In i918, a hundred-million-dollar oil-and-gas field was discovered at Big Sand Draw, where John Love gave up his first homestead, in i897. After the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of i920, oil companies could obtain leases directly from the government. A rancher’s claims no longer intervened. A rancher zakelijke energie vergelijken needed fifty thousand dollars to drill on his own.
It was the general opinion on the range that if a man had that kind of money he did not need an oil well. Our mirage disappeared completely.
Emblematically, fire broke out in the oil fields of Lost Soldier, fifty miles southwest, and for weeks lighted up the night sky. In Horseshoe Gulch, six miles from the ranch, Sinclair Wyoming drilled forty-three hundred feet and found gas, which came out with such force that it destroyed the drill stem and blew the wooden derrick to pieces.
When the blast came, the driller was carrying a hundred-pound anvil across the rig floor. He told us that he raced half a mile over the sagebrush before he realized that he still held the anvil.
The Loves hitched up a wagon and went after the wood. They would bum the entire derrick in their kitchen stove.
David picked up a small, rough chunk of soft gray shale, blasted out of the depths of the well. He saw in it tiny marine fossils and fragile, lustrous pieces of mother-of-pearl, the size of his fingernail, that had once held the bodies of living clams; they came from more than half a mile underground; they lived before the time zakelijke energie of men on the earth; they had been buried, how many ages, since they moved about that unseen shore. The driller told him that those shells predicted the presence of oil. . . . He brought home the rock with the delicate shells embedded in it and has kept it ever since in an Indian bowl.