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Amoco Timeline

1832 - Captain Bonneville first to record oil discovery east of the Wind River Mountains, near the Popo Agie River.

Fall 1851 - Cy Iba found oil oozing out of the ground in the Seminoe Mountain Country. Iba and others including first president of University of Wyoming stake out numerous overlapping claims in the Salt Creek area that take years of court cases to unravel.

Aug. 28, 1859 - First oil well drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania by Col. Edwin Drake. Success of kerosene refined from "rock oil" starts first oil boom, and oil industry begins.

1865 - Sixteen-year-old John D. Rockefeller goes to Cleveland to get in the oil business with $1,000 borrowed from his father at 9 percent interest.

1875 - Rockefeller and partner build the country's first modern refinery in Cleveland, Ohio to process Pennsylvania crude oil..

Fall of 1888 - First oil well drilled in Natrona County, called the Casper Well, located three miles northwest from Casper. Owners denied striking oil, and well was probably abandoned.

1889 - Standard Oil of Indiana created by Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust.

Fall 1889 - P.M. Shannon, founder of Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Company drills first producing well in Salt Creek Shannon Field. Well comes in at 1,090 feet, with $10 per bbl crude oil so pure it could be used as lubricant without refining.

June 15, 1888 - First railway train, Chicago & North Western arrives in Casper.

1890's - Salt Creek oil hauled to Casper in wagons pulled by string teams of 12 to 18 horses. Wagons carried supplies to oil field on return trips.

1890's - Invention of the light bulb threatens kerosene industry.

March 5, 1895 - The Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Company built Wyoming's first refinery on a small site close to where S. Center Street crossed the Chicago & North Western railroad tracks. Capacity was 100 barrels per day, and the refinery was one of four in the Rocky Mountain region before 1910.

1900's - Wildcatters and promoters such as J.H. Lobell and form syndicates of investors from France, Belgium, Holland and Englandin to speculate on Wyoming oil.

May 13, 1903 - Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley railroad provides passenger service to Casper. Later becomes Chicago North Western Railway.

1903 - Wildcatter and promoter J. H. Lobell's Wyoming syndicate purchases all holdings, including the wells, placer claims and refinery of Pennsylvania Oil & Gas for $350,000. The French and Belgian owned company, Societe Belgo-American des Petroles du Wyoming, is incorporated as Belgo-American.

Feb. 27, 1904 - Casper town council granted 40 acres within or adjacent to the western city limits to Franco-Wyoming for an oil refinery. The company was also granted right a way to build a railroad, as much of the town's surplus water necessary for refinery use, and exemption from municipal tax for 10 years after the refinery was built.

1908 - A local representative for a Dutch oil company operating in Salt Creek offers to donate 100,000 barrels of crude oil to the city or anyone who will haul it away. "It seems too bad to have that vast quantity of oil … lying on the prairie useless for the lack of transportation." (Oct. 29, l908 The Casper Press)

1908 - Henry Ford introduces Model-T for $950, cost soon drops to $250. Affordable automobiles increase demand for gasoline.

1910 - Franco-Wyoming drills 20 wells in Salt Creek, buys assets of Belgo-American, and begins building the Natrona Pipeline and Refining Company pipeline that will carry the production under the city of Casper to a refinery being built on a controversial 20-acre site east of Highland Cemetery leased from the city.

1910 - Oil stocks are bought, sold and traded at downtown Casper's Grand Central Hotel, inside the building and outside on the curb from a price board attached to the Second Street side of the hotel.

1911 - U.S. Supreme Court declares Standard Oil Trust an illegal monopoly, and gives Rockefeller six months to dissolve the trust into separate companies, that became the basis for the worldwide oil industry: Standard Oil of Indiana, Amoco, Mobil, Exxon and others.

Investigative reporter Ida Tarbell credited with bringing down Standard Oil Trust.

early 1911 - Verner C. Reed, a Colorado Springs businessman, goes to Paris to arrange financing to build a railroad from Miles City, Montana through Casper to Medicine Bow to connect with the Union Pacific railroad. After hearing about the booming Salt Creek oil field 45 miles north of Casper, Reed and his investors drop the idea of a railroad and form Midwest Oil Company.

