of the mud, which prevents free circulation of water 
and consequent renewal of the oxygen, is inimical to the existence of 
the diatoms. 

"The samples of mud were free of oil, except samples Nos. 109 and 
114. The latter is the mud from which the oil globules rise when 
stirred, and the occurrence of the oil in No. 109 is doubtless to be 
attributed to the same cause as will account for that in No. 114. The 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



PORT ARTHUR-SABINE PASS DISTRICT. Ill 



samples of mud which were collected 2 and 9 feet below the surface 
were free of living diatoms. The quantity of shells contained in the 
mud was small in comparison with the total contents of the mud. 

" With these facts before us it does not seem possible to explain the 
occurrence of the oil in the black mud as arising from the action of 
diatoms. It can not be attributed to the segregation of oil by living 
diatoms, because of their entire absence from the mud; nor can it 
have its origin in diatoms buried in the mud in the past, because of 
the small number of shells present; and, lastly, as regards its contents 
of diatoms, the mud from which the oil rises is not different from the 
mud at various places near by, which show no traces of oil." 

The results of this investigation by Dr. Turner, while not absolutely 
conclusive, indicate that some other source for this oil must be sought 
than the diatoms. Since, as shown above, it is entirely improbable 
that the oil was derived from Beaumont by floating upon the surface 
of the water, the only other source assignable is from the underlying 
strata. It does not necessarily follow, even if this is the case, that 
this region is underlain by a commercial deposit of petroleum, but the 
indications are sufficiently favorable to warrant thorough exploration 
by means of the drill. The most favorable indications arc afforded 
within the region lying between the quarantine station and the 
outer end of the west jetty and thence westward for a quarter of a 
mile. 

It is a fact which may be worthy of note that this locality is inter- 
sected by a straight line passing through the Vinton and Sulphur dis- 
tricts in Louisiana, both of which, as will be described later, show 
favorable indications of oil. The relations of these several localities 
are shown on the map, PI. VII (p. 144). 

SEA WAX. 

In connection with the so-called oil ponds may be mentioned a 
peculiar substance called sea wax, which is frequently found along 
the Gulf beach from the Sabine to Corpus Christi. This sea wax is 
reported to have been found in cakes as large as or 8 feet in length 
and an inch or two in thickness. The chemical composition of this 
material has been determined by Dr. A. L. Watz, of Tulane Univer- 
sity, his results being given in full by Dr. Phillips in the report above 
cited. This sea wax is undoubtedly a petroleum residuum or an 
asphaltum. The cakes have traces of concentric structure, as though 
the material had spread out in all directions from the source of supply 
at the center, where it is slightly thicker than elsewhere. The source 
of this material is not known, and it may have nothing whatever to 
do with the oil ponds, but its presence is at least suggestive and points 
to the existence of springs of liquid bitumen somewhere in the Gulf, 
and to that extent supports the theory that the oil ponds are actually 



112 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



due to the escape at these points of petroleum from the underlying j 
beds. 

WELL RECORDS. 

Some prospecting has been done in this district, but thus far no 
producing territory has been developed, although traces of oil have 
been found. All the wells thus far drilled have been relatively shal- 
low, and they have not exhausted the possibilities even in their imme- 
diate vicinity. Owing to the southeastward dip of the Coastal Plain 
formations the oil-bearing horizons must be sought at considerably 
greater depth in this district than at Beaumont. 

Two wells have been drilled on Hildebrands Bayou, on the Grange 
league, one at Nederland, one at Port Arthur, and three at Sabine 
Pass, all of which have been abandoned. The sections shown by 
these wells are more uniform than is usually the case in the Coastal 
Plain formations. The following may be taken as typical: 

Log of Port Arthur Oil t 'ompany's well, 2\ miles west of Port Arthur. 
| Elevation, about 25 feet.] 



( lharacter oJ si rata. 



11) 
11 
12 
13 

II 
i:> 

Hi 



Blue surface clay 

Wet blue sand 

Dry white sand 

Blue clay 

Dry sancL 

Blue clay 

Whitish-yellow wet sand 

Dry sand 

Hard blue clay 

Sand with a little oil 

Hard blue clay 

Bluish wet sand 

Blue clay 

Wet sand 

Sand and clay 

Conglomerate of sand, mud, and clay 



Thickness. 



Feet. 
87 
22 

182 
40 
70 
40 
25 
30 

227 
H 
53f 

148 
45 
30 

119 

140 



From- 



Vert. 


87 
109 
291 
331 
401 
441 
466 
496 
723 
724 \ 
778 
926 
971 
1,001 
1.120 



To 



Feet. 

87 

109 

291 

331 

401 

441 

466 

496 

723 

TZU. 

778 

926 

971 

1.001 

1,120 

1,260 



At Sabine Pass four wells have been drilled within a radius of 5 
miles. In general the section shown by these wells consists of alter- 
nate beds of blue clay and sand, the heavy blue clays predominating. 
Three were drilled in prospecting for petroleum and the fourth for 
the purpose of supplying water to the hotel at Sabine Pass. The 
following section may be taken as typical of the four: 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. . 



SOUR LAKE DISTRICT. 



113 



Log of Texas Oil Company's well on the B. F. Howard league, Jefferson Count//, 

Tex. , 3 miles west of Sabine Pass. 

[Elevation, about 15 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Blue and yellow clay 

Dark quicksand 

Blue clay 

Blue clay with asphalt 

Blue and yellow clay with oil at bottom 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Bluish-black sand 

Blue clay 

Coarse white sand 

Blue clay and sand 

Sand, clay, and shells. . . 



Thickness. 


From— 


Feet. 


Feet. 


170 





130 


170 


430 


300 


33 


730 


236 


763 


2 


999 


38 


1,001 


17 


1 , 039 


2 


1,056 


77 


1,058 


155 


1,135 


96 


1 , 390 



To- 



Feet. 

170 

300 

730 

763 

999 

1,001 

1,039 

1,056 

1 , 058 

1 , 135 

1 , 390 

1,486 



Petroleum in small quantities showed in the sand No. 12, and it is 
claimed there was enough gas to lift the casing a few inches. The 
sand was very fine and flowed easily. It filled the well casing in a 
few hours to a height of 300 feet. 

In the German- American Oil Company's well the sand No. 12 of 
above section was underlain by yellow clay and gravel to a depth of 
60 feet. In the Coast Ridge well wood was found in the sand No. 10 
at a depth of 1,120 feet. The hotel well gave abundance of salt water 
at 1,061 feet. 

The limestone and sandstones so prevalent in the upper portion of 
the section in the Beaumont district do not appear in any of these 
wells. It may be inferred from this either that the sandstones have 
a dip sufficiently steep to carry them below the bottom of these wells, 
or that they thin out toward the southeast and are replaced by uncon- 
solidated sands. The differences in the sections at Beaumont and 
Sabine are probably due to both of these causes. 

SOUR LAKE DISTRICT. 
LOCATION AND HISTORY. 

This district is located in Hardin County, about 8 miles north of 
the Southern Pacific Railroad station Sour Lake, and about 20 miles 
a little north of west from Beaumont. The occurrence of oil and 
asphalt in this district has been known since the earliest settlement 
of the country. The first published account is in Wall's work on 
the asphalt deposits of Trinidad. At several points the surface of 
the ground is covered with asphaltum, evidently a residuum from 
petroleum, which in small quantities still reaches the surface. Con- 
siderable quantities of inflammable gas also reach the surface along 
with the oil and with the sulphur water which supplies the lake. 

Bull. 212—03—8 



114 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

Practically nothing- was done looking to the development of this 
district until 1803, when the prospecting for oil then in progress at 
Beaumont induced several parties to prospect this field, without, how- 
ever, discovering any commercial deposits of oil. In 1895 the Savage 
Brothers drilled several small wells which gave so much promise that 
in the following year W. B. Sharp put down a well for the Trinity 
Lubricating Company, of Dallas. This company also commenced the 
erection of a small refinery, but the well not producing sufficient oil 
and there being no prospect of purchasing anj^ from other sources, 
the work was abandoned. 

In 1808 a Galveston company, known as the Gulf Coast Refining 
Company, with a capital of $25,000, was formed for the purpose of 




FlG. 5.— Index map showing location of Sour Lake and Saratoga oil pools. 

operating in the Sour Lake district. A refinery having a daily 
capacity of 100 barrels was erected and a contract entered into with 
the Savage Brothers by which they were to supply the crude petro- 
leum at the rate of not less than 100 barrels daily. A 2-inch pipe line 
a half mile in length was laid to connect the wells with the refinery. 
It was the intention of the company to manufacture lubricating oil 
only. After about 500 barrels of crude oil had been produced and 
shipped in that condition, chiefly for experimental work, the Savage 
Brothers defaulted in their contract and the works of the company, 
including a completed refinery, were abandoned. The Savage and 
Sharp wells were drilled only to a depth of about 250 feet, and, 
although they yielded small quantities of petroleum, were not con- 
sidered successful or sufficiently promising to warrant further pros- 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY 



D ] SOUR LAKE DISTRICT. 115 



pecting. With the discovery of the Beaumont oil pool in 1901 there 
was renewed activity in prospecting in the Sonr Lake district. Ten 
companies have put down wells in this district, of which three have 
been successful in obtaining petroleum in commercial quantities. 
The Sour Lake district, as shown on the map (fig. 5), includes an oval 
area measuring about 6 miles in length and 1 to 5 miles in width. 



" Scale 

Hammond No I iooo o iooo 



Hammond No2 



y 



i o . 



tfPy y Derrick 



r0*>' • 



Guffe/Nol ^y> Livingston 



Jy 



*+s 



&■ 



y 



y ^-^SourJLake + Oldwell_^ ^ 

.C^fO +0ld well = jp 



y Sour wells 



4- • 

Old well Atlantic and Pacific V? r=r 



£zt*K A = 



V \ NO I 

♦Sour Lake Hotel v 

1 $ =y 

Great Western© ~^Ez. y ^ 

Sour Lake Oil Co»^**=*^r ° Derrick 

M^ — 
^c!^ Old Refinery 

,,c^ © 

°>^ Coast Ridge 

f^ ' o 

^y Derrick 



Fn;. (J. Map of Sour Lake district. 

The general course of its longer axis is approximately southwest and 
northeast. This territory has been as yet very imperfectly explored, 
but from indications afforded by the wells thus far drilled it is alto- 
gether probable that the productive. territory will be greatly resl ricted 
and found to form a pool similar in form and extent to the Spindle- 
top pool. The limits given on the accompanying map are very 
largely hypothetical. 



116 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



WELL RECORDS. 

The first deep well drilled in this field was the Guffey No. 1, located 
on the Stephen Jackson league, about 2,000 feet north of the hotel 
and lake. This well was drilled to a depth of 1,100 feet, and yields 
the following section: 

Log of Guffey well No. 1, Sour Lake, Hardin County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 90 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Yellow sand. 
Oil in clay_ . 
Clay 
S; ni<l 

Shale 

Oil sand _ _ 

Shale. . 

Rock_. 

Rock, shale, and gumbo 

Oil sand 

Gumbo 

Oil sand and gas 

Sand and gas __•__. 
Third gas sand 
Sand and oil 



Thickness. From 



Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


40 





40 


10 


40 


50 


100 


50 


150 


125 


150 


275 


4 


275 


279 


21 


270 


300 


830 


300 


630 


35 


630 


665 


125 


665 


790 


20 


790 


810 


6 


810 


816 


6 


816 


822 


2 


822 


824 


40 


824 


864 


30 


864 


900 



To— 



The log is not complete, the well having reached a depth of 1,400 
feet. 

This well encountered considerable quantities of oil at various 
horizons, notably at 1,100, 1,250, and 1,400 feet, where drilling was 
stopped. Small quantities of salt water were also encountered at 
various levels, and at 822 feet gas was met with in such quantities 
as to blow out the drill and a large quantity of sand, mud, rock, and 
water, which seriously delayed the drilling operations. This well 
lias a strong flow of oil from the fine sand at a depth of 1,400 feet. 

Twenty-five hundred feet southeast of this well, and close to the 
location of one of the old Savage wells, the Atlantic and Pacific Oil 
Company has drilled two wells about 700 feet in deptli which have 
developed a strong flow of oil. Several oil-bearing horizons were 
found in the drilling, some of which are doubtless of commercial 
importance. 

The following logs of the Atlantic and Pacific well No. 2 and of the 
Sour Lake Springs Company well No. 1 were supplied by the driller, 
Mr. N. Sinclair. These logs are interesting and valuable from the 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY 



"I 



SOUR LAKE DISTRICT. 



117 



fact that both have been drilled near the center of this field and 
almost directly between the Guffey No. 1 and Sour Lake Oil Com- 
pany's well No. 1. 

Condensed log of Atlantic and Pacific well No. 2 
[Elevation, 100 feet.] 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 


From— 


To— 






Feet. 


Feet. 


Feet. 


1 


Mostly sand with gravel and bowlders 


170 


1 


170 


2 


Hard clay with beds of stones at intervals of 
about 6 feet; some oil in hard strata 


280 


170 


450 


3 


Hard clay 


110 


450 


560 


4 


Principally gumbo clay and hard limestone 
streaks about 5 feet thick 


40 


500 


600 


5 


Blue clay and gumbo with some hard strata 
of lime rocks and some gravel beds. . 


80 


000 


680 


6 


Streaks of oil sand and streaks of hard clay 
between 


45 


680 


725 









Log of the Sour Lake Springs Company's well No. 1. 



Character of strata. 



Coarse sand 

Clay and stones 

Sand . 

Hard clay, stone beds, and gravel 

Hard clay, gumbo strata of stones and gravel 
with gas and some oil 

Hard sandstone with good show of oil and 
gas; 8-inch casing on hard streak; oil from 
which would produce about 100 barrels per 
day (estimated) 

Blue clay and gumbo 

Oil sand and conglomerate rock of all kinds 
from the above depth. Well flowed out all 
the water and commenced flowing oil 
through 8-inch pipe, but choked 

Sand with strong gas flow 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



90 

50 

20 

140 

256 



14 
44 



From- 



Feet. 

1 

90 

140 

160 

300 



556 
570 



614 
630 



To- 



Feet. 

90 
140 
160 
300 

556 



570 
614 



630 

680 



This well choked at 630 feet, and although cleaned out and deepened 
to 680 feet does not now flow. 

The Sour Lake Oil Company's well is located about 1,800 feet south- 
east of the Atlantic and Pacific Company's well. This well is 1,500 
feet in depth, and during the course of the drilling hot sulphur water 
was encountered at several levels, the strongest flow being between 
900 and 960 feet. At 960 feet an oil-bearing horizon was encountered, 
and another one was found at 1,400 feet. Rock was drilled through 



118 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 213. 

between 900 and 1,000 feet and between 1,400 and 1,490 feet, the 
strata comprising a series of rock beds with seams of clay and bowl- 
ders. This well does not flow, but will supply a considerable quantity 
of oil under the pump. 

These are the only wells in the Sour Lake field showing oil in com- 
mercial quantities. A number of others have been drilled to depths 
between 1,000 and 2,000 feet and abandoned. About three-quarters 
of a mile northwest of the Guffey well the Hammond Oil Company 
drilled two wells, No. 1 to a depth of' 1,860 and the No. 2 to a depth 
of 1,000 feet. Neither of these wells found oil of any kind and both 
finished in clay. In the same region, on the Bridges survey, the 
Empire State Coal, Oil, and Iron Company abandoned its well at 
1,284 feet in a blue clay. About 4 miles southeast of the Sour Lake 
wells the Byrd syndicate found small seeps of oil at 1,370, 1,500, and 
1,020 feet, and developed a strong ail esian water flow at 1,900 feet, 
causing an abandonment of this well. Not more than 1,000 feet south 
of east from the Sour Lake Oil Company the Coast Ridge Oil Com- 
pany abandoned its well in a heavy sand at 600 feet, and on the 
southeast corner of the William Young league the Gold Thread Oil 
Company has suspended operations in a heavy blue clay at 450 feet. 

The Great Western Company is located not more than 300 feet north 
of the Sour Lake Oil Company's well, and the well has been aban- 
doned at a depth of about 600 feet. In drilling, heavy beds of a gray 
quicksand were encountered, together with strong flows of hot sulphur 
water. This water is stated to have a temperature of 100° F. when 
issuing from the casing. 

GEOLOGIC STRUCTURE. 

The Sour Lake district, as shown on the geologic map, PI. I, is 
located on the outcrop of the Village Creek sands. No fossils have 
been obtained from any of the wells thus far drilled, and it is there- 
fore impossible to make definite statements regarding the geologic 
horizon of the oil-bearing sands. It appears probable, however, that 
the principal productive horizon is the same as that at the Spindletop 
pool, although the character of the beds is different. Not enough 
drilling has yet been done in this district to determine its limits or 
its structure except in a very general way. The indications point' 
very strongly to an anticlinal or dome structure, similar to that of the 
Spindletop pool. The deformation appears to be less abrupt in this 
case, and it has influenced the surface contours only to a very slight i 
extent. There is, however, a slight elevation of the surface, but the 
plain is here less perfectly preserved than at Beaumont, and the 
presence of considerable timbered areas conceals to a large extent 
the surface elevation. 

On the whole the indications may be regarded as fairly favorable 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



SARATOGA DISTRICT. 119 



for the development of a productive pool in this district. Since the 
oil-bearing beds consist of fine, unconsolidated sand, instead of porous 
dolomite, as at Spindletop, the free flow of the latter pool need not be 
expected, but more or less difficulty will be experienced from the 
choking of the casing by sand. Some device for straining the oil as 
it enters the casing will doubtless be necessary. The chief unfavor- 
able feature of the district is the abundance of salt water encountered 
in several of the wells at various depths. Salt water may be expected 
beneath the oil in all the pools of this Coastal Plain region, and it 
will probably in every case invade the oil-bearing stratum as the oil 
is exhausted. Oil need not be looked for, however, in any bed at a 
lower level than it is found saturated with salt water. If it is found 
in a well which has previously passed through a salt-water horizon 
the two must be separated by an impervious stratum. In other words, 
wherever there is free circulation the oil will always be found above 
the salt water. 

SARATOGA DISTRICT. 
LOCATION AND HISTORY. 

This district is also located in Hardin County, about 12 miles nearly 
north of Sour Lake. The surface rocks are the Columbia beds, gen- 
erally soft sands, but containing also indurated sandstones, which 
outcrop in the vicinity of the hotel. This region is generally heavily 
timbered, and its surface forms a much less perfect plain than that 
underlain by the Beaumont clays, farther south. Hence if the dis- 
trict contains a dome-like elevation it can not be readily detected. 
The details of the topography are erosion al rather than constructional. 

The surface indications are here similar to those at Sour Lake, viz, 
oil springs giving rise to local accumulations of petroleum residuum 
or asphalt, and the escape of inflammable gases, associated with sul- 
phur waters. 

On the strength of these surface indications the Savage brothers 
in 1806 put down a well to a depth of about 250 feet, and obtained a 
small flow of oil, associated with water and gas. Although this well 
was abandoned as unsuccessful after collecting a few barrels of oil, it 
is still flowing small quantities of oil and water. A short time after 
this a second well was begun by W. P. Conroy, about half a mile 
south of the Savage well, at a localit} 7 where oil appears at the surface 
in several shallow holes, associated with sulphur water. After reach- 
ing a depth of about 120 feet the tools became stuck, and the well was 
abandoned. 

WELL RECORDS. 

