Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Great-Great Grandfather, The Wildcatter

When visiting the Bullock museum, I couldn't helpt but think about the story of my great-great grandfather who discovered natural gas in the Humble field many years ago.

Around the turn of the century, my great-great grandfather, James Holliday Slaughter was floating logs down the San Jacinto river to a mill. On the side of the river, he noticed bubbles coming up out of a puddle in the sand. Slaughter guesses this to be natural gas, and tested this theory by letting it collect in a hollowed out cow horn, and then burning it out of a hole in the top. (I asked one of my petroleum engineering professors if this was possible, and he confirmed that it was)

Slaughter then proceeded to drill rank wildcats. After numerours dry holes, (one of which is behind my grandmother's house) Slaughter invented a casing pulling machine, and worked in oilfield services.

Even though current production is minimal, the Humble oil field is considered one of the most prolific fields in both Texas and the US. It was the birth place of Humble Oil Company, which has since been acquired by Exxon.

I, along with many of my relatives, have selected careers in the oil industry, and up or down, it will always be dear to our hearts

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