1911 - Midwest Oil Company incorporates, acquires considerable land in the Salt Creek Field.

1911 - The abandoned Pennsylvania Oil & Gas refinery, located in downtown Casper between Center and Wolcott, is demolished by city council resolution as being dangerous, unsafe and a fire hazard. The oil storage pond is filled in, and all evidence of Wyoming's first refinery disappears..

1911 - Franchise granted to B.H. Hopkins by the city to lay oil pipe lines in the streets and alleys of Casper to sell, furnish and distribute petroleum and natural gas to consumers.

1911 - Standard Oil of Indiana at forefront of development of the process to crack oil, doubling the yield of gasoline from crude oil.

Jan. 15, 1912 Midwest Oil refinery begins operations on land west of Casper. The refinery operation includes a crude oil pipeline and a telephone line from Salt Creek to Casper.

June 6, 1912 - Franco-Wyoming buys out Belgo-American and begins refinery operations east of Highland cemetery. With only two, 500 barrel per day stills, the company finds it difficult to meet customers gasoline specifications, and closes within a few years.

Spring, 1912 - First motor truck trip from Casper to Salt Creek made by a Pierce Arrow loaded with 110 sacks of flour. The 40-mile trip on the partially gravelled road took 18 hours.

1913 - First paved road built in Natrona County from Salt Creek oil field to Casper used to bring crude oil into town by truck and wagon. The side of the road from Casper to Salt Creek, which was used to take supplies to the field, remained unpaved.

Summer 1913 - Standard Oil purchases 84-acre tract of land east of Franco and Midwest refineries on Casper's west side. Company crew from Whiting, Indiana builds Burton cracking stills to refine feed crude oil stock from Midwest refinery.

Oct. 20, 1913 - Arrival of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad makes Casper largest railroad center in Wyoming.

1913 - Wooden railroad bridge built across N. Platte river to connect refinery with Burlington railroad line.

Feb. 28, 1914 - Midwest Petroleum and Franco Petroleum merge to become Midwest Refining Company. Under what was called the "Paris Agreement" the newly organized company took over Midwest Oil, both the new and old Franco refineries and Franco's pipelines from Salt Creek. Midwest Refining Co. capitalized at $20 million.

1917 - WWI market for lubricants and construction of pipelines from Salt Creek to Casper precipitates an oil boom that peaks in 1917. The first gas wells are brought in at Iron Creek and Poison Spider fields in the same year.

1915-1918 - Casper's population grew to 20,000 due to the activity in the Salt Creek and Big Muddy fields. Housing shortage is so severe men sleep in hotel rooms in shifts. The Sandbar becomes famous.

Jan. 1, 1920 - 1,400 men are employed in Casper at the Midwest Refinery. 400 stills are operating and 48 smokestacks dot Casper's horizon. There are several hundred more employed working in offices, and four or five hundred more at Salt Creek, other nearby oil fields, and the Midwest Refinery-owned refineries in Greybull and Laramie.

1920 - Federal Leasing Act ends claim jumping and vague, unstable and insecure claims.

Early 1920s - Salt Creek production expanding, and crude oil supply exceeds refinery storage. Construction of huge storage tank farm begins on north bank of the Platte River. Tanks of 55,000 and 80,000 barrels are built of steel plates riveted together to ultimately store 14 million barrels of crude oil two miles northwest of Casper.

Mid 1920s - Expanded oil production grows boom towns of Lavoye, Edgerton, Salt Creek, Teapot, Snyder and the company town of Midwest.

December 1920 - Casper supplied with natural gas by the New York Oil Company pipeline from Iron Creek, Poison Spider and South Casper Creek fields. 300 million cubic feet of gas consumed by city residents and the Midwest refinery in the first month, with 500 more applications for service on file.