Shortly after the development of the Beaumont field the prospecting 
in the district was renewed. The Saratoga Oil and Pipe Line Com- 



120 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull .212. 

pany located a well known as the Hooks No. 1 on the J. F. Oliver 
tract of the Maria Xinienes league — 2 on accompanying map, fig. 5, 
p. 114. This well gives the following section: 

Log of Hooks well No. 1, Saratoga, Hardin County, Tex. 
[Elevation, 100 feet..] 





Character of strata. 


Thickness. 

Feet. 
78 
95 
32 
53 

40 
3 

8 
9 
2 
8 
15 
5 

23 
51 

45 

4 

6 
4 

42 

15 

12 
8 

78 
2 

27 

8 

101 

3 

7 


From— 


To— 


1 


Sand 


Feet. 


78 
173 
205 
258 
205 
305 
308 
316 
325 
327 
335 
350 

355 

378 

429 
474 

478 
484 
488 

530 
545 
557 
565 
643 
645 
672 
680 
781 
784 


Feet. 

78 


9, 


Sand, oil, and water 


173 


8 


Hard blue and white clay_ 


205 


4 


Sand and oil _ _ _ _ _ 


258 


5 


White clay _ _ _ _ _ . 


265 


6 


Soft blue clay 


305 


7 
8 


Rock. . _ _ 

Sand or soft rock. . . . 


308 
316 


9 

10 


Rock, with gas at 325 

Hard rock . 


325 
327 


11 
12 


Gumbo .... 

Sand rock ... 


335 
350 


13 


Blue clay and shale . 


355 


14 


Sand cement; small streams of oil, first after 
325. Oil shows in all formations to this 
depth 


378 


15 
16 


Gravel, becoming coarser and changing from 
white to black toward bottom, and gumbo . 

Mostly gumbo, with small layers of very hard 
material, but no oil 


429 

474 


17 

18 

19 


Blue clay 

Sandstone, with oil of golden color; rock be- 
comes softer and gradually turns to sand. . . 

Sand; oil flows between 478 and 488 . . 


478 

484 
488 


20 
21 


Sandstone and blue clay in thin layers 

Blue clay; water from 475 and oil from 500 
feet, but not in large quantities. No gas 
below 500 feet 


530 
545 


22 


Hard clay or soft rock 


557 


23 


Hard rock _. . 


565 


24 
25 
26 


Streaks of clay and rock . _ ; 

Very hard rock, with some oil - . 
Clay .... 


643 
645 
672 


27 


Sand rock, with oil . _ ._ 


680 


28 


Blue clay, with bowlders 


781 


29 


Lime rock 


784 


30 


Blue clay _ . 


791 



HAY 

KEN 



f N S EnY D ] SARATOGA DISTRICT. 121 

Log of Hooks well No. 1, Saratoga, Hardin County, Tex. — Continued. 



31 
32 
33 
34 
35 
36 
37 
38 
39 
40 
41 
42 
43 
44 
45 
46 



Character of strata. 



Lime rock, with gas under rock 

Blue clay 

Hard shale with oil 

Hard shale 

Shale and bowlders 

Clay 

Hard rock 

Soft blue clay 

Hard lime rock 

Solid rock 

Soft blue shale 

Limestone 

Shale and loose rock 

Hard rock 

Oil, sand, loose rock, and shells 
Rock to bottom not penetrated . 



Thickness. 



Feet. 



Froru- 



3 

46 
30 
22 

8 
8 



Feet. 
791 
794 
840 
870 
892 
900 
908 
915 
920 
921 
933 
940 
943 
960 
965 
994 



To— 



Feet. 



794 
840 
870 
892 
900 
908 
915 
920 
921 
933 
940 
943 
960 
965 
994 
995 



As will be observed from the above log, this well encountered oil- 
bearing beds at frequent intervals. almost from the surface. Some of 
these undoubtedly contain oil in sufficient quantity to be of commer- 
cial importance. The last bed passed through consists of soft sand, 
with hard rock above and below. A 4-J-inch strainer is used to keep 
the sand from flowing in and choking the well. When first closed off 
the gage shows a pressure of 83 pounds, which gradually rises to 127 
pounds, where it remains stationary. The flow of oil is intermittent, 
and is estimated at about 500 barrels daily. 

The same company has another well drilling — Hooks No. 2 — about 
half a mile south of well No. 1 and within a short distance of the old 
Conroy well. In this well, No. 2, the gas pressure is much heavier 
than in No. 1, and one blowout has already taken place. A fair 
showing of oil was encountered at a depth of 600 feet, accompanied by 
much gas. 

The Libbie well is located about 3 miles to the west of the two 
Hooks wells, in the Pine Islands Bayou flats. To a depth of some- 
thing over 700 feet it has shown no indications of oil. 

About 1| miles southeast of the Hooks No. 2 is the Texas Geyser 
well. No log is obtainable, but it is reported to have reached a depth 
of 1,700 feet without finding any indications of oil. 

The four wells above noted are not sufficient to define the limits of 
the Saratoga oil pool, and the limits given on the accompanying map 



122 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

are largely hypothetical. The limits will, however, probably fall 
somewhere within those given. Also nothing can be stated regarding 
the structure of the field, except that in all probability it is similar to 
that in other parts of this region which are better known. 

The indications are that a highly productive pool will be developed, 
in which the conditions will be very similar to those in the Sour Lake 
district. 

HIGH ISLAND DISTRICT. 
LOCATION AND TOPOGRAPHY. 

This district is located about midway between Sabine Pass and 
Galveston, on the Gulf shore. The so-called island is a small elevated 
area entirely surrounded by the coast marsh. As shown on the accom- 
panying map (fig. 7), its outline is nearly circular except for an 
embajnnent on its southern margin. It is about 1^ miles in diameter 
and contains somewhat over 2,000 acres. The surface of the island 
is slightly undulating and its highest portion has an elevation of 48 
feet above tide. At the base of the rather abrupt slopes around the 
eastern and northern portions of the island is a belt of firm ground 
called the "second bench," whose surface is only a few feet above the 
surrounding marsh. 

High Island has for many years been noted as a summer resort, and 
its mineral waters have considerable local reputation. No fresh 
water occurs on the island and the supplies for drinking purposes are 
derived from the rainfall. No fewer than twelve wells, distributed 
over the island and around its base, were drilled some years ago in an 
unsuccessful attempt to obtain a supply of fresh water. These wells 
vary in depth from 120 to 350 feet. The materials encountered con- 
sist of clay, sand, and fine gravel, with logs of cypress wood and in 
one case a few inches of limestone, at 275 feet in well No. 4. Either 
rock salt or si pong brine was found at the following depths: In No. 4 
at 2G0 feet, in No. 7 at 203 feet, in No. 8 at 142 feet, in No. at 193 
feet, in No. 10 at 170 feet, in No. 11 at 193 feet, and in No. 12 at 165 
feet. These wells are located in the central and southwestern portions 
of the island. In the northeastern portion the wells are shallower, 
and instead of striking brine or salt, found sulphur water, with large 
quantities of hydrogen-sulphide gas. Sulphur is deposited by the 
decomposition of escaping gas, sometimes in considerable abundance. 

Several of these wells still have a strong artesian flow of salt water 
with a temperature somewhat above 100° F. 

At various points about the margin of the island are salt springs, 
which give rise to the trembling marshes. The water contains much 
calcium carbonate in solution, which is precipitated by evaporation 
about the spring vents and forms a crust over the surface of low 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



HIGH ISLAND DISTRICT. 



123 



mounds, being held together by the coarse marsh grasses. Much 
inflammable gas escapes with the water of these springs. 




Fig. 7,— Sketch contour map of High Island. 



124 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 



WELL RECORDS. 

Oil prospectors were attracted to High Island by the similarity of 
its surface conditions to those at Spindletop, especially the sulphur 
and gas springs, and some drilling has already been done. 

Four companies owning land or having leases on the island com- 
bined their interests and put down a well in common. This is called 
the Big Four No. 1, located near the Smith mineral springs. When 
the well had reached a depth of 610 feet, the bit with a section of the 
drill rod was lost, and the well was abandoned. A new well, Big Four 
No. 2, was located in the immediate vicinity. 

The first well gave the following section; 

Log of Big Four well <il High Island, Chambers County, Tex. 

[Elevation, 4ufeet.] 



Character of strata. 



Yellow clay 

Sand 

Blue clay 

Clay, sand, and shells. Fresh water at 180 
feet . 

Conglomerate rock 

Sulphur and clay 

Hard siliceous rock 

Quicksand and salt water 

Siliceous rock 

Brown clay 

Siliceous rock 

Clay..__. 

Siliceous rock .... 

Clay 

Siliceous rock 

Clay .. 

Siliceous rock 

Oil sand _• 



Thickness. From 



Feet. 



20 
20 
60 

80 

4 
23 

4 
50 

5 
44 

4 
55 

4 
36 

3 
91 

2 

4 



Feet. 




20 
40 

100 
180 
184 
207 
211 
261 
266 
810 
314 
369 
373 
409 
412 
503 
505 



To— 



Feet. 



20 

40 

100 

180 
184 
207 
211 
261 
266 
310 
314 
369 
373 
409 
412 
503 
505 
509 



Between 509 and 610 feet in depth, where the well was abandoned, 
is a series of sands and limestones, with much gypsum. The lime- 
stone is reported to contain manj^ cavities lined with calcite crystals. 

The Big Four well No. 2 at last reports had been drilled to a depth 
of over 1,000 feet, and after passing the sands and limestones found 
in Well No. 1, between 500 and GOO feet, continued in limestone or 
dolomite and gypsum to the bottom. A small quantity of oil was 



HAYES AN 
KENNEDY 



D ] KISER HILL DISTRICT. 125 



found at a depth of 504 feet, but no other indication of oil to the 
depth thus far reached. 

The J. M. Guffey Petroleum Company is drilling four wells on High 
Island, and the Bolivar and High Island Oil Company has a derrick 
erected, but has as yet (June, 1902) done no drilling. 

GEOLOGIC STRUCTURE. 

Too little is known regarding the stratigraphy and structure of 
High Island to make definite statements. It is probable that the first 
20 to 30 feet of yellow clay should be correlated with the Beaumont 
clays, which division may also include a portion of the underlying 
sands and clays. Below these beds are sands and gravels to a depth 
of somewhat over 100 feet, which may be the equivalents of the 
Columbia and Lafayette. These gravels are followed by sands, clays, 
and salt in the southwestern portion of the island, and by clays with 
limestone and gypsum in the northeastern portion. 

That the underground structure of the island is anticlinal, or dome- 
shaped, may be safely inferred from analogy with other districts in 
the coastal region. The data at present available are not, however, 
sufficient to determine the extent of the dome or the direction of 
its axes. 

KISER HILL DISTRICT. 

This district is located immediately west of the Brazos River, near 
the town of Columbia, and about 12 miles southeast of Damon Mound. 
Kiser Hill has an elevation of from 25 to 30 feet above the level of 
the river at Columbia, and from GO to 65 feet above sea level. The 
surface is underlain by brown sand or sandy loam, probably for the 
most part river alluvium. The surface of the hill differs slightly 
from that of the surrounding region, containing much more clay. 
The limits of this district are not yet determined, since only a single 
well has been drilled. This is the Equitable Mining Company's well, 
which has reached a depth of only 600 feet. At a depth of 360 feet 
a small quantity of petroleum was obtained from a bed of sand. At 
600 feet a strong flow of gas was encountered, with sufficient pressure 
to blow out the drilling tools from the well. Great quantities of 
water and sand, with a small amount of petroleum, were brought out 
by the gas. The flow of gas was controlled after much difficulty and 
cased off. It is the intention to drill this well deeper, and the pros- 
pects appear to be favorable for obtaining oil in commercial quanti- 
ties. 

MINOR TEXAS DISTRICTS. 

At several other localities in the Gulf Coastal Plain of Texas pros- 
pecting for oil has been carried on to some extent. In some cases the 
location of the wells was determined by certain supposed surface 



126 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

indications, such as the presence of sulphur or salt-water springs, the 
escape of inflammable gas, or the topographic configuration of the 
surface. In other cases no such surface indications were present, 
and the wells were located apparently at random on the prairie. 

BIG HILL, JEFFERSON COUNTY. 

Big Hill is located about midway between Beaumont and High 
Island. It has an elevation containing several thousand acres, rising 
in a gentle swell above the surrounding level prairie. It has a some- 
what irregularly crescen tic outline. One well has been drilled on the 
slope of the hill at its eastern extremity. A detailed log of this well 
is not available, but it is known that at a depth of 350 feet rock was 
encountered which continued to a depth of 1,400 feet, where drilling 
was discontinued. This rock, which is reniarkabby uniform through- 
out its 1,050 feet, is a light-gray crystalline dolomite. The rock is 
massive, but contains parallel seams which may represent bedding 
planes. These have ah inclination of about 7°, indicating a decided 
dip in the beds. Since the angle of dip is obtained from cores, its 
direction can not be determined, but it is assumed to be toward the 
east, with the surface slope on which the well is located. The dolomite 
contains much gypsum, and iu places is cavernous. A few small 
pockets of oil were found, but for the most part the rock removed in 
the form of cores was entirely free from any stain or other indication 
of oil. 

While it can not be stated definitely from data at present available, 
it appears probable thai this locality is upon a dome similar to those 
at Spindletop and High Island. A well at Winnie, only a few miles 
to the west, found no rock whatever to a depth of 1,600 feet. 

DAYTON HILL. 

In the vicinity of Dayton, in Liberty County, there is a considera- 
ble area having an elevation of 90 to 100 feet above sea level and 
25 to 30 feet above the level of the surrounding plain. This is gen- 
erally known as Dayton Hill. It extends westward from the Trinity 
about 10 miles and has an approximate width of 6 miles. Consider- 
able quantities of gas occur at various localities throughout this whole 
district, chiefly in small springs and shallow wells. Up to the present 
time, however, no oil of commercial importance has been found. Two 
companies are prospecting in this field. The Taylor-Dayton Company 
is drilling on the northern side of the district and the J. M. Guffey 
Petroleum Company has put down one well on the southern side. 
The Taylor-Dayton well, located a short distance from the town of 
Dayton, is 1,200 feet in depth. Limestone was encountered at 600 
feet, and continued to a depth of 800 feet, where rock salt was encoun- 
tered, and the latter continued to the bottom of the well. The Guffey 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



MINOR TEXAS DISTRICTS. 127 



well reached a depth of 1,900 feet, but no record of the strata passed 
through is available. 

BARBER HILL. 

About 1G miles to the southwest of the Dayton Hill is another ele- 
vated region, known as Barber Hill. This is in Chambers County. 
Some prospecting is being done at this localit}^, and apppearances are 
reported to be favorable, but nothing definite is known regarding it. 

DAVIS HILL. 

This is an elevation located about 20 miles north of Dayton. Con- 
siderable quantities of sulphur water and inflammable gas are reported 
as occurring, but no prospecting or drilling has yet been done. The 
surface formations of this locality are mostly sands and soft sandstones. 

BRYAN HEIGHTS. 

Small quantities of petroleum have been found in the district 
known as Bryan Heights, near Yelasco, in Brazoria County, in asso- 
ciation with great volumes of gas. This is one of the Texas localities 
recorded by Peckham in the Tenth Census Report as producing 
asphaltum, although not in commercial quantities. As a result of 
recent drilling a very large amount of gas has been encountered. 
When the gas was first struck its pressure was sufficient to lift the 
12-inch casing in the well and destroy the derrick. The gas is largely 
hydrogen sulphide, and flowed at the rate of about 6,000,000 cubic feet 
daily. Attempts to shut it off failed and the well was abandoned. A 
new well is now being drilled near by. 

BIG HILL, MATAGORDA COUNTY. 

Another locality of a similar nature occurs at Big Hill, in Mata- 
gorda County, about 10 miles east of Bay City. Small quantities of 
petroleum have been found, and at a depth of 900 feet the gas became 
unmanageable and blew out the well tools. This well has been 
abandoned and a new one commenced. The well flows about 5,000,000 
cubic feet of gas, chiefly hydrogen sulphide, daily. No attempts are 
being made to utilize the gas from either of these wells. 

JENNINGS DISTRICT. 
LOCATION AND DEVELOPMENT. 

This district, fig. 8, is confined chiefly to the narrow strip of coun- 
try lying between the Bayou Nezpique and the Bayou de Cannes, in 
Acadia Parish, La., and while probably not more than a mile in width, 



128 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

extends in a southwest-northeast direction for a distance of about 3 
miles. The Jennings Oil Company's well No. 1 is located in sec. 46, 
T. 2 W., R. 9 S.., and most of the drilling has been confined to that 
and the adjoining section 47. Wells are in course of drilling toward 
the southwest along the supposed line of the anticline in sees. 42 and 
63 in the same township and range, No. 63 being a watered section of 
the older French method of surveys. Another well, that of the Home 
Oil and Development Company, has been drilled in sec. 44, T. 3 W., 
R. 9 S., about a mile and a half east of Jennings. Some oil has been 
reported from this well, but whether in commercial quantities has not 
been determined. In sec. 1, T. 3 W., R. 10 S., the Union Oil and 
Development Company has commenced to drill, and the Southern Oil 
Company's wells Nos. 1 and 2 arc located in the lower grounds, near 
the confluence of the two bayous, in sees. 33 and 34, T. 2 W., R. S. 
Wells Nos. 3 and 4 of this company are located near the Jennings 
No. 1. 



T.ZW. 




Fig. 8.— Map of Jennings oil field. For list of wells see top of p. 130. 

Although no logs of these wells have thus far been obtained with 
any degree of definiteness, the statements made by Mr. Hey wood, of 
the Jennings-Heywood syndicate, one of the earliest drillers in this 
field, appear to show that the Jennings field is also situated upon the 
crest, or nearly so, of a deeply buried anticline. 



'Kennedy?] JENNINGS DISTRICT. 129 

OIL SAND. 

The oil-bearing bed in this district is an unconsolidated coarse- 
grained sand. It lies at a depth of 1,800 feet in the Jennings No. 1 
and 1,635 in the Southern No. 1. In the Southern No. 3 the sand is 
found at 1,850 feet, and in the same company's Avell No. 4 it occurs at 
1,840 feet. In the Prairie Mamou well, half a mile to the southeast 
of the Jennings No. 1, a bed supposed to be the oil-bearing sand 
appears at a depth of 2,200 feet. In the Southern No. 2 an oil sand 
was found at a little over 2,000 feet. This, from the location of the 
well, is in all probability the same bed as found in the Prairie Mamou 
well. The thickness of the oil-bearing sand is not known, but it is 
at least 50 feet, since it has been penetrated to that depth in the Jen- 
nings No. 1. No well has as yet passed entirely through to the under- 
lying beds. In the Jennings No. 1, Home Oil and Development 
Company's well, and in the Southern Company's wells Nos. 2, 3, and 
4, the sand has proved to be oil bearing, but in the Prairie Mamou it 
is dry. The Pelican well No. 1, in sec. (33, T. 2 S., R. 9 W., is also 
dry, and these two wells have been abandoned. The Crowley Oil 
Company is drilling a well in close proximity to the Prairie Mamou, 
and claims to have reached a depth of 1,700 feet. The Home Oil and 
Development Company's well is over 1,700 feet in depth. 

Considerable quantities of petroleum have been found in the South- 
ern Oil Company's wells Nos. 3 and 4. The same company's well No. 
2 supplies a fair pumping quantity, and the Jennings No. 1 flows 
somewhat spasmodically. These, with the small quantity already 
mentioned from the Home Company's well, are the only producing 
wells in the field at the present time (June, 1002). 

