Oil Capital of the World

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The title of "Oil Capital of the World" is often used to refer to Tulsa, Oklahoma, [1] [2] and more recently to Houston, Texas. [3] [4]

Tulsa, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 45th-most populous city in the United States. As of July 2016, the population was 413,505, an increase of 12,591 over that reported in the 2010 Census. It is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 991,005 residents in the MSA and 1,251,172 in the CSA. The city serves as the county seat of Tulsa County, the most densely populated county in Oklahoma, with urban development extending into Osage, Rogers, and Wagoner counties.

Oklahoma State of the United States of America

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

Houston City in Texas, United States

Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017. It is the most populous city in the Southern United States and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. With a total area of 627 square miles (1,620 km2), Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States. It is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is similarly not consolidated with that of a county or borough. Though primarily in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.



Oil Capital Historic District in Tulsa Oil Capital Historic District.jpg
Oil Capital Historic District in Tulsa

In mid-19th century, when Pennsylvania was the first center of petroleum production, Pittsburgh [5] and Titusville [6] were considered oil capitals. In the later 19th century, before oil was discovered in Texas, Oklahoma, or the Middle East, Cleveland, Ohio had a claim to the title, [7] with 86 [8] or 88 [9] refineries operating in the city in 1884.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Petroleum naturally occurring flammable liquid

Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.

Titusville, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

Titusville is a city in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,418 at the 2017 census,. Titusville is where the modern oil industry began. Titusville was also the wealthiest City in America for more than 40 years. Titusville was once the leading producer is Oil, Lumber, Plastic, and Tool Making industries.

Tulsa claimed the name early in the 20th century, after oil strikes at Red Fork (1901) and Glenpool (1905) in Tulsa County. Many prominent oilmen lived in Tulsa at some point, including Josh Cosden, [10] William Skelly, [11] Harry Ford Sinclair, [12] Waite Phillips, [13] George Kaiser, [14] and J. Paul Getty. [15] Many corporations producing, refining or transporting petroleum had at some point their headquarters or major facilities in Tulsa including Texaco, [16] BP-Amoco, [17] Cities Service Company, [18] Sinclair Oil and Gas Company, [19] Skelly Oil Company, [20] Warren Petroleum Company, [21] the Williams Companies, [22] and Kaiser-Francis Oil Company. [23] In 1923 a group of Tulsa oilmen organized the first International Petroleum Exposition and Congress (IPE); among the IPE's stated purposes was to "firmly establish Tulsa for all time to come as the oil center of the entire world." [24]

Red Fork, Oklahoma Unincorporated community in Oklahoma, United States

Red Fork is a community in Southwest Tulsa. It was founded in 1883 as a railhead on the Arkansas River. It is famous for being the location of the first oil well in Tulsa County, the Sue A. Bland. On June 25, 1901, the first oil well in Tulsa County was completed by Drs. J.C.W. Bland and Fred S. Clinton in Red Fork. Dr. Bland, the first graduate physician in Tulsa, had moved to Red Fork in 1895 to set up a country practice. The well was on the homestead allotment of Dr. Bland’s wife, Sue A. Bland, a Creek citizen. The Sue Bland #1 was a thirty barrel well at a depth of 600 feet. This well brought the first nationwide publicity and oil boom to Tulsa and the Indian Territory.

Glenpool, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Glenpool is a city in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, United States. It is part of the Tulsa Metropolitan Statistical Area (TMSA). As of 2010, the population was 10,808. This was an increase of 33.1% since the 2000 census, which reported total population as 8,123.

Tulsa County, Oklahoma County in the United States

Tulsa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 603,403, making it the second-most populous county in Oklahoma, behind only Oklahoma County. Its county seat and largest city is Tulsa, the second-largest city in the state. Founded at statehood, in 1907, it was named after the previously established city of Tulsa. Before statehood, the area was part of both the Creek Nation and the Cooweescoowee District of Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory.