June 17, 1921 to July 18, 1922 - Within one year, 16 individual oil storage tanks are struck by lightning and destroyed by fire. The most devastating strikes are on June 17 and 18, 1921, when seven tanks burning simultaneously over two days, with damages totaling $1 million.

Oct. 1, 1921 - Standard assumes controlling interest in the Midwest refinery. $10 million expansion triples the refinery's producing capacity to 25,000 barrels of oil per day.

1921 - Standard begins program of gasoline export using rail tank cars on the Burlington railroad from Casper to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, then ocean tankers to Europe. Casper claims to ship more oil by rail than any city in the world.

1922 - Casper's Standard refinery largest plant in the world for volume of gasoline produced; 1,350,000 barrels of crude per month produces 615,000 gallons of gasoline per month..

1922 - Construction begins on the Texas Company (Texaco) refinery on 640 acres three miles east of Casper on W. T. Evans turkey ranch. Glenrock had unsuccessfully lobbied for the Texaco plant.

1922 - Yellowstone Highway Bridge built.

1923 - Salt Creek Field crude oil production peaked at 97,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD), with pipeline capacity for at least twice that volume.

1923 - White Eagle Refinery (Little America) built east of Casper.

September 1923 - First run of the North & South "Galloping Goose" railroad from Casper to Midwest. The line ran passenger, freight and the mail each way every day from the Salt Creek field to Ilco, a stop near Casper where it connected with both the Burlington and North West lines. Plans to run the railroad all the way from Craig, Colorado north to Miles City, Montana were never completed.

Sept. 27, 1923 - The worst train wreck in Wyoming history. Shortly after the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad bridge near Glenrock over Cole Creek was washed out by a violent rainstorm, a passenger train plunged into the river, killing 30 of the 66 passengers. The railroad paid $60,000 in settlements to relatives of victims.

1923 - Two 6-inch pipelines, five 8-inch lines built from Salt Creek to Casper, and a 12-inch line to the Clayton tank farm at Douglas. Combined capacity 200,000 BOPD.

1924 - Midwest Oil Company built an imposing building on the corner of 6 the and Wolcott to house visiting company officials. When the oil company no longer wanted the building, it was leased and later purchased by several Casper women for their club activities. In 1939, six organizations, Casper Fine Arts Club, Beta Sigma Phi, DAR, AAUW, Departmental Club and Women's Club formed the Casper Women's Clubhouse corporation to own and maintain the Clubhouse. It was placed on the National Historic Register in 1983, and used for club meetings until 2004.

1924 - 10 millionth car rolls off Ford assembly line.

1924-1925 - Teapot Dome Scandal.

1925 - First woman governor in the U.S., Nellie Tayloe Ross.

Nov. 19, 1925 - Salt Creek field the first and largest totally electrified oilfield in the world. Casper High and Midwest High football teams play the first night football game ever attempted in the 21,000 watts of electric power installed by Midwest Oil illuminated the field. Midwest lost 20-0.

Aug 26, 1926 - Salt Creek production declines. 8,000 acres in Salt Creek field offered for sale at $10 per acre (Rawlins Republican newspaper ad).

1928-1930 - The recession-depression leads to worldwide glut of oil, large crude oil fields are discovered in Oklahoma and Texas, and transportation difficulties from Salt Creek to Casper continue. Standard refinery switches to more efficient thermal cracking of crude oil and 1920's era Burton stills are demolished.

1928 - Standard Oil of Indiana buys out Midwest Refinery Co.

1929 - Standard employee benefits include company stock, recreation areas for golf and tennis, an activity center for ping pong and performances, and housing on the refinery site. Company policy, which lasts until the 1960s, is that no one is laid off.

1933 - Depression hits Wyoming, retail sales drop 46 percent.

1938 - Standard starts black-out operations, rotating crews among processing sections to increase efficiency and stay open. Another modernization of Casper refinery begins. Greybull refinery is closed, emplyees transferred to Casper.

1930s - Some Casper Standard employees transferred to Standard of New Jersey/Exxon Refinery in Aruba. Refinery is still in operation and owned by Valero Energy.