More or less gas accompanies these oils, but this has no such pres- 
sure as that found at Spindletop or at several other places in the 
Texas field. A considerable flow of gas occurred in the Pelican No. 
2, but this is the only strong flow recorded. 

These wells are about the same in size as those at Spindletop. The 
Jennings No. 1 is a 4- inch well, and the Southern No. 3 has been 
brought in as a 6-inch well. 

Arrangements are being made to bring this oil into market, and 
already a 6-inch pipe line is being laid from the field to connect with 
the Southern Pacific Railroad at Jennings. Some efforts are being 
made to utilize the bayrms Nezpique and de Cannes for barge purposes. 

In some respects the petroleum produced in this field is of a better 
grade than the Spindletop oil. It is much freer from sulphur and will 
offer less difficulties in refining, although the proportion of illumi- 
nants will not be greater than either the Beaumont or Sour Lake oils. 

Bull. 212—03 9 



130 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 
WELLS IN THE JENNINGS DISTRICT. 

List of wells in Jennings district, June, 1002. 
[For locations see corresponding numbers on map, fig. 8.] 



1. Gusher Oil Co. 

2. Southern Oil Co. No. 3. 

3. Jennings No. 1. 

4. Jennings No. 2. 

5. Prairie Mamou Oil Co. 

6. Crowley Oil Co. 



7. Jennings No. 3. 

8. Pelican Oil Co. 

9. Home Oil Co. 

10. Southern Oil Co. No. 1. 

11. Southern Oil Co. No. 2. 

12. Union Oil and Development Co. 



ANSE LA BUTTE DISTRICT. 

The next most important of the Louisiana petroleum districts is 
that at Anse la Butte, about 40 miles east of Jennings, on Bayou Vei 
milion in St. Martins Parish, about 8 miles north of Lafayette. 

Three wells have already been drilled in this district, passing 
through clays, sands, and gravels, with some beds of limestones of 
varying thickness. In the Pioneer well, of which the record has 
already been given (p. 63), the first rock found occurred at 174 feet. 
Limestone is found in the Lucas well between 100 and 108 feet, and 
in the Anse la Butte well No. 2 rock appears between 225 and 22G feet. 

This is the locality described by Harris as near Breaux Bridge, in 
referring to the occurrence of natural gas in Louisiana. a 

The section of the Lucas well is as follows: 

Log of Lucas well at Anse la Butte, St. Martins Parish, La. 

[Elevation, 50 feet.] 






Character of strata. 



Gravel and sand . 

Stratified lime rock 

Oil-bearing clay with bands of gravel, sand 
and lignite 

Soft lime rock 

Oil-bearing clay mixed with gravel 

Salt water (rock salt doubtful) 

Oil-bearing clay with gravel 

Gravel with water and oil ... 

Hard green clay 

Water-bearing sand, no oil 

Hard green clay 

Sand and muck 



Thickness. From— 



Feet. 



100 

8 

140 
4 
32 
8 
64 
11 
33 
88 
22 
13 



Feet. 




100 

108 
248 
252 
284 
292 
356 
367 
400 
488 
510 



To- 



Feet. 



100 

I 



248 
252 
284J 
292 
356 
367 
400 
488 
510 
523 



« Geological Survey of Louisiana, 1899, p. 138. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



HACKBERRY ISLAND. 131 



Small quantities of hydrocarbon gas reach the surface at numerous 
points in the neighborhood, but these do not appear to have much 
commercial value. They appear from the well records to be simply 
shallow pockets, probably derived from the decomposing vegetable 
matter in the surface clays or immediately underlying sands. 

Small quantities of petroleum are found at various depths in all of 
these wells, generally associated with sand and gravel. In the 
Pioneer well the oil was found at depths of 439 and 650 feet associated 
with rock. At 285 feet and at 1,260 feet the oil-bearing beds were 
sands and gravels. In the Lucas well the petroleum occurs in clays, 
gravels, and sands between 108 and 248 feet. The second occurrence 
was between 252 and 284 feet, the third between 292 and 356 feet, 
while between 356 and 367 feet oil occurred accompanied with a strong 
artesian flow of water. The Anse la Butte Oil and Mineral Com- 
pany's well No. 2 was drilled to a depth of 801 feet, finishing in a bed 
of sand and gravel. In this well oil-bearing sands are found between 
226 and 228 feet, and again between 265 and 268 feet. 

Salt water and salt are generally found accompanying these oil- 
bearing beds. In the Pioneer well a strong flow of salt water accom- 
panied the oil found at 1,260 feet, and in the Lucas well salt water 
was present between 284 and 292 feet, and between 356 and 367 feet 
the oil was accompanied with a strong flow of water. 

In the Anse la Butte well 179 feet of rock salt is reported between 
391 and 570 feet, and between 578 and 790 feet the drill passed 
through 212 feet of salt. 

None of the wells in this district has as yet produced oil or gas for 
market. There appears to be a large amount of oil in the underlying 
beds at several horizons, but no pool has yet been found where it has 
accumulated in sufficient quantity to be of commercial importance. 
It is probable, however, that further prospecting may reveal the pres- 
ence of such a pool. 

HACKBERRY ISLAND. 

This so-called island, like High Island in Texas, is an elevated 
area entirely surrounded by coast marsh. It is located in Cameron 
Parish, 33 miles southwest of Lake Charles, on the south side of Black 
Bayou, between Black Lake and Calcasieu Lake. It has an area of 
about 8,000 acres and reaches an elevation of 35 feet. The surface 
of the island is composed of yellow and black loam. During dry sea- 
sons the soil becomes hard and cracks to a considerable depth, like 
the " hog- wallow clays" of the prairie regions. Gas occurs in all the 
numerous shallow wells on the island, and the water in several springs 
is somewhat sulphurous. 

Only one well is being drilled in this region and it shows a section 
made up of sands, clays, and gravels to a depth of 908 feet, followed 
by limestones, sandstones, and clays. 



132 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 



Log of the Louisiana and Texas Oil Company" s well at Hackberry Island, 

Louisiana. 

[Elevation, 35 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Clay, sand, and gravel 

Blue clay 

Sand 

Clay 

Packed sand 

Soft blue clay 

Sand - 

Blue clay 

Coarse sand 

Blue clay with fine sand 

Coarse sand and gravel 

Hard lime rock and shells 

Tough "blue clay and lignite 

Lime rock 

Blue clay 

Rock 

Blue clay 

do 

Sandy clays . 

Rock 

Sand . 

Soft rock 

Alternate layers of sand, clay , and rock, 
with hard blue limestone coated with 
yellow crystals, changingto sandstone 
with pyrites 

Sand 

Hard rock 

Sand 

Rock . 

Clay 

Lignite 

Rock .... 

Clay 

Rock .. 



Thickness. 



Ft. in. 
138 10 



156 

45 

6 

24 

40 

127 
20 
36 

283 

30 

5 

207 



31 3 

1 

101 6 

36 11 

51 11 

6 

11 9 



35 

9 



13 

1 

1!) 

7 
3 
3 
o 



From- 



Ft. 



138 

295 

340 

346 

370 

411 

539 

559 

595 

878 

908 

914 

1,121 

1,121 

1,153 

1,154 

1,255 

1,292 

1,344 

1,345 

1,356 



1,361 
1,397 
1,407 
1,407 
1,420 
1,421 
1,441 
1,448 
1,451 
1,455 



11 



To- 



10 
o 



Ft. 

138 

295 

340 

346 

370 

411 

539 

539 

595 

878 

908 

914 
1,121 
1,121 
1,158 
1,154 
1,255 
1,292 
1,344 6 
1,345 
1,356 9 
1,361 9 



1,397 5 
1,407 
1,407 8 

1.420 8 

1.421 9 
1,441 
1,448 
1,451 7 
1,455 
1,457 



H ke Y nnedy D ] "SULPHUR DISTRICT. 133 

A small quantity of oil is reported from this well at a depth of 1,460 
feet. Gas was found at several depths, but no record was kept of its 
occurrences. The test can not be regarded as complete until the well 
has reached a depth of 2,500 feet, unless rock salt or strong brine is 
found at a shallower depth. 

SULPHUR DISTRICT. 

This district was probably the first to be prospected for petroleum 
in any portion of the Coastal Plain field. The oozing of petroleum 
and escape of gas from sulphur springs in a small marsh first attracted 
attention about the year 1868, and the Louisiana Oil Company was 
formed for the purpose of drilling for oil. A well put down in sec. 
29, T. 9 S., R. 10 W., gives the following section: 

Log of Louisiana Oil Company's well at Sulphur, La. 

Feet. 

1. Blue clay, with layers of sand 160 

2. Sand 173 

3. Clay rock, " soapstone " 10 

4. Blue limestone, fissured . _ . 40 

5. Gray limestone GO 

6. Pure crystalline sulphur 100 

7. Gypsum, with sulphur 137 

8. Sulphur 10 

9. Gypsum, grayish blue 540 

Some petroleum was found in this well to a depth of 380 feet, but in 
too small quantities to be commercially valuable. The incidental dis- 
covery of heavy beds of native sulphur led to the formation of a com- 
pany to develop this mineral, and numerous wells were drilled for this 
purpose, the method of mining finally adopted being to melt the 
sulphur by means of superheated steam and pump it out in that con- 
dition. In all the wells put down for this purpose small quantities 
of oil were found from the surface down to a depth of 357 feet, and in 
one well drilled within the last few years the petroleum is reported to 
have spouted 65 feet above the casing. This well still continues to 
flow small quantities of a heavy black oil. 

This thickness ascribed to the sulphur bed does not appear to agree 
with the records of the well drilled about 1892 or 1893. At that time 
a test well was put down by the Diamond Prospecting Company, 
in which the sulphur was first found at 436 feet, below which it was 
found to alternate with beds of limestone down to 603 feet, the limit 
of the boring. The Avell was drilled for the American Sulphur Com- 
pany and is located near the boiler house. 



134 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN. [bull.21S 



Log of well drilled for American Sulphur Company at Sulphur, La. 

[Drilled by Diamond Prospecting Company, with Sullivan diamond drill, size N.] 



1 
o 

3 

4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

18 

19 

20 

21 

22 

23 

24 

25 

26 

27 

28 

29 

30 



Character of strata. 



Clay _ 

Quicksand 

do .__ 

Sand and gravel 

Clay shale 

White water shale 

White clay and sand. 

White water spar (limestone) 

Spar (limestone ) 

Sand _ 

Soft white water spar 

Sandy white marl 

Sulphur 

Mixed limestone and sulphur 

Sulphur 

Mixed limestone and sulphur 

Sulphur . 

Mixed limestone and sulphur 
Black limestone and sulphur 
Mixed limestone and sulphur 

Sulphur 

Mixed limestone and sulphur 

Sulphur 

Mixed limestone and sulphur 

Sulphur 

Mixed limestone and sulphur 

Sulphur 

Mixed limestone and sulphur 

Sulphur 

Mixed limestone and sulphur 



Thickness. From 



Feet. 

167 

1344 

26i 

17 

1 

4 

5 

25 

19 

1 

28 

8 

3 

6 

5 

2 

1 

16 

24 

5 

2 

16 

4 

10 

3 

8 

2 

31 

6 

23 



Feet. 


167 

301| 

328 
345 
346 
350 
355 
380 
399 
400 
428 
436 
439 
445 
450 
452 
453 
469 
493 
498 
500 
516 
520 
530 
533 
541 
543 
574 
580 



From the records of wells drilled in this district the underground 
contours appear to resemble those at Spindletop, and the structure 
may be considered as a flattened dome, sloping somewhat gently from 
the crest toward the south and more abruptly toward the northwest. 
So far as developments have gone the sulphur has been proved to 
cover an area of approximately 30 acres, though its limits are not fully 
determined. 

The American Sulphur Company owns the lands for several miles 
around these mines, and no prospecting has been done in this vicinity 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



MINOR LOUISIANA DISTRICTS. 



135 



except by the sulphur company itself, and that entirely with reference 
to the sulphur deposits. The company is now enlarging its plant, 
preparatory to mining sulphur on a larger scale than heretofore. No 
attention has been given to the occurrence of petroleum, and although 
oil is the fuel used at the mines, it is shipped from Beaumont. The 
prospects for the development of a productive oil pool at this point 
are very nattering. 

In sec. 28, T. 9 S., R. 10 W., about a mile from the sulphur mine, 
Messrs. Mayo & Mendelsohn have drilled a well to the depth of 450 
feet. This well, which was put down with a hand drill, showed only 
a heavy bed of sand until gravel was encountered, when the work 
was abandoned. 

MINOR LOUISIANA DISTRICTS. 



VINTON. 

This point is about 15 miles southwest of Sulphur. Four wells have 
been attempted, but onty one has succeeded in reaching any consider- 
able depth. At 440 feet a heavy bed of coarse gravel is encountered 
which can not be penetrated with the rotary drill, since the pebbles 
are from 1 to 3 inches in diameter and can not be lifted by the return 
water current. The Stribling well, drilled partly by the rotary 
process and partly with standard rig, is claimed to have reached 
a depth of 1,000 feet. The log of only a portion of this well has been 
obtained, giving the following section: 

Log of portion of T. C. Stribling well at Vinton, La. 

[Elevation, 20 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Hard clay 

Gray sand, with oil 

Quicksand 

Hard gray sand 

White sand, with water 

Gravel, with black snlphnr water 
Large gravel 



Thickness. 


From— 


Feet. 


Feet. 


20 





10 


20 


270 


30 


50 


300 


75 


350 


20 


425 


9 


445 



To- 

Feet. 

20 
30 
300 
350 
425 
445 
454 



The gravel bed between 400 and 500 feet yields a strong artesian 
flow of black sulphur water. Indications of oil are observed imme- 
diately under the 20 feet of surface clay, and at a depth of 800 feet. 
While the indications thus far afforded are not particularly encourag- 
ing, it can not be said that the possibilities of developing an oil pool 
are exhausted, and they would appear sufficient to warrant the drill- 
ing of a test well to a depth of at least 2,000 feet. 



136 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

The Sharp well, drilled on the edge of the marshy lands bordering 
the Sabine River, abont 4 miles north of these wells at Vinton, was 
also abandoned in gravel at a depth of nearly 500 feet. 

SPRING HILL. 

A well drilled for the Spring Hill Oil Company in the NE. i of SW. 
£ sec. 12, T. G, R. 4, to a depth of 1,200 feet, found a small quantity 
of oil in a sand, which may possibly prove a fairly good pumping well. 
This oil has been cased off and the well is now being drilled deeper. 

WELSH. 

The Welsh Oil and Development Company has drilled two wells 
in sec. 28, T. 9 S., R. 5 W. In the first well petroleum was found at 
1,050 feet, but not in large quantities. The well was deepened to 
1,500 feet without finding any more oil, and in bringing back the 
casing to try to develop the 1,050-foot oil sand the well caved in and 
was lost. In well No. 2 at the date of visit the drill had reached a 
depth of 700 feet. 

LAKE CHARLES. 



Considerable drilling has been carried on in the neighborhood of 
Lake Charles, but so far without commercial success. The Watkini 
well No. 1, of the Gulf Oil and Mineral Compaity, near the center of 
sec. 1G, T. 10 S., R. 8 W., has been drilled to a depth of 2,400 feet 
without finding petroleum, 
following section: 



A condensed log of this well shows the 



Log of Watkins well No. 1, at Lake Charles, La. 

[Elevation, 22 feet.] 



Character of strata. 



Sand and clay 

Sand and gravel 

Clay and sand 

Sand and gravel 

Sand 

Sand and gravel 

Clay 

Sand, clay, and shale 



Thickness. 


From. — 


Feet. 


Feet. 


400 





44 


400 


106 


444 


40 


550 


10 


590 


8 


000 


42 


608 


1,750 


650 



To— 

Feet. 
400 

444 
550 
590 
600 
608 
650 
2,400 



In the same region the Texas, Louisiana and National Company is 
drilling at Hoo-Hoo Park, in sec. 13, T. 9 S., R. 8W. This well has 
reached a depth of 951 feet. 



U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 



BULLETIN NO. 212 PL. 




SAND GUSHER AT WELSH, LA. 



H ke Y nne£y D ] MINOR LOUISIANA DISTRICTS. 137 

OTHER LOCALITIES. 

The Forward Reduction Oil Company is drilling a number of wells 
in the lower Louisiana coast country. The wells of this company are 
located in sec. 25, T. 8 S., R. 7 W., in sec. 18, T. 9 S., R. 10 W., where 
the company has three wells, and in sec. 9, T. 10 S., R. 11 W. This 
last well is south of Edgerly. The well in sec. 25, T. 8 S., R. 7 W., 
is reported to have a depth of 2,100 feet, and the presence of oil is 
claimed in an 8-inch sand at 1,100 feet, in another 10-inch sand at 
1,314 feet and again at 1,725 feet. These oil sands are reported to be 
overlain with a thin capping of rock. 

The Pelican Oil Company well No. 1 is being drilled in sec. 22, T. 
10 S., R. 10 W. When visited this boring had a depth of about 800 
feet. At 509 feet a small seep of oil was passed through. 

In the Foster well, in Sabine Parish, small quantities of petroleum 
were met with at the depths of 75, 340, and 630 feet. 

The Louisiana field contains many small seeps of petroleum and 
escapes of gas of which no record has been kept. The structure of the 
country, together with the great quantity of vegetable remains inclosed 
in the clays, tends to produce an abundance of gas and probably 
petroleum, if these could be brought into a condition to be utilized. 

Throughout this portion of the coast country gas escapes in great 
abundance, and small quantities of petroleum are of frequent occur- 
rence in the drilling of wells for water purposes. While these small 
quantities form in the aggregate a considerable quantity of petroleum, 
owing to its generally disseminated condition it is not possible to 
collect it and it is therefore of no commercial value. 

THE GULF COASTAL PLAIN OIL. 

ORIGIN OF PETROLEUM. 
CLASSIFICATION OF THEORIES. 

The origin of petroleum is one of the most obscure problems by 
which geologists are confronted. Numerous widely different theories 
have been advanced and advocated by geologists and chemists during, 
the last fifty years, but as yet there is none which can be regarded 
as generally accepted and of universal applicability. In the present 
connection any full discussion of these theories is manifestly out of 
place, and only a bare outline of the more important ones will be 
given. It should be stated, however, that numerous facts have come 
to light in the development of the Coastal Plain field which have a 
very direct bearing upon theories of the origin of the oil. These have 
in part been given in the preceding pages, but will be stated more 
explicitly in this and the following sections. 

The theories may be divided into three main groups: (1) Those 
which attempt to explain the origin of oil by inorganic agencies, (2) 



138 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

those which ascribe it to an organic origin, and (3) those which 
involve both inorganic and organic agencies. 

THEORIES OF INORGANIC ORIGIN. 

In 1866 Berthelot suggested that water containing carbonic acid or 
an earthy carbonate coming in contact with metallic sodium or 
potassium at a high temperature might produce both liquid and 
gaseous hydrocarbons such as are found in various oil fields. In 1877 
Mendeljeff published his theory, which remains the most plausible of 
all the inorganic theories thus far proposed. Stated briefly, it is that 
water percolating downward through fissures in the earth's crust 
comes in contact, under conditions of high temperature and great 
pressure, with metallic carbides ; that a chemical reaction takes place, 
with the formation of metallic oxides and saturated hydrocarbons, 
and that the latter ascend and impregnate the porous beds of sedi- 
mentary rocks in which they are now found. 

Various modifications of the theories of Berthelot and Mendeljeff 
have been suggested by other chemists, but these contain the essen- 
tials of all the purely inorganic theories which merit consideration. 

