Today in Texas History – December 4

Petroleum Museum | Carl G. Cromwell, San Angelo, TX

From the Annals of the Wildcatters –  In 1928, Carl G. (the Big Swede) Cromwell completed the world’s then-deepest oil well.  Cromwell had brought in the famous Santa Rita No. 1, Cromwell in 1923 on University of Texas land in Reagan County, but was at heart a wildcatter.  Together with company engineer Clayton W. Williams, Cromwell was visionary in wanting to drill deeper than the current limit of around 3,000 feet. In 1926 Williams located a site on UT land and Cromwell’s crews began work.  The work was slow and by November of 1928, he was ordered to shut down in the face of rising costs and technical issues.  He ignored the order, went into hiding, and kept drilling.  The University 1-B came in at an astounding 8525 feet.  It remained the world’s deepest oil well for another three years.

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