Tulsa continued to be known and promote itself as the "oil capital of the world" into the 1950s [25] and 1960s. The IPE grew and reached its peak attendance in 1966, when the Golden Driller, a large statue symbolic of Tulsa's historical importance in the oil industry, was erected in front of the new IPE Building, then said to be the world's largest building under one roof. [26] By the 1970s, however, the IPE's success, and Tulsa's role in the international oil industry, had both eroded: Tulsa's last IPE was held in 1979, [27] while Houston has become the most prominent hub of the oil industry in the United States. In more recent times, Tulsa's continued use of "oil capital of the world" is often characterized as nostalgic or historical. [28] [29] But even today, energy is one of Tulsa's major industries, [30] and many of the city’s professional sports franchises have petroleum-related names such as the Tulsa Oilers (ice hockey), the Tulsa Drillers (baseball), and the Tulsa Roughnecks (men’s soccer).

Golden Driller

The Golden Driller is a 75-foot-tall (23 m), 43,500-pound (19,700 kg) statue of an oil worker, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is the sixth-tallest statue in the United States.

Tulsa Expo Center

The Tulsa Expo Center, from 2007 to 2012 also called the QuikTrip Center, is the center of the Tulsa State Fair and one of the largest clearspan buildings in the world. The Expo Center provides 354,000 square feet (32,900 m2) of column-free space under a cable-suspended roof. The building spans 448,400 total square feet on two levels, connected by side ramps and stairs, allowing for a variety of show floor plans.

Tulsa Oilers

The Tulsa Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which play in the ECHL. The Oilers played their home games at the Tulsa Convention Center until 2008 when they moved into the new BOK Center. For many years, the Tulsa Oilers name was shared with Tulsa's former minor-league baseball team that pre-dated the Tulsa Drillers. To reduce confusion in local news reporting, the hockey team was often called the "Ice Oilers".

National Register of Historic Places designation

In 2010, Tulsa officially designated the central part of its downtown as the "Oil Capital Historic District" for the purposes of a proposed registration in the National Register of Historic Places. [31] The district, at 36°09′04″N95°59′24″W / 36.151°N 95.990°W / 36.151; -95.990 , is bounded by Third Street on the north, Cincinnati Avenue on the east, Seventh Street on the south and Cheyenne Avenue on the west. It was officially listed on December 13, 2010 under Criterion A for significance in Commerce. Its NRIS number is 10001013. [32]

National Register of Historic Places federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.

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University of Tulsa

The University of Tulsa (TU) is a private research university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. TU has a historic affiliation with the Presbyterian Church and the campus architectural style is predominantly Collegiate Gothic.

Sinclair Oil Corporation American petroleum corporation

Sinclair Oil Corporation is an American petroleum corporation, founded by Harry F. Sinclair on May 1, 1916, as the Sinclair Oil and Refining Corporation by combining the assets of 11 small petroleum companies. Originally a New York corporation, Sinclair Oil reincorporated in Wyoming in 1976. The corporation's logo features the silhouette of a large green dinosaur. It is ranked on the list of largest privately-owned American corporations. It owns and operates refineries, gas stations, hotels, a ski resort and a cattle ranch.

Skelly Field at H. A. Chapman Stadium

Skelly Field at H. A. Chapman Stadium is a football stadium located on the campus of the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is primarily the home of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team. The stadium currently seats 30,000.

George B. Kaiser is an American businessman. He is the chairman of BOK Financial Corporation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is among the 100 richest people in the world and was, in 2012, one of the top 50 American philanthropists.

Harry Ford Sinclair American businessman

Harry Ford Sinclair was an American industrialist, founder of Sinclair Oil. He was implicated in the 1920s Teapot Dome Scandal, and served six months in prison for jury tampering. Afterwards he returned to his former life and enjoyed its prosperity until his death.

This article traces the history of Tulsa, part of present-day Oklahoma.