The fact is unquestioned that hydrocarbons similar to or identical 
with some of the constituents of natural petroleum may be produced 
in the laboratory b} 7 the action of inorganic substances, but no geo- 
logic or other evidence that these reactions actually take place in the 
earth's crust has been discovered. The conclusion must therefore 
be that while the inorganic theory is attractive it is not proved. 

THEORIES OF ORGANIC ORIGIN. 

These theories may be again divided into two groups : (a) That petro- 
leum is indigenous to the rocks in which it is found, and (b) that it is 
the product of natural distillation. 

The first of these theories was advocated by Sterry Hunt, who 
asserted that all petroleum was formed in limestone by the decompo- 
sition of the animal remains which it originally contained. It was 
also advocated by Lesley and Whitney. 

The theory was further amplified by Orton, who extended it to the 
petroleum found in the shale and sandstone in the Appalachian field 
as well as that found in limestone. According to Orton, a petroleum 
results from the primary decomposition of organic matter, and was 
formed when the rocks containing it were themselves formed. 

A modification of this theory has recently been advanced, namely, 
that the oil, instead of being the product of decomposition of 
organic matter, is secreted by living organisms of a low order, such 
as diatoms, and therefore exists as such as an original constituent of 
the rock in which it is found. The presence of oil associated with 

« Ann. Rept. Geol. Survey Ohio, 1890, p. 85. 



HAYES AN 
KENNEDY 



D ] OEIGIN OF PETROLEUM. 139 



diatoms in the mud at Sabine Pass is regarded by Dr. Phillips as fur- 
nishing some degree of support to this theory. 

The majority of geologists have held to the second theory, namely, 
that petroleum is derived from the organic matter disseminated 
through great masses of carbonaceous shales by the process of slow 
natural distillation at relatively low temperatures, and that it has 
subsequently migrated through the strata to the reservoirs in which 
it is found. In proof it is pointed out that these carbonaceous shales 
yield by artificial distillation a large quantity of hydrocarbons, both 
gaseous and liquid, which are indistinguishable from those found in 
nature; but the possibility of natural distillation at a temperature 
sufficiently low to leave the inclosing rocks entirely unchanged has 
not been proved, nor have the residues of carbon which would result 
from such distillation been found in the rocks. 

Again, there is much diversity of opinion among those who hold to 
the organic origin of petroleum as to whether its source is in animal 
or vegetable remains. Peckham believes that petroleum may be 
derived from both animal and vegetable matter, but that the source 
of the organic matter determines the- character of the oil, that with a 
paraffin base (e. g., Pennsylvania) being derived from plant remains, 
and that with an asphalt base (e. g., California) being derived from 
animal remains. 

THEORIES OF COMBINED ORGANIC AND INORGANIC ORIGIN. 

Among the theories whicli fall in the third group may be mentioned 
that proposed by O. C. D. Ross ffl in 1891. It is that petroleum is 
produced by the action of volcanic or solfataric gases containing 
sulphurous acid and hydrogen sulphide upon limestone, with the for- 
mation of gypsum and free sulphur. The reactions given undoubt- 
edly take place in the laboratory, and they may also take place in 
certain localities in nature. On the other hand, Hopkins b proposed 
a theory, which has been elaborated and modified somewhat by other 
chemists, according to which the gypsum is the original material and 
the limestone is secondary. The essential features of this theory are 
that gypsum, calcium sulphate, in the presence of decomposing 
organic matter which gives off carbonic acid, is reduced, with the for- 
mation of limestone, calcium carbonate, free sulphur, and hj^dro- 
carbons. This reaction has not been exactly reproduced in the 
laboratory, but neither can the conditions which must prevail at 
great depths in the earth be exactly reproduced. 

It will be observed that the theories of this group are intermediate 
between those of the first two classes. The original materials are in 
part organic (limestone and vegetable or animal matter) and in part 
inorganic (volcanic gases and gypsum). 

« Chemical News, Vol. LXIV, 1891. 
^Repoi-t on the Geology of Louisiana, 1869. 



140 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 

CONCLUSION. 

This great diversity of views regarding the origin of petroleum is 
equaled by the diversity in character of the petroleum itself and in 
the geologic conditions under which it is found. In fact, it is proba- 
ble that the final theory will include most of those outlined above, 
and will recognize the fact that this substance which is so widely dis- 
tributed in nature may be the product of widely different processes 
acting upon a great diversity of materials. Thus the hydrocarbons 
which have been observed in certain volcanic rocks and in gases 
given oif from volcanic vents may be entirety inorganic, resulting 
from the reaction between water and heated metallic carbides. The 
oil of the Appalachian field may be derived from the slow distillation 
of plant remains disseminated through the underlying shales, and 
that of the Trenton limestone of the Lima field from animal remains 
originally contained in the rocks in which it is now found. Finally, 
the oil of the Gulf Coastal Plain is probably derived, in part at least, 
from the action of decomposing organic matter, both animal and 
vegetable, but chiefly the latter, upon g}^psum. 

ACCUMULATION OF THE OIL. 
CONDITIONS FOR ACCUMULATION. 

Hydrocarbons of the petroleum type are among the most widely dis- 
tributed substances in nature. They are found associated with almost 
all classes of rocks, both crystalline and sedimentary, from the oldest 
to the youngest. While these hydrocarbons are very widely distrib- 
uted they are, however, usually in small quantities, and accumula- 
tions sufficiently large to be of commercial importance are restricted 
by certain well-defined conditions to a relatively small portion of the 
earth's surface. In many regions it is comparatively easy for the 
geologist, by an examination of surface conditions, to state definitely 
and with certainty that no oil in commercial quantities will be found. 
In other large regions he can state that oil ma} 7 be found, and can 
point out in some cases the most favorable localities, but he can not 
predict the actual occurrence of an oil pool in advance of drilling. 

The essential conditions for the accumulation of oil are (1) a suffi- 
cient supply of oil derived from any of the sources above described, 
(2) a porous reservoir rock in which it may be stored, and (3) an 
impervious cap rock which will prevent its escape. Conditions which 
favor its accumulation but are not always essential are (4) gentle 
undulations of the strata forming anticlinal arches or domes, (5) the 
complete saturation of the rocks with water and its slow circulation 
under l^drostatic head or convection due to differences of temperature. 

THE OIL SUPPLY. 

This is of course the first and most essential condition, for without 
it no accumulation could take place however favorable other condi- 



H kb Y n E ne£? D ] ACCUMULATION OF OIL. 141 

lions might be. Of all the conditions enumerated above, this is prob- 
ably the one which prevails over the largest areas. Wherever there 
are heavy deposits of sedimentary rocks, some of the beds generally 
contain organic material, either animal or vegetable, from which an 
abundant supply of hydrocarbons might be derived, and at some 
time in the history of such beds conditions have generally been favor- 
able for its conversion into petroleum. This is notably true of the 
many thousand feet of strata constituting the Cretaceous and Ter- 
tiary formations on the Gulf Coastal Plain. 

THE RESERVOIR ROCK. 

All granular rocks which enter into the composition of the earth's 
crust are to some extent permeable to liquids. This porosity, the 
vacant space between the rock particles, varies from less than one- 
half of 1 per cent in rocks like granite to 8 or 10 per cent in ordinary 
compact, fine-grained sandstones, and 25 per cent or even more in 
coarse gravel or cavernous limestone and dolomite. The porosity of 
a rock depends upon the shape of the grains, their uniformity in size, 
and the amount of cementing material. It is wholly independent 
of the size of the grains. Hence a fine-grained sand may have as 
great capacity for holding oil as a coarse gravel. The term ' ' oil pool " is 
in common use in most oil fields and is a convenient one, but is liable 
to lead to misapprehension. An oil pool is simply a restricted portion 
of any porous bed which is saturated with oil. It is limited both ver- 
tically and horizontally by some impervious barrier which prevents 
the escape of the oil. It does not generally contain any large fissures 
or caverns, the oil being contained in the minute spaces between the 
constituent grains of the bed. In exceptional cases, such as the 
Spindletop pool, where the reservoir rock is a limestone or dolomite, 
there are cavities of appreciable size, probably to be measured in 
inches and possibly in feet, in which the oil is stored as well as in the 
minute spaces between the constituent grains of the rock. 

The character of the reservoir rock does not determine the charac- 
ter of the oil, but does determine its behavior when the pool is 
tapped by the drill. When the rock is a firm, fine-grained sandstone, 
it yields its oil slowly, even when under great pressure, and the yield 
continues for a long time, steadily decreasing, however, as the supply 
is drawn from increasing distances. A cavernous dolomite, on the 
other hand, offers little resistance to the passage of the oil toward the 
well, and the flow from such a rock is consequently rapid and short 
lived. When the oil is held in an unconsolidated sand, the latter 
flows toward the exit along with the oil and quickly chokes the well 
unless held back by some straining device. 

THE IMPERVIOUS COVER. 

Since petroleum has a lower specific gravity than water, it always 
tends to rise when the two liquids are associated in the rocks, and 



142 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

if not stopped by some impervious barrier would continue until it 
reached the surface and then be dissipated. An essential condi- 
tion of any large accumulation is therefore an impervious stratum 
which shall check this upward course of the oil and restrain it in a 
porous reservoir rock below. Such impervious strata usually consist 
of fine clay, clay shale, or muddy limestone. If the bed is perfectly 
continuous, a few feet in thickness of clay or clay shale is sufficient 
to prevent any leakage from the underlying porous beds even under 
great pressure. In the Spindletop pool the cover is formed by a con- 
siderable thickness of alternating clay beds and limestones, the 
lowermost of which is the so-called "cap rock." 

ANTICLINAL STRUCTURE. 

When oil, whatever its origin, occurs in a porous bed along with 
water, it tends to rise toward the surface and continues to rise until 
it reaches the surface or meets some obstruction. If the obstruction 
is a perfectly horizontal stratum of impervious material, the progress 
of the oil is checked, but it does not accumulate in large bodies. If, 
on the other hand, the impervious stratum is inclined, the oil con- 
tinues to move upward along its under side until it meets a downward 
bend in the bed which it can not pass. The oil is thus trapped in the 
fold or anticline, and if the impervious bed is continuous over the 
crest it continues to accumulate and an oil pool is formed. The 
Appalachian field is characterized by low folds, which have a general 
northeast-southwest trend, parallel with the large folds of the Appa- 
lachian Mountains, and these folds have been of the highest impor- 
tance in the accumulation of oil in that field. In the Gulf Coastal 
Plain no structures are found which at all resemble the anticlines of 
the Appalachian field. The latter are undoubtedly due to horizontal 
compression of the earth's crust, but the Coastal Plain does not 
appear ever to have been subjected to such compression, and conse- 
quently the long regular parallel folds are wanting. The circular or 
elliptical domes which have been described as occurring at Spin- 
dletop, Damon Mound, and elsewhere are structures of a wholly 
different class, and could scarcely have been produced by horizontal 
compression. Although these domes are not strictly comparable with 
the anticlines of the Appalachian field, they are equally efficient in 
furnishing the structural conditions favorable for the accumulation 
of oil. 

SATURATION OF THE ROCKS AND CIRCULATION OF THE SATURATING 

FLUID. 

Sedimentary rocks below the immediate surface are generally satu- 
rated with water, either fresh or saline. In some cases, particularly 
in the Appalachian field, the rocks are dry, and under these condi- 
tions, even when sufficiently porous, they are not readily traversed 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY 



D ] ACCUMULATION OF OIL. 143 



by oil. This condition, however, is probably very rarely present in 
the thoroughly saturated beds underlying the Coastal Plain. 

In almost every deep well which has been drilled in the Coastal 
Plain small quantities of oil have been found, generally at several 
horizons. While this is not sufficiently abundant to be of value, it 
indicates the extremely wide distribution of the oil through these 
formations and the enormous aggregate which they must contain. If 
these beds were regular in thickness and character, like those under- 
lying the Appalachian field, and were similarly folded, the oil would 
travel to the crests of the anticlines and accumulate in long, narrow 
pools. The beds of this region, however, are most irregular. No two 
well sections, even if closely adjoining, exactly correspond. In Ohio 
alone the Berea sandstone extends over 15,000 square miles with 
scarcely any variation in thickness and composition. In the Coastal 
Plain, on the other hand, no single bed can be traced without material 
modification over 100 square miles. The underlying formations are 
composed of a vast number of overlapping lenses and the stratigraphic 
relations are therefore exceedingly complex. The conditions are 
unfavorable for the transfer of oil from place to place, and the result 
is that the most of it has remained disseminated through the beds. 
The Coastal Plain formations have a general southeastward dip of a 
few feet to the mile, but this has apparently not been sufficient to 
enable the oil to overcome the obstacles occasioned Irf the irregularity 
in the character of the bed. Under these conditions some agency in 
addition to mere difference in specific gravity between the oil and 
water was required for the segregation of the oil. This was found in 
the circulation of the water contained in the beds. The agency of 
circulating waters in the accumulation, not only of the oil in the 
Coastal Plain pools, but also of the associated sulphur, dolomite, and 
salt, has recently been suggested ly^ Hill. 05 

The hypothesis is as follows: The oil and salt pockets of the Texas Coastal Plain 
are probably not indigenous to the strata in which they are found, but are the 
resultant products of columns of hot saline waters which have ascended, under 
hydrostatic pressure, at points along lines of structural weakness, through thou- 
sands of feet of shale, sand, and marine littoral sediments of the Coastal Plain 
section, through which oil and sand are disseminated in more or less minute 
quantities. The oil, with sulphur, may have been floated upward on these waters, 
and the salt and dolomite may have been crystallized from the saturated solution. 

The channels of these ascending waters may have been in places of structural 
weakness, such as fissures, which probably at one time continued to the surface, 
but may have been sealed by the deposition of the later overlapping strata now 
capping the oil pools. 

Many facts may be adduced in support of this hypothesis, although 
it must be admitted that it presents some serious difficulties. The 
mode of accumulation of the enormous masses of rock salt which 
occur in the Louisiana Salt Islands, in Damon Mound, in High Island, 

n Robert T. Hill, The Beaumont oil field, with notes on the other oil fields of the Texas region: 
Jour. Franklin Inst., 1902. 



144 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 

and also in Spindletop, has never been satisfactorily explained. For 
a variety of reasons it does not seem possible that they can be the result 
of evaporation of sea water in natural salt pans, which is supposed to 
be the origin of most deposits of rock salt. It may therefore be 
necessary to refer their origin to supersaturated solutions coming from 
the lower strata through fissures opened along a fault line. If such 
fissures were open to the surface, as Hill suggests, any petroleum 
brought up from the lower beds by the ascending waters would 
escape. If the vent were subsequently sealed up by the deposition 
of impervious beds, the fissure might remain open and afford a means 
for the oil to be collected and brought up by the slow circulation of 
water under the influence of convection currents. It is suggested, 
as a possible explanation of the difference between Spindletop and 
Sour Lake on the one hand and Damon Mound and the Louisiana 
Salt Islands on the other, that the former vents were effectually 
sealed up after the salt had been deposited, while the latter have always 
remained open; the oil, which subsequently followed the same course 
taken by the salt solution, was in the former checked before reach- 
ing the surface, while in the latter it reached the surface and practi- 
cally all escaped. 

STRUCTURAL CONDITIONS. 

It is suggested above that the location of the oil pools in the Gulf 
Coastal Plain is determined by certain structural features, namely, 
dislocations of the strata in the form either of faults or of anticlinal 
flexures. A study of the distribution of the localities at which gas, oil, 
and salt are known to occur in the Coastal Plain affords some support 
to this theory and also suggests the districts where prospecting may 
be carried on with the best chances of success. It will be observed 
from the accompanying map (PI. VII) that the known deposits of these 
associated substances occur along northeast-southwest lines. Five 
such lines of deposits are shown, all but one being determined by 
at least three points. The westernmost line contains Saratoga, Day- 
ton, and Damon; the second contains Sour Lake, Barber Hill, Kiser 
Hill or Columbia, and Big Hill, Matagorda County; the third con- 
tains Spindletop, Big Hill, Jefferson County, High Island, and prob- 
ably Bryan Heights; the fourth contains Sulphur, Vinton, and Sabine 
Pass; and the fifth, Spring Hill and Hackberry. Other points in 
Louisiana do not appear to observe this linear arrangement, although 
further investigation of this region may extend the system to include 
these as well as the famous Salt Islands. 

It is of interest to note that these lines are almost exactly parallel 
to the most prominent structural feature in the entire Texas region, 
namely, the Balcones fault, which has been described by Hill as pass- 
ing through the center of the State. Further confirmation of the sig- 
nificance of these lines is afforded by the work of Veatch in the salines 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY 



D ] ACCUMULATION OF OIL. 145 



of northern Louisiana. a lie has shown that these saline springs are 
associated with dome-shaped uplifts and that they fall naturally into 
a linear arrangement, the axes being parallel with those of the Gulf 
Coastal Plain and probably continuations of the same. 

The lines shown on the map may be considered as coinciding with 
the main structural axes of the region, which are actual or potential 
lines of dislocation, either by folding or by fracture. The date of 
initial movement on these axes can not be fixed exactly, but it must 
be as far back as the Miocene, since the thickness of Miocene forma- 
tions is affected by the doming which has taken place at various 
points. The movement has been continued through the late Tertiary 
and into the present, since it affects the most recent deposits of the 
region, excepting perhaps the present river alluvium. The initial 
movement may even date back to Cretaceous time, and some evidence 
in the northern Louisiana salines points to such a conclusion. 

The character of the movement can not be determined with cer- 
tainty, and it doubtless includes both flexing and faulting. Its most 
striking characteristic appears to be the concentration of differential 
effect at certain points which form the mounds of uplift, of which 
Spindletop may be regarded as the type. It may be, however, that 
these local uplifts are purely secondary and are not due to the same 
cause which produced the axial movements; in other words, that the 
lines of weakness which give rise to the main structural axes merely 
afford the necessary favorable conditions for the development of these 
secondary structures. 

It will be noted from the descriptions given on previous pages that 
the various domes differ widely in amount of elevation. This is 
shown by a comparison of Sour Lake and Spindletop with High Island 
and Damon Mound. The former elevations are much less conspicu- 
ous than the latter, which have passed beyond the point where they 
are adapted to form oil reservoirs. It is quite possible, therefore, 
that there are other elevations even less conspicuous' than Spindletop, 
or perhaps not at all apparent at the surface, which may be equally 
well adapted for oil reservoirs. Such structures might easily escape 
notice if no elevation had taken place upon them since the deposition 
of the recent clays. 

If such inconspicuous or entirely obscured structures do exist, as 
seems probable, they will almost certainly occur along the lines indi- 
cated on the accompanying map, and along these lines, therefore, 
are the best places for conducting systematic prospecting in the Gulf 
Coastal Plain. It should be fully understood in advance that the 
chances of finding oil by drilling at any particular point along these 
lines are small, but they are much larger than the chances of finding 
it by drilling at random anywhere on the Coastal Plain. 

a The salines of north Louisiana, by A. C. Veateh: Geological Survey of Louisiana, Report 
for 1902. 

Bull. 212—03 10 



146 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN. [Bui^.m 

PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF THE TEXAS-LOUISIANA 

OIL. 

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES. 

COLOR AND ODOR. 

When flowing from the well or first received into the tank the 
Beaumont petroleum is a dark reddish-brown fluid, carrying a large 
quantity of hydrogen sulphide in solution. It has a very strong, dis- 
agreeably pungent, sulphurous odor, attacking the mucous membranes 
of the nose and causing the eyes to smart. The Sour Lake oil and 
the Saratoga and Jennings oils arc somewhat darker and heavier, 
and, owing to the smaller quantity of gas which they contain, have 
a less disagreeable odor. The small quantity of oil flowing from the 
Equitable Mining Company's well a1 Columbia is also of a very dark 
color. 

