Hazardous Business
Industry, Regulation, and the Texas Railroad Commission

Oil gusher near Ranger going "over the top"

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Oil near Ranger going over the top

The boom at Ranger began in 1917, and within a year the population had grown from 1000 to 30,000 people. The spectacular discoveries at Ranger sparked exploration and similar booms at Desdemona and Breckenridge. This era in Texas history was exciting and colorful, but the oil booms were also the cause of tremendous waste. Overdrilling ruined the pressure in fields and left most of the oil trapped underground. In the 1980s, new drilling techniques that allowed oil to be recovered from dormant wells allowed production to increase again in the area.

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W.D. Hornaday Collection, Prints and Photographs Collection, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. 1975/70-3617.

Page last modified: August 18, 2011