Oklahoma City Discovery Well

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Oklahoma City Discovery Well
Oklahoma City Discovery Well is located in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City Discovery Well
Oklahoma City Discovery Well is located in the US
Oklahoma City Discovery Well
Location SE 57th St. and ITIO Blvd., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Coordinates 35°24′29″N 97°27′40″W / 35.40806°N 97.46111°W / 35.40806; -97.46111Coordinates: 35°24′29″N 97°27′40″W / 35.40806°N 97.46111°W / 35.40806; -97.46111
Area less than one acre
Built 1928 (1928)
NRHP reference # 77001095[1]
Added to NRHP December 9, 1977

The Oklahoma City Discovery Well was the first successful oil well to be drilled in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The December 4, 1928 discovery opened the Oklahoma City Oil Field to extensive exploitation, creating an oil boom that sustained the area through the Great Depression. Because much of the oil was under the existing city, the Oklahoma City field pioneered the use of directional drilling to allow lateral displacement of well bores to reach deposits under developed areas.[2]

The well is located at the present-day intersection of SE 59th Street and Bryant Boulevard. It was drilled by the Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Company (ITIO). Beginning on June 12, 1928, the drilling crew drilled more than 6,000 feet (1,800 m). In early December they broke through the Arbuckle Limestone layer, noting that the bottom of the formation was saturated with oil and was under gas pressure. Since they were drilling with a cable tool rig, the flow of gas and oil could not be controlled, and on December 4 the gas blew the tools out of the well. The well produced 110,000 barrels of oil during its first 27 days.[3] However, the well began to produce water by the end of 1928 and was abandoned.[4]

The discovery well was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 9, 1977.[1] The present site preserves the concrete drilling derrick foundations and the capped well head.[2]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b Ruth, Kent (February 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: ITIO and Foster Petroleum Company No. 1 Oklahoma City". National Park Service. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Dean, Michael (November 28, 2009). "OKC Discovery Well". Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Hyne, Norman J. (2012). Nontechnical Guide to Petroleum Geology, Exploration, Drilling & Production (3 ed.). PennWell Corporation. p. 183. ISBN 978-1-59370-269-4.