Upon exposure to the air these oils gradually lose a large propor- 
tion of their contained gases and become somewhat thicker and 
darker. They do not, however, lose their peculiar odor. Kast and 
Lagai attribute the odor of petroleum to the presence of unsaturated 
hydrocarbons, while Mabery and Smith appear to think it is due to a 
mixture of bad-smelling compounds, but do not say what may be 
the cause, although they found unsaturated hydrocarbons in their 
experiments with the Ohio oils." Richardson h also found considerable 
quantities of unsaturated hydrocarbons in the Beaumont oils. 

SPECIFIC GRAVITY. 

The specific gravity of the Beaumont petroleum ranges from 0.004 
to 0.925, or 25.4° 1>. to 21.5° B. Three determinations of the Sour Lake 
oil gave it specific gravit ies of 0.945, 0.958, and 0.963, or 18° B. to 15° B. 
The Saratoga oil has a specific gravity of 0.945, or 18° B. 

A comparison of the specific gravities of the petroleum from various 
districts of the Coastal Plain field with those of other well-known 
fields shows the former to be much heavier than any of the petroleums 
which contain a notable proportion of illuminants. They are, how- 
ever, in this respect similar to the California oils. Some of the Mexi- 
can oils are also heavier. 

Specific gravif// of petroleum from various fields. 

Pennsylvania < 0. 801-0. 817 

Ohio (Lima field) e . 816- . 860 

Kansas^ 1 .835-1.000 

West Virginia < . 841- . 873 

Canada (Petrolia field) '- .858 

Russia (Baku field) c .859- .871 

« Am. Chem. Jour., Vol. XVI, p. 88. 

& Jour. Soc. Chem. Industry, Vol. XX, p. 693. 

o Redwood, Petroleum and its Products, 188(5, Vol. I, p. 178. 

rfHaworth, Mineral Resources of Kansas, 1897, p. 51. 



"k^nnedy?] PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE OIL. 147 

Mexico « _ _ . 874- . 970 

Beaumont * .004- .925 

Wyoming « .912- .945 

California < . 920- . 983 

Saratoga (Hooks No. 1)^. _ . 937 

Sour Lake ' . 945- . 963 

Brazoria County, Tex.'' .965 

Borneo « .965 

PLASH AND BURNING POINT. 

A roughly approximate ratio exists between the specific gravity of 
any petroleum and its flashing- point, and as a general rule a low 
specific gravity accompanies a low flashing point, and while the 
burning point of an oil is usually from 10° to 15° higher than the 
flashing point, this is not always the case. An oil having a high 
flashing point always has a high burning point, but, on the other hand, 
a high burning point may be accompanied by a low flashing point. 

The flashing test of an oil is made for the purpose of determining 
the lowest temperature at which it gives off an inflammable vapor, 
and is the most important test which can be applied to any petroleum, 
since it is to the inflammable vapor evolved at ordinary temperatures 
that most of the accidents are due. This point is quite independent 
of the burning point and depends altogether upon the character and 
amount of the volatile constituents, while the burning point depends 
upon the character and composition of the oil as a whole. 

The presence of the lighter hydrocarbons lowers the flashing point, 
since these volatilize more readily than the heavier hydrocarbons. 
The effect of benzine in varying proportions in lowering the flashing 
point, as determined by Wilson/ is shown in the following table: 

Effect of mixture of benzine on flashing point. 





Flashing 
point. 


Burning 
point. 


\ 


.,. 


°F. 


Oil alone . 


118 


135 


i Mixed with— 




1 per cent benzine 65° B 


112 


129 


3 per cent benzine 65° B 


103 


123 


5 per cent benzine 65° B 


96 


116 


10 tier cent benzine 65° B 

* 


83 


102 


1 per cent benzine 72° B 


m 


133 


5 per cent benzine 72° B 


" 


105 



a Redwood, Petroleum and its Products, 188(>, Vol. I, p. ITS. 

''Jour. Soc. Chem. Industry, Vol. XX, p. 691 et seq, 

''Watts, Oil and gas: Bull. Cal. State Mining Bureau No. lit. p. 204. 

<t Worrell, analyst, Texas Mineral Survey. 

e Jour. Soc. Chem. Industry, Vol. XIX, p. 132. 

/Crewe, Practical Treatise on Petroleum, 1887, p. 359. 



148 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bui.l.212. 



Very few tests of the Coastal Plain oils have been made with the 
view of determining either their flashing point or their burning point, 
and the few made show very discordant results. The differences are 
probably due, in part at least, to the different length of time during 
which the various samples had been exposed to the air, with conse- 
quent evaporation of the more volatile constituents. 

Flashing point and burning point of Beaumont oil. 



Determined by- 



Ledoux a 

Richardson b 

Emery 

Denton c 

Oliphant d ... 



Flashing 
point. 


Burning 
point. 


°F. 


°F. 


165 
110 






110 


180 


142 


181 


180 


200 



a Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Eng., Vol. XXXI, p. 370. 
b Jour. Soc. Cheui. Industry, Vol. XX, p. 691. 



o Report to Export Oil and Pipe Line Co. 
d Mineral Resources U. S. 1890, p. 580. 



It appears from the above that in the use of this oil in its crude 
state no danger need be apprehended from fire due to the generation 
of inflammable gases if its temperature is kept below 110° F., and that 
by the gradual escape of the lighter hydrocarbons the temperature at 
which dangerous gases are given off rises in a comparatively short 
time to 180°, or even higher. This conclusion is amply confirmed by 
a series of experiments made by Professor Denton to determine this 
point. 

VISCOSITY. 

The physical character of petroleum is more or less affected by 
low temperatures. Some experiments made with the Saratoga oil 
show that prolonged cold has but a slight effect upon it. A test tube 
filled with the crude oil was submerged in the freezing tank of the 
Austin Ice Factory for sixteen hours. The temperature of the tank at 
the time of immersion was 22° F., and at the close of the experiment 
the temperature had risen to 26° F. Another test tube was sur- 
rounded by a freezing mixture so as to reduce the temperature of the 
oil to 10° F., and it was kept at this for half an hour. In both cases 
the oil showed only a slight thickening and did not run as freely as at 
ordinary temperatures. Other experiments made by Ledoux, Emery, 
and Denton have shown that the Beaumont oil remains liquid at 10° F. 

The viscosity of the Beaumont oil, according to the Pennsylvania 
Railroad standard, is 77 seconds, as compared with 42 seconds for the I 
Pennsylvania and 37 seconds for the Noble, Ohio, oils. 

CHEMICAL PROPERTIES. 

Our information regarding the chemical properties of the Texas- 
Louisiana oils is derived chiefly from the work of Messrs. Thiel, 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF THE OIL. 



149 



Mabery, and Richardson, whose results and conclusions are given 
below. The properties investigated include ultimate composition, 
volatility, products of fractional distillation, viscosity of residues, 
specific gravity, and refractive index of distillates. For the purpose 
of comparison, determinations of the same nroperties in oils from other 
fields are also inserted. 

COMPOSITION. 

The ultimate chemical composition of the Beaumont and Sour Lake 
oils as compared with oils from other fields is given below. 

Ultimate composition of various oils. 





Beaumont. 


Sour 
Lake." 


Pennsyl- 
vania." 


Ohio." 


Califor- 
nia.*' 


c 


o 85. 03 
12. 30 


b 84. 60 
10.90 


85. 96 
13. 97 


86.10 
13. 90 


85 
13.80 


84 


H 


12.70 


s ; 


1.75 


1.63 





.06 


. 60 


.40 


O.N 


.92 


2.87 







.60 


2.09 


Loss on treatment with ex- 
cess of H 2 S0 4 


39 






21.00 


30 











"Jour. Soc. Chem. Industry, Vol. XX, p. 161 et seq. 

b Report of the Liquid Fuel Board, United States Navy, 1902, p. 69. 

cSalathe, Bull. Cal. State Mining Bureau No. 19, p. 207. 



The sulphur content of the Beaumont petroleum is high and it also 
carries a large amount of hydrogen-sulphide gas in solution. This 
gas largely escapes on standing, and is more completely expelled if air 
or steam is blown through the oil. After such treatment Richardson 
found the oil to contain 1.75 per cent of sulphur. Mabery found 2. 10 
per cent; Denton found 1.63 per cent; O. H. Palm found the Higgins 
oil to contain 2.4 per cent of sulphur, and A. M. Smoot found the oil 
from the Lucas well to contain 2.04 per cent. 

According to Mabery, a the Ohio oils have 0.50 per cent of sulphur, 
while the Canadian oils contain, according to the same authority, 
0.98 per cent. Orton and Lord* found 0.553 per cent in the Trenton 
limestone oils. 

The condition in which this sulphur exists in the petroleum is an 
important question from the technological standpoint, since it will 
determine the methods to be adopted for its removal. Considerable 
light is thrown on the question by experiments in the fractional 
filtration of this oil, carried on by Dr. D. T. Da} 7 , and described at 
the Petroleum Congress in Paris in 1900. 

The oil from which the hydrogen sulphide had been removed by a 
current of air was passed through a filter made by packing kaolin in 
a glass tube 19 inches in length. The oil entered the bottom of the 



"Am. Chem. Jour. 1891, Vol. XIII, p. 234. 

b Eighth Ann. Rept. U. S Geol. Survey, Part II, 1889, p. 625. 



150 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN. [BULL.212i 



tube under a head of 5G inches and passed through very slowly, only 
5 cubic centimeters having passed in the first twenty-four hours. 

The color, odor, specific gravity, and sulphur content of the several 
fractions obtained in this manner are given below. 

Filtration products from Beaumont oil. a 



Crude oil. _ ... 
First fraction . 
Second fraction. 
Third fraction _ . 
Fourth fraction 



Fifth fraction . . 
Sixth fraction 
Seventh fraction 
Eighth fraction 



Amount 



21 



10 

22 
L3 
20 



Color. 



Deep brown 

Water white 

Pale lemon. . 

Deep lemon _ 

Amber fluores- 
cent. 

do 

Deep amber . . 

..do .. 

....do 



Specific 
gravity 25 C. 



0.914 
. 8755 
. 8980 
.9038 
.9068 



9101 



9115 
9115 



Sulphur. 



Per coif. 

1 . 75 
.80 
.91 

1.01 



Remarks. 



Rank odor. 
Sweet odor. 

Do. 

Do. 

Do. 

Do. 
Do. 
Do. 
Do. 



"Jour. Soc. Chem. Industry, Vol. XXI, p. 817. 

On standing for a month or more the denser fractions, and espe- 
cially the second, deposited beautifully regular crystals of sulphur. 
These could only have been derived either from the decomposition of 
sulphur compounds while passing through the filter or from sulphur 
existing as such dissolved in the oil. The latter appears the more 
probable, although further investigation is required to settle the ques- 
tion definitely. 

VOLATILITY. 

The volatility of the Beaumont petroleum as compared with oils 
from Noble County, Ohio, and the Pennsylvania pipe line is shown 
by Richardson to be as follows: 

Relative volatility of Beaumont oil. 





Sour 
Lake. 


Beaumont 
No. 1. 


Beaumont 
No. it. 

Per cent. 
20 
27 
49 

48 
57 
74 


Noble 

County, 
Ohio. 


Pennsyl- 
vania pipe 
lines. 


110 C. , 230° F. , 7 hours 


Per cent. 


Per cent. 
19.19 
31.31 
57.57 

48 

" 04 

74 


Per cent. 

41.2 

43 

59 

48.7 
61 

75 


Per cent. 
47.3 


162° C, 325° F.. 7 hours 




58 


205° C, 400° F., 7 hours . 
To constant weight: 

105° C, 221° F., 42hours. 


35 


68 
58, 


162° C, 325° F.., 70 hours. 
205° C, 400° F., 49 hours 




''71.8 
84 







"Forty-nine hours. 



''Forty-two hours. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY 



"! 



CHEMICAL PKOPERTIES OF THE OIL. 



151 



The distillation as carried on in Engler's flasks gave the following 

results : 

Distillation of Beaumont oil. 





Sour 
Lake. 


Beaumont. 


Ohio. 


Pennsyl- 
vania. 


California, a 


Distillation begins °C 




110 
2.5 

40 

20 

25 

10 
30 

8 


85 
23 

21 

21 

27 

5 


80 

21 

41 

14 
j 23 
| 99 

1.8 




Below 150° C. per cent . . 
150°-350° C. p. cent 
300°-350° C. p. cent 


| 6.6 

) ''12.7 
2.6 


7.6 
14.2 33.8 
5. 2 6 


350°-400° C. p. cent 




Loss on acid treatment, 
per cent . _ 




(150°-300°C. fraction) 
150°-260° per cent__ 






Loss on acid treatment, 
per cent _ 










Percentage of acid used 




2. 5 2 















a Bulletin California State Mining Bureau No. 19, p. :>(>:}. 
b Cracking begins. Residue in Sour Lake oil, 78.1 per cent. 

The percentage, specific gravity, and refractive index of the frac- 
tional distillates from the Beaumont oil, as determined by Richardson, 
are as follows : 

Fractional d istillates. 





Fractions. 


Distilled. 


Specific 

gravity 

26 C 


Refractive 




°F. 


°c. 


index 26 C. 


Atmospheric pressure. . 
Do_. 
Do 
Do _ 
Do 


300-401 
401-441 
441-480 
480-520 
520-559 
559-602 
392-464 
464-536 
536-608 


149-245 
205-227 
227-249 
249-271 
271-293 
293-317 
200-240 
240-280 
280-320 


Per cr nt. 

1 

8.4 

4.4 
10.8 
10.8 
13.1 
13 

8.8 
10. 6 


0.8114 
. 8408 
. 8569 
. 8705 
. 8863 
. 9009 
. 9184 
. 9349 
.9429 


1.459 
1.461 
1 . 467 
1.476 
1.485 


Do 

20 millimeters pressure 

Do ... 


1.492 
1.505 
L514 


Do . 


1.521 



Residue slow flow at 70 F. 



152 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

The viscosity of the residues from the open-dish evaporation of tin 
Beaumont oil is as follows: 

Viscosity of residues of Beaumont oil. 

7 hours at 205° C. , 400° F . . Quick flow. 

49 hours at 205° C, 400° F. _. Solid. 

Penetration, 8°-10°. 

A similar but softer pitch made by boiling the crude oil for twenty 
hours in an open dish had the following properties compared with a 
D grade residue or paving asphalt from Los Angeles oil: 

Character of residues of Beaumont and California oils. 



Penetration 

Specific gravity 

Bitumen soluble in 88° naphtha 
Bitumen soluble in 62° naphtha 
Fixed carbon 



Beaumont. 



78° 
. 9943 

78.3 
84. 3 

8.7 



California. 



78° 

.9964 
74. 4 
81.6 
15 



Richardson has called attention to the peculiar conditions under 
which the sulphur exists in the Beaumont petroleums and the prob- 
ability of the presence of free sulphur which might account for the 
variability in character of the product obtained on varying the condi- 
tions under which the oil is heated, the amount of hard residue reach- 
ing in some cases to no more than 10 per cent and under other 
conditions to as much as 35 per cent. 

Distilled in vacuo at a point where boiling ceased to go on without 
cracking, one of the samples from Beaumont gave distillates better 
suited for examinations as to the character of the hydrocarbons which 
make up the oil than those from the Engler flasks. Comparisons of 
the distillates from Corsicana, Sour Lake, and California oils show 
that the Beaumont petroleum is more closely related, as would be 
expected, to the Sour Lake than to the other oils. 

Specific gravity of fractions boiling between 100° -175° C. 



100° -150 



Beaumont 
Sour Lake 
Corsicana 
California 




HAYES 
KENNEDY 



AND] 
DY. I 



CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF THE OIL. 



153 



The specific gravity and refractive index of the Beaumont distillates 
as compared with those from the Ohio and Pennsylvania oils are 

shown as follows: 

Character of distillates. 





Beaumont. 


Ohio. 


Pennsyl 


^ania. 




Specific- 
gravity. 


Refract- 
ive index. 


Specific 
gravity. 


Refract- 
ive index. 


Specific 
gravity. 


Refract- 
ive index. 


Below 150° . . 


0. 8749 
.9089 
.9182 

.8704 


( B ) 

1.473 
1.501 
1.508 

1.473 


0. 7297 
. 8014 

1.8404 
.8643 

. 8006 


1.412 
1.442 
1.468 
1.481 

1.443 


0. 7188 

.7984 

.8338 

Paraffin. 

.7791 


1.415 


150° to 800° . - 


1.437 


300° to 350° 

350° to 400° 


1.462 
1.470 


After acid treatment: 
150° to 300° . . 


1.438 



"Amount too small. 

The residue after distillation of the Beaumont oil, amounting to 9.9 
per cent of the original oil, was evaporated in an open dish to G per 
cent. It was then a brittle pitch which had the following properties: 

Properties of residue after distillation of Beau?nont oil. 

Specific gravity 1 . 0454 

Color Black. 

Luster , Shiny. 

Structure Massive. 

Fracture Conchoidal. 

Hardness-penetration . - 15° . 

Soluble in CS 2 per cent. . 99. 8 

Organic insoluble 0.1 

Mineral matter 0.1 

100 

Soluble in 88° naphtha 60 

This is per cent of total bitumen 60. 1 

Soluble in 62° naphtha 64. 8 

This is per cent of total bitumen 64. 9 

Bitumen yields on ignition — 

Fixed carbon per cent. _ 21. 13 

Volatile hydrocarbon 78. 

CONSTITUTION. 

The chemical constitution of the Texas petroleum has not yet been 
thoroughly investigated, but Richardson and Wallace in the article 
quoted above a reach the conclusion that it contains a large propor- 
tion of unsaturated hydrocarbons, which are removed by treatment 
with an excess of strong sulphuric acid and washing soda. It also 

a Jour. Soc. Chem. Industry, Vol. XX, 1901, p. 69:3. 



154 OTL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull.212. 

contains members of a hydrocarbon series C n H 2n -2, which, although 
saturated, are readily attacked Iry cold nitric acid. Similar com- 
pounds are found in Russian and Californian oils and in Trinidad 
asphalt. 

Mabery and Buck a have also investigated the constitution of the 
Beaumont oil and conclude that fractions distilling between 150° C. 
and 300° C. contain hydrocarbons of the series C n H 2n -2 and C n H 2n -4. 

ASSOCIATED HYDROCARBONS. 
NATURAL GAS. 

Throughout the whole of the Gulf Coastal Plain wherever any oil 
has been found, it is always accompanied by considerable quantities 
of natural gas; indeed, this form of hydrocarbon is more widely dis- 
tributed than the oil, and at several localities it is found unaccom- 
panied by oil. Among the most remarkable of these gas wells are 
those at Bryan Heights, Brazoria County, and Big Hill, Matagorda 1 
County. The gas horizon was struck at 900 to 1,000 feet and the 
initial pressure was sufficient to blow out tools and casing and wreck 
the derrick. The flow from each of these wells was estimated from 
5,000,000 to 6,000,000 cubic feet per day. All efforts to control the 
flow of gas have proved unsuccessful and they have been abandoned. 