Robert M. McFarlin was an American oilman, cattle rancher, philanthropist, and businessman who is best known for amassing a fortune by drilling for oil near Glenpool, Oklahoma with his nephew and son-in-law, James A. Chapman. He was among the early pioneer oilmen who established the state of Oklahoma as a center of the oil industry in the early part of the 20th century.

Mid-Continent Tower

The Mid-Continent Tower is a 36-story skyscraper located at 401 South Boston Avenue in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. At 156 meters (513 ft) in height, it is the fourth-tallest building in Tulsa and fifth-tallest in Oklahoma. Faced with bright white terra cotta and crowned with a distinctive copper roof, it is one of the city's most recognizable buildings. The design is unique because the first 16-story structure was built in 1918. The top 20 stories comprise a separate structure, cantilevered over the first 66 years later. The architects of the addition matched the design of the original structure so carefully that the result is considered a single structure. It is included as a contributing structure in Tulsa's Oil Capital Historic District.

BOK Financial Corporation American bank

BOK Financial Corporation is a bank holding company headquartered in the BOK Tower in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company is 60% owned by George Kaiser, who acquired the bank in 1991 from the FDIC. It is the largest bank in Oklahoma, with 14% of the total deposits in the state. As of December 17, 2017, 17% of its loan portfolio was to borrowers in the petroleum industry.

Skelly Oil

Skelly Oil Company was a medium-sized oil company founded in 1919 by William Grove (Bill) Skelly, Chesley Coleman Herndon and Frederick A. Pielsticker in Tulsa, Oklahoma. J. Paul Getty acquired control of the company during the 1930s. Skelly Oil became part of Getty Oil Company, Mission Oil Company, Tidewater Oil Company. It became defunct when absorbed by Getty Oil Company in 1974, and the abandoned Skelly brand logo was revived by Nimmons-Joliet Development Corp. in 2012.

Petroleum Building building at 420 South Boulder in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Petroleum Building is a 50-meter/10-floor building at 420 South Boulder in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was built in 1921, and is a steel and reinforced concrete structure faced with buff brick. The name was given because most of the early tenants were associated with the petroleum industry. Later, it housed the Mayo Brothers Furniture Company. It was identified as one of the supporting structures during the creation of the Oil Capital Historic District.

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William Skelly American oil industrialist and businessman

William Grove Skelly, often known as Bill or William G. Skelly, was an entrepreneur who made a fortune in the oil business. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, he moved to Kansas in 1916, then to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1919, where he founded Skelly Oil Company. By 1923, his company was one of the strongest independent producers of oil and gasoline in the United States. He helped organize the first International Petroleum Exposition in Tulsa in 1923 and became president of that organization, a position he held for the rest of his life. He was a founder of the Kansas-Oklahoma branch of the United States Oil and Gas Association, then known as Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States.

The International Petroleum Exposition (IPE) was a specialized trade fair held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at varying intervals from 1923 to 1979. Its main purposes were to display the latest oil industry technology, sell equipment and services, and to educate industry workers and the general public about the production of oil.

The United States Oil & Gas Association, formerly the Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association, is a trade association which promotes the well-being of the oil and natural gas industries in the United States. Primarily, the organization focuses on the production of these resources. Other organizations exist to deal with concerns of transportation, refining and processing, and other discrete functions of the fossil fuel industry.

Oil Capital Historic District (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

The Oil Capital Historic District (OCHD) is an area in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma that commemorates the success of the oil business in Tulsa during the early 20th century. During this period, Tulsa was widely known as "The Oil Capital of the World." The area is bounded by 3rd Street on the north and 7th Street on the south, Cincinnati Avenue on the east and Cheyenne Avenue on the west.

Carolyn Mary Skelly

Carolyn Mary Skelly was an American oil heiress and socialite. She was well known for her extravagant parties but was herself mysteriously disfigured. As the owner of Bois Doré, she continued clubbing well into her 80s and became “America’s No. 1 Jewelry Robbery Victim”.


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