Bradford Oil Field History

  • 1837 - Lumbering settlement, population 61. Established at present site of City
                 of Bradford. Village named "Littletown" after Col. L. C. Little, founder.

  • 1854 - Name Littletown changed to Bradford, Post Office established.

  • 1859 - Oil discovered in America, Drake Well, Titusville, Pennsylvania.
                  (Not in Bradford Field).

  • 1863 - Land near Bradford selling for 6 cents per acre. First railroad
                  connection in Bradford.

  • 1871 - Bradford Field discovered - first successful Oil Well, 1,110 feet, drilled
                  in November. Production ten barrels per day (42 gallons per barrel).

  • 1875 - Oil Boom in Bradford!! New wells producing 75 to 200 barrels
                  per day. Land prices increased to $1,000 per acre.

  • 1876 - Boom still on!! Population of Bradford increased to 9,000.
                  More oil discovered east of Bradford.

  • 1880 - Pennsylvania Geologists suggest that water pressure on oil sand
                  may be used to increase production of oil.

  • 1881 - Peak year for Bradford Field-Produced 22,945,069 barrels out of
                  total in the United States of 27,661,000 barrels-83% of the country's
                  entire output and 77% of all the oil produced in the world for the year.

  • 1885 - Older wells in Bradford Field now being pumped. Production
                  falls to 10,564,298 barrels.

  • 1890 - Operators discovering that water finding its way into the oil sand
                  from abandoned wells increased production of adjacent oil wells.

  • 1906 - Low point in Bradford Oil Field production. Only 2,022,000 barrels
                  produced.

  • 1910 - Production slowly increasing. Illegal water flooding practice increasing.

  • 1920 - Bradford Crude averages $5.97 per barrel, highest price in history.

  • 1921 - Water flooding of Bradford Sand legalized by Pennsylvania State
                  Legislature.

  • 1924 - Bradford Field produced 15% of total "Pennsylvania" Crude,
                  85% being total of 269 other Pennsylvania grades of lesser value.

  • 1928 - "Five Spot" method of water flooding successfully developed.
                  Bradford Field produces 30% of total Pennsylvania production.

  • 1937 - Bradford Field output is 16,738,688 barrels or 57% of total Pennsylvania
                  production. Fourth highest production year in history of the Field.

  • 1941 - Production of Bradford Field for year is 13,997,750.

  • 1942 - Bradford Field produced 15,532,473 barrels of crude in an effort
                  to meet tremendous military demands.

  • 1946 - Bradford Field production I 1,756,513 barrels - decrease due
                  primarily to the inability to obtain pipe and other supplies.

  • 1947 - U.S. Government price subsidy of 75 cents per barrel removed.
                  Bradford Crude Oil commands price of $5.00 a barrel in free market.