The composition of the gas lias not been carefully investigated, but 
it is known to contain, in addition to the light hydrocarbons of ordi- 
nary natural gas, a large proportion of sulphureted hydrogen. 
Hence, while the gas is inflammable and may be used with advantage 
under boilers standing in the open, and is so used extensively on 
Spindletop, it is not suitable for domestic use or where the products 
of combustion would be objectionable. It is highly probable that this! 
gas will be utilized in future for developing heat in such industrial 
processes as burning brick, evaporating salt, etc. It is as yet a wholly! 
undeveloped industry, being entirely overshadowed by the produc- 
tion and marketing of the oil. 

WELL PHENOMENA. 
WELL PRESSURE. 

At numerous points in the Coastal Plain oil field, but particularly' 
at the Spindletop pool, the oil issues from its reservoir under great! 
pressure, producing the familiar phenomenon of gushing. Just how< 
great the pressure has been in the Spindletop wells is not known, buj 
it certainly varies between wide limits. In some wells it has shown 
almost explosive violence, blowing out casing and breaking heavy! 
cast-iron valves. This maximum pressure has never been even 

&Jour. Am. Chem. Soc, Vol. XXII, 1900, pp. 553-556. 



HAYKS 
KENN 



^y D ] WELL PRESSURE. 155 



approximately measured. Some closed pressures of 500 pounds and 
over per square inch have been reported, but these are not well 
vouched for. The reliable measurements vary from 70 to 350 pounds. 
The following are the most trustworthy measurements which have 
been made of closed pressure: 

Measurements of closed pressure of oil wells in Gulf Coastal Plain field. 

Pounds. 

American Oil and Refining Company _ 79 

Texas Oil and Pipe Line 112 

Trans-Mississippi . 300 

Yellow Pine 340 

San Jacinto No. 1 350 

The Hooks well at Saratoga showed a steady closed pressure of 127 
pounds. 

Cause of pressure. — Two theories have been employed in explain- 
ing the pressure which causes oil and gas to gush, namely, the hydro- 
static theory and the gas-expansion theory. 

In accordance with the first of these theories, the gas, oil, and water 
are arranged in the subterranean reservoir in the order of their specific 
gravities, the gas being on top and the Avater at the bottom. The 
waler is assumed to saturate the porous stratum continuously from 
beneath the oil reservoir to the outcrop and to transmit the pressure 
due to the greater elevation of the outcrop to the overling oil. A 
close correspondence was found by Orton between the closed pressure 
of wells in the Trenton field of Ohio and Indiana and the weight of a 
column of water equal to the difference in elevation between the well 
head and the Trenton outcrop. Even in this region, however, which 
is the one commonly cited in support of this theory, it does not explain 
certain cases of exceptionally high and low pressures. In the Texas- 
Louisiana field the theory fails to explain the extreme range in pres- 
sure observed in different parts of the same pool, and, further, it is 
inconsistent with the behavior of the wells when flowing. 

It appears highly probable that the pressure in the oil reservoir is 
due largely to the expansive force of the associated gas. When the 
oil rock is penetrated by the drill it is usually, though not alwa} T s, 
necessary to remove the water from the casing by bailing. When the 
pressure is thus relieved there is first a rush of gas, followed by a 
stream of oil, which is expelled with great violence. The oil, however, 
never flows in a steadj^ stream, like the water from an artesian well, 
but by a series of jets or pulsations. These may be relatively slow, 
each flow of oil lasting for several minutes, followed by an equal or 
longer period of quiescence, in which only gas escapes; or they may 
be rapid, several pulsations occurring within a single minute. The 
rapidity of the pulsations appears to depend, among other things, upon 



156 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

the depth to which the well is drilled into the oil rock; and their 
rapidity, and consequently the yield of the well, is generally increased 
by deeper boring. It is also probably influenced by the character of 
the oil rock, the more porous rock yielding its contained oil more 
rapidly than that which is relatively compact. In addition to this 
longer period, the stream of oil generally shows a very rapid pulsation, 
similar to that observed in a jet of mingled water and steam when 
a boiler is blown off. 

A common method of raising oil in wells which do not flow is to 
carry air under high pressure to the bottom of the well by means of 
a small pipe within the casing. When the air is turned on and 
accumulates sufficient pressure to lift the column of oil in the casing, 
the oil is expelled in a pulsating stream exactly similar to a natural 
gusher. In one case, however, the expansive force of artificially com- 
pressed air is the expelling force, and in the other case it is the expan- 
sive force of the naturally compressed gas which is associated with 
the oil in the rock reservoir. 

In addition to the expansive force of the gas, there is also probably 
some hydrostatic pressure in this field, but its influence in producing 
the phenomena of a gusher must be relatively insignificant. Quite 
generally throughout the Coastal Plain region an artesian water flow 
is obtained at depths ranging from GOO to 1,500 feet, but this has only 
a very moderate head. This is seen in the 1,400-foot artesian well at 
the Beaumont court-house, where the head is only a few inches above 
the surface. The existence of a slight hydrostatic pressure in the 
Spindletop pool is shown in the invasion of some wells by salt water 
as the overlying gas and oil are removed. This will doubtless con- 
tinue until the pool is exhausted, although the head may not be suffi- 
cient to bring the salt water to the surface. 

If the pressure to which the gushing in the Spindletop and other 
Coastal Plain pools is due is chiefly the expansive force of gas, it fol- 
lows that this force will expel only a part of the oil, and the remainder 
will necessarily be won by pumping or by supplying the place of the 
natural gas by compressed air. If the oil and gas were arranged in 
the order of their specific gravities and sharply separated by a plane 
surface, the gas, being at the top, would naturally be first tapped and 
would escape without lifting the oil. It would force the oil out only 
from such wells as did not tap the reservoir in its higher portions, 
but lower down where the oil reached entirely to the cover, by exert- 
ing a downward pressure on the oil. The conditions theoretically 
existing in an oil pool are shown in the accompanying sketch (fig. 9). 
The well A taps the top of the reservoir and yields only gas; the well 
B, on the side of the reservoir, penetrates only oil-bearing rock and 
the oil is forced out by the downward pressure of the overlying gas; 
the well C penetrates the reservoir rock below the lower limit of the 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



UTILIZATION OF THE OIL. 



157 



oil, and hence yields only water which may or may not flow at the 
surface. 

These simple theoretical conditions are, however, seldom, if ever, 
realized in nature. It is evident that the oil and gas in the Texas- 
Louisiana pools are not sharply separated by a plane surface. Some 
of the wells on Spindletop, it is true, have yielded only gas, and cer- 
tain portions of the reservoir must therefore contain only that form 
of hydrocarbon, as shown on the diagram; but these gas wells are not 
all shallower than some which have yielded oil, and hence the two 
substances are not separated by a horizontal plane. It is probable 
that under the pressure existing in the oil reservoir the liquid hydro- 
carbons absorb a very large volume of the gaseous compounds, and 



Land surface 




Fig. 9.— Theoretical relations of gas, oil, and water in the reservoir rock. 

it may be that the expansion of this absorbed gas is the principal 
agent in causing the oil to gush. 

UTILIZATION OF THE GULF COAST PETROLEUM. 
ILLUMINATING OIL. 

The three chief purposes for which petroleum is used are, in the 
order of profit to the producer, for illuminants, for lubricants, and for 
fuel. Concerning the adaptability of the Gulf Coast oil for the first 
two purposes, there is much diversity of opinion, and sufficient inves- 
tigation has not yet been given to the subject to yield definite conclu- 
sions. The general consensus of opinion appears to be, however, 
that the petroleum is not adapted to the production of illuminating 
oil by any refining process at present known. This is not due chiefly 
to the presence of sulphur compounds, for methods have been devised 
for removing the sulphur economically, but to the chemical constitu- 
tion of the distillates themselves. Being what are known as unsatu- 
rated hydrocarbons, they have a high specific gravity and burn with 
a smoky flame. This difficulty can not at present be overcome except 
by very expensive processes of refining, which are not practicable in 
competition with the cheap illuminating oils from other petroleums. 



158 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

FUEL. 
THEORETICAL VALUE. 

The value of any fuel depends upon several considerations. Com- 
mercially, upon its location and capability of successfully competing 
with the other fuels that may be brought into the same market. These 
conditions are largely governed by the cost of production, length of 
haul, and cost of transportation and handling. Under certain con- 
ditions it may be possible for an inferior fuel to successfully compete 
with and even supplant a much higher grade fuel. Thus wood has 
been enabled in many localities to compete successfully with coal. 
Under similar conditions coal has been enabled to meet the inroads 
of gaseous or liquid fuel in its various forms. 

Technically, fuels are graded by the work they will perform. This 
is determined either theoretically from the chemical composition or 
by practical tests, and the results obtained by these two methods 
often vary widely. It is a well-known fact that many, if not all, coals 
have a calculated theoretical calorific value much greater than they 
really possess, as shown in their ordinary use or even as measured 
by a calorimeter. 

In the testing of fuels the heat value as determined by their chem- 
ical composition is the best method yet devised, at least for compar- 
ison of new and untried fuels. By this means their relative value as 
compared with other well-known fuels may be determined and some 
idea be gained as to their approximate commercial values. By cal- 
culating the theoretical heating power various uncertain quantities 
are eliminated, such as style of and condition of grates, method of 
setting and form of boiler, draft, and a number of other conditions 
which can not be rendered uniform. In the testing of liquid fuel 
there are the questions of the size and style of burner, quantity of 
steam or air, or both, admitted to (ire box, and a number of other 
practical conditions, all of which have a direct effect on the result 
and greatly complicate the problem. 

The theoretical value of any fuel depends upon its constituents and 
upon their mode of arrangement. Carbon and hydrogen are consid- 
ered the essential heat jnoducers. The other constituents being gen- 
erally present in small quantities are usually disregarded, with the 
exception of sulphur and ash. Sulphur is generally considered as a 
deleterious constituent of any fuel, not only on account of its low 
heat power, but also on account of the readiness with which it com- 
bines with the metals in the furnace. Where fuel is intended for 
metallurgical purposes it is required to be as free from sulphur and 
sulphurous compounds as possible. 

The ultimate calorific value of Beaumont petroleum as determined 
by Redwood is 19388 B. T. IL, and as determined by Professor Den- 



femNEDY D ] USE 0F THE 0IL AS FUEL. 159 

ton with oxygen calorimeter is 10000 B. T. II., giving a mean of 11)224 
B. T. U. The calorific value of Pennsylvania and Ohio crude petro- 
leum is about 20200 B. T. IT., and that of Baku, Russia, crude about 
19500. It will thus be seen that the calorific value of the Beaumont 
petroleum compares favorably with that of the best liquid fuels in 
use. 

SAFETY. 

Liquid fuel, however, requires other qualifical ions than merely high- 
heating values. It must be safe for transportation, handling, and for 
storage. Very few petroleums as they come from the well have these 
qualifications. All contain a greater or less percentage of naphtha or 
some of the lighter hydrocarbons which have a tendency to reduce 
the flash point and make the oil easily inflammable. Consequently a 
liquid fuel to be safe should not contain any of these light inflamma- 
ble oils, nor should it contain naphtha. According to Oliphant, fuel 
oils should have a gravity of between 20° and 25° B (sp. gr. 0.9333 to 
1.9032) and a flash test of from 240° to 270° F. The Asfatka, or fuel 
oils of the Russian fields, have a specific gravity of 21° B (0.928) and a 
flash point of about 284° F., while those of the Eastern Archipelago 
have a specific gravity of 0.970 and a high flash point. 

The effect of a mixture of the lighter oils with the petroleums is the 
tendency to create an inflammable vapor in connection with their stor- 
age, which, mixed with air, becomes highly explosive. It has been 
found that a mixture of only 2 per cent of air with this vapor makes 
an explosive mixture, and that upon dilution to 4 percent or over the 
mixture is harmless, although still inflammable. 

The few tests of the Beaumont oils have shown them to contain a 
small quantity of light oil, and to have a flash point correspondingly 
low. The flash point as determined ranges between 110° to 180° F. for 
Beaumont and 244° F. for the oils from the Sour Lake shallow wells. 

These oils, however, appear to be very slow in the generation of 
inflammable gases. Two tanks in the Beaumont fields have already 
been struck by lightning without any explosion or even serious fire 
taking place, and Professor Denton, in a series of experiments, shows 
that the Beaumont oil does not give rise to an inflammable vapor 
until heated to above 142° F. For complete safety, however, these 
oils should be distilled so as to remove enough of the lighter constit- 
uents to bring the flash point up to about 240°, although they have 
been and are now being utilized with apparently perfect safety for fuel 
purposes in their crude condition. 

The introduction of earthen and practically open tanks, allowing 
the lighter products to escape by a process of natural distillation, may 
be expected to bring them within the safety limits as to flash point 
without further treatment. 



160 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

PRACTICAL TESTS IN STEAM RAISING. 

The most thorough practical experiments, with the view of testing the 
full value of the Beaumont petroleum, have been made by Prof. James 
E. Denton, of the Stevens Institute of Technology, Iloboken, N. J. 
These tests were made in the plant of the West Side Hygeia Ice Com- 
pany, of New York. From the data thus obtained it appears that this 
petroleum has an evaporative powe r - : of 15.29 to 15.55 pounds of water 
per pound of oil used. Of the steam generated 3.1 to 4.8 per cent was 
used by the burner in spraying the oil. There was thus left available 
for use the steam from 14.74 to 15.16 pounds of water per pound of 
oil used. Buckwheat anthracite coal used under the same boilers 
evaporated from 8.75 to 9.17 pounds of water per pound of fuel. In 
other words, Professor Denton has demonstrated that in boilers well 
proportioned and carefully handled 78.5 percent of the entire calorific 
value of the oil was made effective. In ordinary practice, without the 
use of special precautions to guard against waste, 13 pounds of water 
should be evaporated by 1 pound of Beaumont petroleum, as com- 
pared with 6 to 6.5 pounds of water evaporated by the bituminous 
coals of Indian Territory, 8.7 pounds by Pittsburg coal, and 9 by Penn- 
sylvania anthracite. 

COMPARATIVE FUEL VALUE OF COAL AND BEAUMONT PETROLEUM. 

The relative fuel value of petroleum and various standard coals 
may be obtained by comparing the amount of water evaj)orated by, 
one pound of the various fuels. Taking 13 pounds as the amount] 
evaporated by 1 pound of* Beaumont petroleum under ordinary con- 
ditions, and 6.5 pounds as the amount evaporated by Southwestern, 

bituminous coal under similar conditions, the ratio — '- is 2. If a bet- 

6.0 

ter grade of coal is used, the ratio will be smaller. Thus, with Pitts- j 

13 
burg coal, which evaporates 8.7 pounds of water, the ratio — would 

8.7 

would be 1.5. 

The average specific gravity of Beaumont petroleum is about .921, 
so that it weighs 7.68 pounds to the gallon, or about 322 pounds to the 
barrel of 42 gallons. 

Taking the first ratio, 2, obtained above from the comparison of! 
the evaporation by Beaumont petroleum and southwestern bitumi- 
nous coal, 'it will be seen that 1,000 pounds of petroleum is required 
to do the work of 1 ton of coal of 2,000 pounds; or, since 1,000 pounds 
is equivalent to 3.1 barrels, 1 ton of Southwestern bituminous coal 
may be regarded as having the same fuel value as 3.1 barrels of 
petroleum. The following table gives the value of Beaumont petro- 
leum for steam-raising purposes compared with two standard grades 
of coal at prices varying from II to $7 per ton. 






HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



USE OF THE OIL AS FUEL. 161 

Comparative fuel value of coal and Beaumont petroleum. 






Price of 
South- 
western 
coal per ton 
of 2,000 
pounds. 


Number of 

barrels of 

Beaumont 

petroleum 

to equal 

1 ton of 

coal. 


Price of 

Beaumont 

petroleum 

per barrel 

to equal 

cost of 1 

ton of 

Southwest- 


Price of 
ordinary 
Pittsburg 

coal per 
ton of 2,000 

pounds. 


Number of 

barrels of 

Beaumont 

petroleum 

to equal 

1 ton of 

Pittsburg 

coal. 


Price of 

Beavimont 

petroleum 

per barrel 

to equal 

cost of 1 

ton of 

Pittsburg 






ern coa 1 




coal. 


$1.00 


3.1 


$0. 32 


$1.00 


4.31 


$0.23 


1.25 


3.1 


.40 


1.25 


4.31 


.30 


1.50 


3.1 


.49 


1.50 


4.31 


.35 


1.75 


3.1 


. .57 


1.75 


4.31 


.41 


2.00 


3.1 


.65 


2.00 


4.31 


.47 


2.50 


3.1 


.80 


2. 50 


4.31 


.58 


3.00 


3.1 


.97 


3.00 


4.31 


.70 


3.50 


3.-1 


1.13 


3.25 


4.31 


.83 


4.00 


3.1 


1.29 


4.00 


4.31 


.93 


4.50 


3.1 


1.45 


4. 50 


4.31 


1.05 


5.00 


3.1 


1.61 


5.00 


4.31 


1.16 


6.00 


3.1 


1.94 


6.00 


4.31 


1.39 


7.00 


3.1 


2.22 


7.00 


4.31 


1.62 



It should be noted, however, that the conditions under which coal 
and petroleum are used in ordinary practice favor the obtaining of a 
larger per cent of the theoretical fuel value in the petroleum than in 
the coal. Also a deduction of at least 10 per cent should ordinarily 
be made from the fuel cost of petroleum on account of economy in 
handling the liquid fuel as compared with coal. Additional benefits 
lonnected with the use of petroleum are cleanliness, heathfulness, 
and absence of smoke, which, however, can not easily be estimated 
in a money equivalent. 

It has been urged that the extremeh T disagreeable odor of the Beau- 
mont oil will militate against its use as a fuel and that in densely 
settled districts its use will not be permissible. It may be positively 
stated, however, that when the burners are in good, clean working 
:>rder no odor whatever can be detected from the burning oil, and 
ivhen it is used in locomotives the absence of dirt and cinders is the 
mly noticeable feature. 

LOCOMOTIVE TESTS. 

As a locomotive fuel, petroleum lias many additional advantages 
)ver coal. Among the more important of these are the perfect con- 
trol under which it is held and its quick response to the great varia- 
ions in demand made upon the boiler. Also in the narrow limits of 

Bull. 212—03 11 



162 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN. Lbull.212. 

a locomotive firebox the combustion is much more complete with 
petroleum than with coal, and a correspondingly larger proportion of 
the theoretical fuel value is utilized. This may amount to as much 
as 30 per cent added to the efficiency of the boiler. A further great 
advantage in locomotive use is that it weighs only 67 per cent as much 
as coal having the same heating capacity. 

Practical tests of Beaumont petroleum have been made by the 
Southern Pacific Railroad and the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Rail- 
road. Both of these roads had already had experience with California 
petroleum, and were therefore in a position to carry out their experi- 
ments in a practical way. According to Mr. Stillmau, of the Southern 
Pacific road, the specific gravity of the oil used was 0.050-1 (16° B). 
It had a flash point of 240° F. and fire test of 200° F. The results of 
the test on this road, as compared with coal, are shown in the follow- 
ing table : 

< 'omparative test of petroleum and coal for locomotive fuel. 



Miles run 

Average steam pressure ' 

Gallons of water evaporated . . 

Gallons of oil burned ___... . 

Pounds of fuel burned 

Miles run per ton- _ 

Amount of the two fuels doing the same work 




Coal. 



224 
130 



8,043 

55.72 

&1 



a Barrels of 42 gallons. 



b Ton of 2,000 pounds. 



From this test it appears that with petroleum at 30 cents per barrel, 
which is somewhat above the market price prevailing at the time the 
test was made, coal should be worth only 03 cents per ton; or, stated 
in another form, with coal at $3 per ton, petroleum should be worth 
97 cents per barrel. 

