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Smackover Prices; 1922

The American oil field was rolling in 1922 and big new stuff was being found every day. Texas Gulf Coast crudes were getting $1.25 per BO, way better than low gravity, heavy stuff (21 API) from California selling for $0.67 per BO, which beat the snot out of that stinky, high sulfur oil from brand new, shallow El Dorado and Smackover discoveries in Arkansas that was getting hammered at 30 cents per BO. Mexican oil from the Golden Lane was getting more money than Arkansas oil.

Here is a photo of some Arkansas hands in the Smackover Field in late 1922. From left to right, in the suit, is likely the owner of the well, then next to him look to be tool pushers because they are not all covered in oil; tool pushers just point and holler. Then ya' got your real hands all lined up, soaked to the bone. The clean dude on the far right who looks like he is photo bombing is a weenie-neck and he is probably about ready to get slimed by the hand to his immediate right with the scowl on his face. Some Smackover oil is heavy, nasty stuff with sulfur content often >4%.

How 'bout going to the rig in a piroque every day?

This area of Arkansas is heavily influenced by Cajun culture similar to that of Northern Louisiana; the duck gumbo in this part of the world is better than south of I-10.

In a desperate need to frac everything that does not move these days there is now some HZ laterals being drilled further north in Arkansas, up dip and deeper, at around 9,000 feet, in something called the Smackover Brown Dense Shale. No word yet on whether this particular shale will be profitable...we'll have to get back with you on that.

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