1939 - Standard Red Crown Golden Jubilee Anniversary (1889-1939).

late 1939 - Standard oil takes over operation of Salt Creek Field for benefit of all owners. Some water flooding began.

1941 - Refining operation modified to supply military with fuel oil, toluene for explosives, aviation fuel

1942 - Nationwide gas rationing.

1943 - Crude run down to 6,000 BOPD, half capacity for one crew battery and their were originally seven crew batteries, 100,000 barrels per day.

Post WWII - Other crude oils with less valuable products and more sulphur processed. Significant capital investment by Standard to process high sulphur crude oil. Testing for presence of hydrogen-sulfide gas done with canaries.

1947 - 268-mile Wyoming-Colorado pipeline, partnership between Standard, Texaco and Socony (Mobil), increases market to Denver and Cheyenne.

1948 - U. S, Public Health Service Report n Platte River one of most contaminated rivers in U. S.

1948 - Catalytic cracker built.

1950 - Stanolind Pipeline built to carry Salt Creek crude.

1953 - Two 8-inch pipelines to Casper and 12-inch line to Douglas removed. Several other pipelines converted to water and natural gas services.

1953 - Standard refinery begins making commercial aviation fuel, and increases the octane of motor gasoline.

1957 - Heavy oils operation at Casper refinery modernized with expenditure of significant capital.

1955-57 - Decision made to pump waste water to Soda Lake instead of into N. Platte River. Required installation of cooling towers, reconstruction of 1913 railroad bridge for pipeline to carry water. Complete abandonment of sulphuric acid equipment, which was made at refinery.

1960 to 1961 - Light oils operation modernized with the building of a modern crude running unit, the construction of modern utility (primary steam) facilities and the shutdown of the old facilities from the 1920's such as the stills and thermal cracking units.

1966 - President Lyndon Johnson advocates cleaning up America's rivers and waterways.

1960 to 1973 - Secondary recovery with water flood at Salt Creek. Salt Creek production falling off

1970 - New gasoline blending system designed by Jack Guthrie. Pipelines replace railroad shipping from refinery.

1973 - Wyoming passes Environmental Quality Act and creates Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

1974 - Severance tax of 3 percent on crude oil leaving the state.

1974 - Remains of Franco-Wyoming refinery incorporated into Highland Park at Beverly and 4th.

1975 - Standard Annuitants Club begins with dinner at Holiday Inn.

1978 - Amoco Refinery 75 years old. Employs 214 people, wages of $8.5 million.

1970s to 1980s - Even less valuable low sulphur crude oil available for refinery, feed stocks for waxes and lub oils in the heavy oils system due to decline in production at Salt Creek.

Aug. 13,1982 - Texaco Refinery shut down.

1985 - Standard Refinery adopts Amoco name.

1989 - Production from Salt Creek falls to a few thousand barrels a day. Lubricating oil production stopped due to lack of crude. Refinery production about 40,000 BOPD, maximum 53,000.

Jan. 13, 1989 - Little America ordered by EPA to perform cleanup in Brookhurst subdivision.

Aug. 11, 1989 - Texaco refinery for sale.

Oct. 3, 1991 - Amoco announces it will close Casper refinery.

Dec. 13, 1991 - Last barrel of oil refined. Refinery shut down.

June 1996 - 11 citizens file a lawsuit against Amoco, Burlington Northern and Steiner Corp.

Jan. 7, 1998 - U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer issues injunction ruling that orders Amoco to stop polluting neighboring properties and to speed up cleanup.

August 1998 - Amoco signs Reuse Agreement with city of Casper and Natrona County. The company also signs Consent Decree agreement with DEQ.

Dec. 31, 1998 - Federal Trade Commission approves merger between BP and Amoco.

Jan. 10, 2002 - Amoco and DEQ sign final Remedy Agreement. Cleanup officially begins.

April 12, 2004 - New Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission building opens on grounds of old refinery.

May 2004 - Three Crowns Golf Club opens for business.

June, 24, 2004 - Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board takes managerial control of Platte River Commons and Salt Creek Heights Business Center.

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