METHODS OF BURNING THE OIL. 



Of the numerous styles of oil burners on the market, practically all 
consist of various modifications of the sprayer. Some of the earlier 
styles were of a different pattern, but these have been abandoned. 
The burners now in use all work on the principle of spraying or, as 
some claim, vaporizing the oil by the use of steam or air under con- 
siderable pressure, working somewhat on the style of a Bunsen 
burner. When steam is used it should be taken from the highest 
part of the boiler and should be dry. It need not be superheated as 
was at one time considered necessary. 

When working properly the flame is a clear white with an intense 



U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 



BULLETIN NO. 212 PL. VIII 



VERTICAL SECTION THROUGH 
CENTER OF BURNER. 







HORIZONTAL SECTION THROUGH 
CENTER OF BURNER. 




WILLIAMS BURNER. 



HAYES A 
KENNEDY. 



ND~1 
Y. J 



METHODS OF BURNING THE OIL. 



163 



heat, and as the fuel is completely consumed no smoke issues from the 
chimney. When perfect combustion is interrupted by a too rapid 
feed of oil or an insufficient supply of air, an intensely black smoke 
pours from the stack in great volumes, covering everything it touches 
with a black, greasy soot. Under these conditions the flame becomes 
a dull red, the oil is not consumed, and, although more fuel is used, 
less work is performed. When steam is used in excess the smoke is 
white and watery owing to the condensation of the steam. Under 
these conditions the fire usually goes out. 

In making his experiment Professor Denton used the Williams 
burner. His arrangements for burning the oil probably represent the 




Fig. 10. — Boiler furnace with oil-burning equipment 



best practice yet devised, and, with his modifications of the boiler 
furnace, are shown in figs. 10 and 11. 

Four ducts of hollow tile (F, fig. 11) 10 by 6 inches were laid in the 
ash pit, extending nearly to the bridge wall, and the ash-pit door open- 
ings closed by brickwork around the outer ends of the tile. 

The forward bearer of the grate bars (N, fig. 11) was dropiDed, about 
half of the forward set of bars removed, and a course of fire brick 
(O, fig. 11) laid with fire clay over the whole upper surface of the 
grates, so that air entering through the tile could flow back along the 
outside of the latter, and then around and up between the front end 



164 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

of the grate bars through an area a little greater than that of the 
aggregate cross section of the tiles. 

A checkerwork (P, fig. 11) of about 50 loose fire brick was built 
over the grates, the space back of the bridge was filled with ashes 
(R, fig. 11) flush with the top of the bridge wall, and a single-course 
floor (Q, fig. 11) of fire brick laid over the ashes. 

An iron bar (a, fig. 10) was bridged across the middle of the fire- 
door opening, and the remainder of the latter closed with fire brick 
(V, figs. 10 and 4) flared on the inside, a small opening (L, fig. 10) 
being left for applying the torch to the burners. Into the iron bar 
across each door was screwed the burner (K, fig. 11). 

Oil enters the burner vertically through the opening (b, PI. VIII) 
under control of the cock (c, PL VIII), regulated by the handle (d, PL 
VIII, A and B.) 




Fig. 11.— Boiler furnace arranged for burning oil. 



Steam enters the opening (e, PL VIII, A and B) and flows through 
the conical opening (f), regulated by the hand wheel (g), to meet the 
oil as the latter falls between the vertical flanges (h, B). 

A third opening (i, A and B) in the burner draws air from the 
back of the furnace through a fire-brick duct built on top of the 
grate and connecting with the bottom side of the latter at its rear, 
while the front end communicates with the iron pipe (M, fig. 10) con- 
nected to both burners. 

A mixture of steam, oil, and heated air is therefore blown out of 
the burner, and this is joined by the main current of air flowing up 
around the front end of the grate bars, somewhat heated by its passage 
along the under side of the grate. 

The oil was stored in an iron tank (A, fig. 10), 7 feet in diamete 
by 5 feet deep, sunk in the ground, into which the oil is emptie 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION. 165 



through the pipe (C, fig. 10). The top of the tank was closed, ven- 
tilation being afforded by the pipe (Y, fig. 10). 

A steam pump (B, fig. 10) drew oil from the tank through the 
strainer (IT, fig. 10) to the burners under a head of about 10 feet. 

The pump was run constantly and delivered a surplus, which flowed 
back to the tank through the pipe (T, fig. 10). 

The oil was provided with a device-' (D, fig. 10) having a piston 
connecting by a chain with a cock (S, fig. 10), which automatically 
opened when the boiler was not under steam pressure, so that the 
standpipe would be emptied of oil by the latter flowing to the storage 
tank, 

The steam exhaust of the pump passed through the tank by the 
pipe (Z', fig. 3 0) and thence to the atmosphere. Thereby high cold 
test oil is kept sufficiently fluid in cold Aveather to flow freely into the 
strainer, but is not sensibly heated to the touch when it arrives at 
the burner. 

The air entered the ash-pit tiles under the natural draft of the 
chimney, 70 feet high by 42 inches square, connecting to the boiler 
tested by a 40-inch flue about 30 feet long. 

STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION. 

During the earlier days of the Beaumont field the companies own- 
ing wells were seriously handicapped by the want of means of taking 
care of the oil or sending it to market. The immense quantity pro- 
duced was unexpected and no one was prepared to handle it. The 
companies had no tankage, and consequently, although drilling was 
carried on, and even stimulated be} T ond all reason, the wells, as soon 
as determined to be flowing wells, were closed until such times as the 
owners could make arrangements to dispose of the oil. 

The railroad companies were not in a position to furnish cars, and 
for months looked upon the fields as a sort of freak that would soon 
die, and they considered themselves hardly justified in the purchase 
of new cars to supply the demand. These roads delayed action until 
several of the larger and wealthier companies commenced purchasing 
individual cars and shipping in that way. These companies own over 
1,000 cars, and the railroads are now supplying nearly enough addi- 
tional cars to meet the demand. 

Pipe lines were laid to the coast at Port Arthur and Sabine Pass, 
and shipments by water were made from these ports. At present 
there are four pipe lines to Port Arthur, two to Sabine Pass, and one 
to Beaumont to connect with the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Rail- 
road. The water shipments are mostly coastwise to New Orleans, 
Mobile, Philadelphia, and other coast harbors. Considerable quanti- 
ties are also shipped to European ports by the Shell Transport and 

a There is a safety device required by Western insurance rules. 



166 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

Trading Company, which has two steam tank ships of 60,000 barrels 
capacity in the trade regularly. 

The tankage in the field to the middle of 1002 amounted to about 
seven and a half million barrels, of which about four and a half 
million barrels were steel and nearly two million barrels earthen tanks. 
There are a few small wooden tanks scattered throughout the field, but 
these are used mostl}?- as measuring tanks and not to any great extent 
for storage purposes. 

Considerable interest is being taken in the construction of earthen 
tanks in this field, since, if satisfactory, these can be constructed at a 
much less cost than the steel structures. Some of these earthen tanks 
have nothing done to them beyond excaA T ating to the required depth ; 
others are lined with timber, and while some of them are open, others 
are covered with a light board roof. 

The capacity of the steel tanks ranges from 10,000 to 55,000 barrels, 
while the earthen tanks range from 25,000 to 350,000 barrels. 

For fire protection the steel tanks are surrounded by a moat and 
embankment, giving a storage capacity equal to the full content of 
the tank. 

METHODS AND COST OF WELL DRILLING. 
ROTARY METHOD. 

The rotary inothod of drilling is the one used almost exclusively in 
the Gulf Coastal Plain oil fields. This appears to be a modification 
of the Fauvelle system, invented in 1845, and used for some time in 
several of the European oil fields. It is unquestionably the most 
rapid and economical method where the formations to be penetrated 
are for the most part unconsolidated. The vast amount of drilling 
done in this field since the spring of 1901 and the keen competition 
among the drillers has brought the method and machinery to a high 
state of efficiency. 

The rotary is so entirely different from the old-fashioned cable rig 
and churn drill that it has been thought desirable to insert a brief 
account of the machinery and method. 

MACHINERY AND OPERATION. 

There are three styles of rotary drill in the field, differing slightly 
in details, but all working on the same principle. The form in most 
common use, the Chapman patent, has been taken for illustration. 
A general view of the derrick with machinery in place is shown in 
fig. 12, the rotary in PL X, A, and the hoisting and operating machin- 
ery in PI.' X, B. 

The method consists essentially in rotating a vertical drill rod, 
through which a continuous stream of water is forced downward. 
The drill rod is supported by a cable passing from a hoisting drum 



U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVE> 



BULLETIN NO. 212 PL 




A. CHAPMAN ROTARY DRILL. 

Ii. HOISTING AND OPERATING MACHINERY. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



METHODS OF DRILLING. 167 



over a pully at the top of the derrick and thence by block and fall to 
a swivel attached to the top of the drill rod, the descent of the latter 
being controlled by the driller by means of a feeding device. The 
lower end of the drill rod is supplied with one of several forms of bit, 
adopted to the kind of material being drilled. The material loosened 
by the rotating bit is carried upward to the surface by the water 
ascending on the outside. This ascending current of water keeps the 
hole clean and allows the drill rod to turn freely. It is essential that 
the now of water should be continuous, and a drilling outfit is always 
supplied with two force pumps in order to avoid any danger of stop- 
ping the flow. If the well has passed through a pervious stratum, 
such as a bed of loose sand, the ascending water is liable to pass into 
that stratum instead of returning to the surface. This quickly results 
in the clogging of the hole, and in order to prevent it the water which 
is pumped in is mixed with a large amount of fine clay. By this 
means the outlets through porous beds are sealed up, the unconsoli- 
dated material forming the walls of the hole is prevented from caving, 
and the water returns unimpeded to the surface. 

The forms of bits most commonly used are shown in PI. XI, A, B, C. 
The fish-tail bit (A) is adapted to soft materials, such as sand and 
clay. The core barrel bit (B) is better adapted for harder materials, 
such as very compact clay, indurated sand, etc. Where rock is 
encountered the ordinary bits make very slow progress, and the drill- 
ing is greatly facilitated by the use of the adamantine, or shot, drill, 
the cutting being done by a quantity of steel shot which revolve under 
the rim of the tube (C). Some drillers, in passing through hard 
rock, rig up a regular churn drill, the cable passing over a pulley at 
the top of the derrick and thence down to the engine fly wheel, where 
a turn around the crank pin gives the required lifting-and-dropping 
motion to the drill. 

When everything is ready to begin operations a length of rod with 
the bit attached is made fast to the water swivel and lifted into the 
derrick. The bit and lower end of the rod are passed through the 
rotary far enough to allow the jaws to be brought together and clamped 
so as to hold the drill rod and rotate it. The driller starts the engine 
and sets the pump in motion. As soon as the water flows freely he 
slackens the friction and allows the drill to descend. 

The force of water, which varies from 40 pounds to 75 or 80 pounds, 
passing through the rod finds its way as jets through two holes, one 
on either side of the fish-tail bit, and washes the freshly loosened sand 
up to the surface through the space between the drill rod- and the 
wall of the well. As the work progresses the driller lowers the rod 
slowly, holding it stationary or letting it descend, according to the 
character of the material through which the bit is working. From 
this time on the whole responsibility rests upon the judgment of the 
driller. The drilling crew generally consists of four men — the driller, 



168 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 212. 

two derrick men, and the fireman— with a corresponding night shift, 
as the work proceeds night and day. 




Fig. 12.— Derrick with machinery in place. 



The work progresses rapidly at first, but becomes slower as the drill 
goes downward. Great care is required to keep the drill in motion 



U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEV 



BULLETIN NO. 212 PL. XI 







J3 



A. FISH-TAIL BIT. 
Ji. CORE-BARREL BIT. 
C. ADAMANTINE OR SHORT DRILL. 



HAYES AND 
KENNEDY. 



COST OF DRILLING. 169 






and a sufficient supply of water passing through, as a stoppage for a 
short time often "sticks" the work, and considerable time is lost, as 
the rods and often the casing already in place have to be withdrawn 
from the well. 

In starting a well, arrangements are generally made for the insertion 
of a 12-inch casing to begin with, and in boring for this size the drill 
rods are generally made of 6-inch casing with a 13^-inch bit. This 
sized bit is used to allow the collars at the joints of the 12-inch casing 
to slide past without damaging the wall of the well. The length of 
12-inch casing used varies from 500 to 800 feet, depending largely 
upon the nature of the ground and the skill of the driller. The hole 
is generally left open until the whole depth calculated for one string 
of casing has been drilled. This generally extends until a hard stra- 
tum is met with, upon which the casing to this depth may stand. 
When the depth has been reached, the drill is withdrawn and the 
casing set. 

Following the 12-inch casing the hole is next drilled for an 8-inch 
or 0-inch casing. In either case a 10^-inch bit is used. This 9-inch 
casing has in several of the Spindletop wells been placed in the oil 
sand. After setting the 0-inch casing the drilling proceeds down- 
ward with a 6-inch casing. Occasionally a still further reduction to 
a 4-inch or even 2-inch becomes necessary. 

COST OF DRILLING. 

The drilling of the well is usually carried on by contract. Some 
few of the companies own their own outfits and drill on the company's 
account. During the earlier period of the history of the field several 
of the companies bought drilling outfits and erected the derricks. 
When new companies were rapidly springing up, it was usual to find 
the companies investing money in drilling machinery, and the allur- 
ing sentence that the work had actually been begun on the company's 
holdings "by the erection of a derrick" appears in man} T of the pros- 
pectuses issued at that time. This was chiefly for the purpose of 
inducing people to buy stock. At that time it was also the rule of the 
company to provide the casing, the contractor finding the tools and 
doing the work. Later the contractor was generally required to fur- 
nish everything and turn over the well to the company upon its com- 
pletion. The contract in proved territory usually calls for a specified 
depth, or a good flowing well if found at a less depth. 

Prices vary in accordance with the conditions of the contract, but 
from $4 to $4.50 per foot may be considered as a fair average of prices 
at Beaumont after the early excitement had subsided, the contractor 
furnishing all machinery, tools, labor, etc., necessary to drill the well. 
The company usually reserved the right to accept or reject the work 
upon completion. 

The average time required to drill a well in any of the oil fields 



170 OIL FIELDS OF TEXAS-LOUISIANA COASTAL PLAIN, [bull. 312. 

when no accident occurs is about two months. Several wells on 
Spindletop have been drilled in less than one month, but the greater 
number of them have occupied between two and three months. The 
work is often kept up night and day, though most of the contractors 
are content to keep the pumps at work all night without attempting 
to drill. 

FINISHING THE WELL. 

When the well approaches completion, the drill rods are withdrawn 
and a gate valve fitted to the casing in such a way as to permit of a 
rapid closing of the well if desired. AVhen the valve is in position, 
the bit is again lowered and the work - proceeds until the oil sands 
have been reached and penetrated to a sufficient depth to insure a 
flow in the well. The drilling tools are then withdrawn, the water 
bailed, and the well allowed to flow. When a sufficient time has 
elapsed to allow of the well cleaning itself of all loose pieces of rock 
or gravel, the valve is closed and the well shut in. None of these 
wells has been torpedoed. This method of inducing a flow was tried 
in one case on Spindletop and the only result was a ruined well. 

Considerable danger accompanies the flowing and closing of a new 
well on account of the poisonous nature of the gas accompanying the 
oil flow. This gas contains a large proportion of hydrogen sulphide 
and its poisonous qualities are intensified by its being saturated with 
petroleum vapor. Petroleum vapor has the effect of rendering per- 
sons inhaling it unconscious, and if one remains under its influence 
for any length of time death ensues. The combination of the hj^dro- 
gen sulphide and petroleum vapor issuing from the wells is such as to 
render death almost instantaneous. Few fatal accidents of this kind 
have taken place at Spindletop, however, but often drillers and others 
have been overcome and but for timely assistance would have been 
killed. The only deaths resulting so far from this cause connected 
with a well is that of the Palestine and Beaumont well, when three 
men lost their lives. Owing to an accident the drill rods got fast in 
the well and when the oil flow came it could not be closed on account 
of the rods being in the valve. To remedy this these men went into 
the derrick and attempted to unscrew the rod, but were overpowered 
by this mixture of gas and vapor and killed before assistance could 
reach them. One of the Higgins Oil Company's tank men was killed 
by the same cause when on the roof of a tank. 






INDEX. 



Page. 
Anse la Butte, La., well record at 63 

wells at 130-131 

Arcadia Parish, La., geologic section in 64 

geology of 62 

Asphalt, early reference to occurrence of. . 12 

in Sour Lake district 113 

Austin County, Tex., geology of 32 

Barber Hill, prospecting at 127 

Bayous, coast, character of 29 

Beaumont, Tex., geologic section at 61 

geology of region 32 

Beaumont clays, deposition of 67 

described 27-29 

occurrence of 20, 45, 125 

Beaumont district, Tex., described 68-104 

Big Hill, Jefferson County, Tex., well at. . . 126 
Big Hill, Matagorda County, Tex., geology 

of 41 

well at 127 

Bitumen, early reference to occurrence of. 12 

Brazoria County, Tex., geology of 32, 35-39, 65 

Brazos River, geologic sections on 32-42 

geology of region 29 

Bryan Heights, Tex., well at 127 

Burkeville, Tex., geologic section at 57 

Burke ville beds, synonym 22, note 

Calcasieu Parish, La., geologic section in.. 64 

Calhoun County, Tex., well record in 34, 35 

Cameron County, Tex., dunes in 16 

geology of 17 

prospecting for petroleum in 19 

Cedar Bayou, well record on 46 

Chambers County, Tex., well record in 61 

Chicoleet, North, geologic section on 31 

Chocolate Bayou, geologic section on 32 

Coastal Plain, Gulf. See Gulf Coastal Plain. 

Colmesneil, Tex., geologic sections at 56 

Colorado County, Tex., geology of 32 

Colorado River, geologic sections on 32-42 

Columbia, Tex., well record near 40 

Columbia sands, described 26 

deposition and erosion of 66, 67 

occurrence of 11, 17, 20, 56-58, 65, 119, 125 

Cooks Mountain beds, occurrence of 20 

Corpus Christi, geology at 1* 

Cretaceous rocks, in eastern division of 

Gulf Coastal Plain 20, 23, 24 

Cypress, occurrence of 15 

Damon Mound, geology of 65 

well records at 35-39 

Davis Hill, Tex., conditions at 127 

Dayton Hill, Tex., well at 126 

well record at 46-47 



Page. 

Desert, of Texas 16 

Dewitt County, Tex., geologic section in .. 31 
Diatoms, possible source of petroleum. . . 108-111, 

138 

Drainage of the region 1 4-15 

Dunes, on Gulf Coastal Plain 16 

Duval County, Tex. , geology of 17 

prospecting for petroleum in 19 

Edgerly, La., well near 137 

Eocene rocks, in eastern division of Gulf 

Coastal Plain 20, 23, 24 

in Newton County, Tex 53 

in region surrounding Spindletop pool . 87 

Fayette clays, occurrence of 29 

Fayette sands, denned ' 21 

occurrence of 20 

21, 31, 32, 42, 43, 49-51, 54, 55, 57 

Flash point, discussed 147-148, 159 

Fleming beds, synonym 22, note. 

Forests, occurrence of 10, 15, 16, 28 

Fossils, Eocene, list of, from Beaumont dis- 
trict 25 

list of, from Newton County, Tex 53 

occurrence of, in Coastal Plain gen- 
erally 20 

in region surrounding Spindletop 

pool 87 

Fossils, Miocene, occurrence of, in Coastal 

Plain generally 20, 23-25 

occurrence of, at Bayou City 24 

in region surrounding Spindletop 

pool 87 

Fossils. Pleistocene, occurrence of, in Coastal 

Plain generally 20, 27 

occurrence of, in region surrounding 

Spindletop pool 87 

Fossils, Pliocene, list of, from Beaumont 

district 25- 

occurrence of, in region surrounding 

Spindletop pool 87 

Fossils, Recent, occurrence of, in Coastal 

Plain generally 19, 27, 29. 80 

occurrence of, in region surrounding 

Spind letop pool 87 

Fossils, Tertiary, list of 24 

Frio clays, described 22, 27, 43 

erosion of 66 

occurrence of . . 20, 21, 29, 30, 32, 35, 42, 43, 50-57 

Fuel, Texas-Louisiana petroleum as 158-165 

Furnace, boiler, with oil-burning equip- 
ment, sketches of 163, 164 

Galveston, well at, depth of 45 

well record at 48. 

171 



172 



INDEX. 



Page. 

Gas, natural, at Anse la Butte, La 131 

at Big Hill, Matagorda County, Tex. 41, 42, 127 

at Bryan Heights, Tex 127 

in Coastal Plain generally 154 

at Damon Mound, Tex 40, 42 

at Davis Hill, Tex 127 

at Dayton Hill, Tex 126 

at Fairchild Hill, Tex 48 

at Hackb rry Island, La 133 

at High Island, Tex 122, 123 

at Riser Hill, Tex 125 

in Sabine Parish, La 55 

near Sabine Pass, Tex 113 

in Sour Lake district 113, 116 

at Tilden, Tex 18 

at Velasco, Tex 41, 42 

Geologic history of Coastal Plain 66-67. 145 

Gravels at base of Columbia beds 62-65 

impediment to well drilling 65 

Gravity, specific, of various petroleums. . . 146-147 

Grimes County, Tex., geology of 43 

Guadalupe River, geologic sections on 30-32 

Gulf Coastal Plain, defined 10, 13 

eastern division, geology of 19-30 

origin of 11-12 

subdivisions of 15 

topography of 10-15 

western division, geology of 16-19 

prospecting for petroleum in 19 

Hackberry Island, La., wells at 131-133 

Hardin County, Tex., well records in 59,60 

Harris County, Tex., geology of 45 

Hidalgo County, Tex., dune- in 16 

geology of 17 

High Island, geology of 122-125 

sketch contour map of 123 

well rec< >rd at 124 

History, geologic, of Coastal Plain 66-67, 145 

Hornbeck, La. , geologic section at 53 

Houston, Tex., geology of region 32 

Houston County, Tex., geology of 49 

Huntsville, Tex., well record at 45 

Illuminating oil, suitability of Gulf coast 

petroleum for 157 

Irish Creek , geologic section on 31 

Iron, precipitate of, mistaken for petro- 
leum 45 

Islands, coast, occurrence of 42 

origin of 11 

Jasper County, Tex., geology of 49, 51 

Jefferson County, Tex., geologic section in. 61 

Jennings district, La., geology of 127 

map of 128 

wells in, list of 130 

Keys, along coast 42 

origin of 11 

Kiser Hill district, described 125 

well record in 40 

Lafayette sands, described 26 

deposition and erosion of 66 

occurrence of 11, 20, 44, 56, 65, 125 

Lagoons, along coast 42 

Lake Charles, La. , geology of 28 

well record at 136 

Liberty County Tex., geology of 45 

Lignite, occurrence of 20, 51, 87 



Page. 

Little Sandy Creek, geologic section on 51 

Live Oak County, Tex., geology of 17 

Logs of wells. See Wells, records of. 

McMullen County, Tex., geology of 17 

Magnolia, occurrence of 15 

Maltha, early reference to occurrence of. . . 12 

Marshes, coast 29, 42 

interior 28 

salt 60 

Matagorda Bay, geology of region 34, 35 

Medanos, on Gulf Coastal Plain 16 

Mesquite. distribution of 15 

Miocene rocks, in eastern division of Coastal 

Plain 20,23,24,26 

in western division of Coastal Plain 17 

between Brazos and Trinity rivers 44 

in region surrounding Spindletop Pool. 87 

Montgomery County, Tex., geology of 43, 44 

Mount Selman beds, occurrence of 20 

Neches River, geology of region 28, 48-61 

Neocene rocks in eastern division of Gulf 

Coastal Plain 20,24 

New Iberia Parish, La, geology of 62 

New ton County, Tex., geologic section in . 57 

geology of 49, 51 

Nueces River Valley, geology of 17 

Oak, occurrence of 15, 16 

O'Connorsport, Tex., well record at 34, 35 

Oil. See Petroleum. 

Oil ponds, Sabine Pass 104-112 

Oligocene rocks in eastern division of 

Coastal Plain 23 

Orange County, Tex., geology of 28, 32 

Perry ville, geology of region 31 

Petroleum at Anse la. Butte, La 63, 131 

at Damon Mound, Tex 37, 38, 40 

at Hackberry Island, La 133 

at High Island, Tex 124, 125 

in Jennings district, La., quality of 129 

!i-t of wells producing 130 

at Kiser Hill, Tex 125 

in minor Louisiana districts 135-137 

in minor Texas districts 125-127 

in Sabine Parish , La 55, 113 

at Saratoga, Tex 59, 60 

at Sour Lake, Tex 116-118 

at Sulphur, La 133, 135 

at Vinton, La 135 

conditions of accumulation of, dis- 
cussed 140-145 

diatoms as possible source of 108-111, 138 

distillation of, discussed 150-153 

early references to 12, 113 

effects of inhaling vapor of 170 

geologic source of 23, 25 

iron precipita te mistaken for 45 

oil ponds of Sabine Pass. 104-112 

origin of, discussed 108-111. 137-140 

pressure in wells, discussed 154-157 

producing districts, list of 68 

producing rock, nature of, in Jennings 

district, La 129 

in Spindletop pool 70-71 

relation to salt water 119 

Texas-Louisiana, chemical properties 

of 148-154 



INDEX. 



173 



Page. 
Petroleum, Texas- Louisiana, physical prop- 
erties of 146-148 

Texas-Louisiana, utilization of 157-166 

wells producing, in Jennings district, 

La 130 

at Spindletop 77-85 

See also Structure, geologic; Beaumont 
district; Saratoga district, etc. 

Pimpled plains, described 49 

Pine, occurrence of 15 

Pine Island Bayou, geology of 28 

Plateau gravels, occurrence of 65 

Pleistocene rocks, Columbia sands 27 

at base of Columbia beds 65 

in eastern division of Coastal Plain 20 

near San Diego 17 

in region surrounding Spindletop pool. 87 
Pliocene rocks, in eastern division of Gulf 

Coastal Plain 20, 25, 26 

in western division of Gulf Coastal 

Plain 17, IS 

between Brazos and Trinity rivers 44 

in region surrounding Spindletop pool. 87 

Polk County, Tex., geologic sections in 50, 52 

geology of 49, 52 

well record in 54 

Port Arthur, well record near 112 

Port Arthur-Sabine Pass district,described 104-113 

. prospecting in 112-113 

Port Hudson clays, occurrence of 17, 27, 29 

Recent rocks, in eastern division of Gulf 

Coastal Plain 19, 29 

in region surrounding Spindletop pool . 87 

Reynosa limestone, occurrence of 17, 18, 41 

Rockland, Tex., geologic section at 50 

Sabine Parish, La. , well in 137 

well record in 55 

Sabine Pass, map of, showing oil ponds 105 

well record near 113 

Sabine River, geologic sections near 48-61 

geology of region 28, 29, 49, 58 

St. Martins Parish, La., geology of 62 

St. Marys Parish, La., geology of 62 

Salt, conditions of accumulation of 143, 144 

at Anse la Butte, La 63, 131 

at Damon Mound, Tex 36, 37 

at Dayton Hill, Tex 46-47, 126 

at High Island, Tex 122 

at Sabine Pass 113 

in Sal del Rey region 17 

at Spindletop 72 

in region surrounding Spindletop pool. 87 

near Tilden, Tex 18 

Salt licks and salt marshes 60 

Salt water, relation to oil 119 

San Jacinto County, Tex., geology of 43, 64 

Saratoga district, history and geology of. 119-122 

map showing 114 

well records in 59, 120-121 

Sea wax, described Ill 

Section, geologic, general, eastern division 

of Gulf Coastal Plain 19-20 

general, Pleasanton to Palito Blanco - . 18 

Beaumont district 25 

Frio beds, between Brazos and Trinity 

rivers 43 

San Jacinto Countv, Tex 43 



Page. 

Section, geologic, Guadalupe River 30, 31 

Jefferson County, Tex., at Beaumont .. 61 

Little Sandy Creek 51 

Neches and Sabine rivers 48-61 

Newton County, Tex 57 

Polk County, Tex 50, 52, 54 

Rockland, Tex 50 

Tyler County, Tex 56, 57 

Vernon Tarish, La., at Hornbeck 53 

Section, sketch, of Spindletop pool 73 

Sour Lake district, geology of 113-119 

maps of 114, 115 

prospecting in.. 114 

well records in 116, 117 

Specific gravity of various petroleums ... 1 16-147 

Spindletop pool, geology of 69-77 

gravels at 64-65 

limits of 69 

producing wells in, list of 77-85 

sketch section of 73 

well records at 74-77 

region surrounding, geology of 85-102 

map of 86 

dry and abandoned wells in, list 

of 103-104 

well records in : 87-102 

Spring Hill, La., well at 136 

Starr County, Tex., dunes in 16 

geology of 17 

Stillson, Tex., Avell record at 47 

Storage of oil 165-166 

Structure, geologic, of petroleum beds 142, 

144-145 

theoretical, of oil pool, sketch of 157 

of Coastal Plain 143-145 

of High Island, Tex 125 

of Spindletop 72-74 

of Sour Lake district 118 

of Sulphur, La 134 

Sulphur, in various petroleums 149-150 

in water and clay 17, 18 

at Damon Mound, Tex 36-38 

at High Island, Tex 122 

at Spindletop 71 

in region surrounding Spindletop pool. 87 

at Sulphur, La 133-135 

Sulphur, La. , wells at 133-135 

Tertiary rocks, occurrence of 23, 65 

Texas State Geological Survey, cited 11 

Timber, occurrence of 10, 15, 16, 28 

Topography of the region, general 10-15 

Transportation of oil 165-166 

Trinity River, geology of region 28, 29, 49, 58 

Tyler County, Tex., geologic sections in ... 56,57 

geology of 49, 64 

Uvalde formation, occurrence of 65 

Valda, Polk County, Tex., well record at . . 54 

Vermilion Parish, La., geology of 28, 29, 62 

Vernon Parish, La., geologic sections in... 53,64 

Victoria County, Tex., well record in 33 

Village Creek, Tex., geology of region 58 

Vinton, La., well record at 135 

Walker County, Tex., geology of 44 

Waller County, Tex., geology of 43, 44 

Warren, Tex., geologic sections at 57 

Water, hot, from wells at High Island, Tex. 122 
hot, from well at Saratoga, Tex 60 



174 



INDEX. 



Page. 

Water, in artesian wells 18, 87, 118, 122 

salt, relation to petroleum 119 

Wax, sea, described Ill 

Wells, drilling of 166-170 

drilling of, impeded by gravel 65 

artesian, on the Colorado and Brazos . . 33 

at Beaumont, possible 87 

at High Island, Tex 122 

in Nueces County, Tex 18 

at Sour Lake, Tex 118 

hot-water 60, 122 

list of, in Jennings district, La 130 

in Spindletop pool 77-85 

dry and abandoned, in region sur- 
rounding Spindletop 103-104 

pressure in. discussed 154-157 

records of, at Anse la Butte, La 63, 130 

in Arcadia Parish, La 64 

in Calcasieu Parish, La ■ 64 

in Calhoun County, Tex., at O'Con- 

norsport 34. 35 

on Cedar Bayou 46 

in Chambers County. Tex., at Win- 
nie 61 

a1 Damon Mound, Tex 37-39 

at Dayton Hill, Tex 16-47 

at Galveston, Tex 48 

at Hackberry Island, La 132 

in Hardin County, Tex 59,60 



Page. 

Wells, records of, at Huntsville, Tex 45 

records of, at Kiser Heights, near Colum- 
bia, Tex 40 

at Lake Charles, La 136 

in Liberty County, Tex 46, 47 

in Polk County, Tex., at Valda .... 54 

at Port Arthur, Tex 112 

in Sabine Parish, La 55 

at Sabine Pass 113 

at Saratoga, Tex 120,121 

in Sour Lake district 116, 117 

at Spindletop 74-77 

in region surrounding Spindletop 

pool 87-104 

at Stillson, Tex 47 

at Sulphur, La 133-135 

in Tyler County, Tex 57 

in Vermilion Parish, La 64 

at Victoria, Tex 33 

at Vinton, La 135 

Welsh, La., well at 136 

Wharton County, Tex., geology of 32 

Wills Point clays, occurrence of 20 

Winnie, Tex., Avell at 126 

well record near 61 

Wood, deeply buried, in region surrounding 

Spindletop Pool 87 

Woods, presence of 10, 15, 16, 28 

Yegua clays, occurrence of 20, 51 



o 



PUBLICATIONS OF UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. 

[Bulletin No. 212.] 

The serial publications of the United States Geological Survey consist of (1) 
Annual Reports, (2) Monographs, (3) Professional Papers, (4) Bulletins, (5) 
Mineral Resources, (6) Water-Supply and Irrigation Papers, (7) Topographic 
Atlas of the United States — folios and separate sheets thereof, (8) Geologic Atlas 
of the United States — folios thereof. The classes numbered 2, 7, and 8 are sold at 
cost of publication; the others are distributed free. A circular giving complete 
lists may be had on application. 

The Bulletins, Professional Papers, and Water-Supply Papers treat of a variety 
of subjects, and the total number issued is large. They have therefore been classi- 
fied into the following series: A, Economic geology; B, Descriptive geology; C, 
Systematic geology and paleontology; D, Petrography and mineralogy; E, Chem- 
istry and physics; F, Geography; G, Miscellaneous; H, Forestry; I, Irrigation; 
J, Water storage; K, Pumping water; L, Quality of water; M, General hydro- 
graphic investigations; N, Water power; 0, Underground waters; P, Hydrographic 
progress reports. This bulletin is the twenty-third in Series A, the complete list of 
which follows. (B=Bulletin, PP=Professional Paper. ) 

SERIES A, ECONOMIC GEOLOGY. 

B 21. Lignites of Great Sioux Reservation: Report on region between Grand and Moreau rivers, 

Dakota, by Bailey Willis. 1885. 16 pp., 5 pis. 
B 16. Nature and origin of deposits of phosphate of lime, by R. A. F. Penrose, jr., with introduction 

by N. S. Shaler. 1888. 143 pp. (Out of stock.) 
B 65. Stratigraphy of the bituminous coal field of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, by 

I. C. White. 1891. 212 pp., 11 pis. (Out of stock.) 
B 111. Geology of Big Stone Gap coal field of Virginia and Kentucky, by M. R. Campbell. 1893. 106 

pp., 6* pis. 
B 132. The disseminated lead ores of southeastern Missouri, by Arthur Winslow. 1896. 31 pp. 
B 138. Artesian-well prospects in Atlantic Coastal Plain region, by N. H. Darton. 1896. 228 pp., 19 pis. 

(Out of stock.) 
B 139. Geology of Castle Mountain mining district, Montana, by W. H. Weed and L. V. Pirsson. 1896. 

164 pp'., 17 pis. 
B 143. Bibliography of clays and the ceramic arts, by J. C. Branner. 1896. 114 pp. 
B 164. Reconnaissance on the Rio Grande coal fields of Texas, by T. W. Vaughan, including a report 

on igneous rocks from the San Carlos coal field, by E. C. E. Lord. 1900. 100 pp., 11 pis. 
B 178. El Paso tin deposits, by W. H. Weed. 1901. 15 pp.,*l pi. 
B 180. Occurrence and distribution of corundum in United States, by J. H. Pratt. 1901. 98 pp., 

14 pis. 
B182. A report on the economic geologv of the Silverton quadrangle, Colorado, by F. L. Ransome. 

1901. 266 pp., 16 pis. (Out of stock.) 

B 184. Oil and gas fields of the western Interior and northern Texas Coal Measures and of the Upper 
Cretaceous and Tertiarv of the western Gulf coast, bv G. I. Adams. 1901. 64 pp., 10 pis. 
(Out of stock.) 

B 193. The geological relations and distribution of platinum and associated metals, bv J. F. Kemp. 

1902. 95 pp.. 6 pis. (Out of stock.) 

B 198. The Berea grit oil sand in the Cadiz quadrangle, Ohio, by W. T. Griswold. 1902. 43 pp., 1 pi. 
PP 1. Preliminary report on the Ketchikan mining district, Alaska, with an introductory sketch of 

the geology of southeastern Alaska, by Alfred Hulse Brooks. 1902. 120 pp., 2 pis. 
B 200. Reconnaissance of the borax deposits of Death Vallev and Mohave Desert, by M. R. Campbell. 

1902. 23 pp., 1 pi. 
B 202. Tests for gold and silver in shales from western Kansas, by Waldemar Lindgren. 1902. 21 pp. 
PP 2. Reconnaissance of the northwestern portion of Seward Peninsula, Alaska, bv A.J.Collier. 

1902. 70 pp., 11 pis. 

PP 10. Reconnaissance from Fort Hamlin to Kotzebue Sound, Alaska, by way of Dall, Kanuti, Allen, 

and Kowak rivers, bv W. C. Mendenhall. 1902. 68 pp., 10 pis. 
PP 11. Clays of the United States east of the Mississippi River, by Heinrich Ries. 1903. 298 pp., 9 pis. 
PP 12. Geology of the Globe copper district, Arizona, by F. L. Ransome. 1903. 168 pp., 27 pis. 
B 212. Oil fields of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coastal Plain, bv C. W. Haves and William Kennedy. 

1903. 174 pp., 11 pis. 



LIBRARY CATALOGUE SLIPS. 

[Mount each slip upon a separate card, placing the subject at the top of the 
second slip. The name of the series should not be repeated on the series 
card, but add the additional numbers, as received, to the first entry.] 



Hayes, C[harles] W [illard] . 

. . . Oil fields of the Texas-Louisiana gulf coastal 
g plain, by C. W. Hayes and William Kennedy. Wash- 
| ington, Gov't print, off., 1903. 

174, iii p. xi pi. incl. maps, 12 fig. 23£ cm . (U. S. Geological survey. 
Bulletin no. 212. ) 

"Examination of mud from Gulf of Mexico, by H. J. Turner": p. 107- 
111. 

Subject series A, Economic geology, 23. 



Hayes, C[harles] W [illard]. 

. . . Oil fields of the Texas-Louisiana gulf coastal 
plain, by C. W. Hayes and William Kennedy. Wash- 
f ington, Gov't print, off., 1903. 

174, iii p. xi pi. incl. maps, 12 fig. 23J cm . (U. S. Geological survey. 
Bulletin no. 212. ) 

"Examination of mud from Gulf of Mexico, by H. J. Turner": p. 107- 
111. 

Subject series A, Economic geology, 23. 



U. S. Geological survey. 

Bulletins, 
no. 212. Hayes, C. W. Oil fields of the Texas-Louisi- 
ana gulf coastal plain, by C. W. Hayes and 
W. Kennedy. 1903. 



U. S. Dept. of the Interior. 

see also 
1 U. S. Geological survey. 

m 
Bull. 212—03 12