Menard County

Oil History in Menard County

Oil and gas production in Menard County began in the 1940s, although wildcatters had been drilling exploratory wells since 1919. The first attempted oil well, drilled in 1919, was dry. A gas deposit was tapped in 1929, but was plugged the same year for lack of a market. The gas well was redrilled in 1941 and produced about seven million cubic feet of gas. A small oilfield was discovered northeast of Fort McKavett in 1946 but abandoned the following year. Exploration continued throughout the 1940s and 1950s, but not until the 1960s were most of the important deposits in the county discovered. Production peaked in that decade with an average annual yield of more than 270,000 barrels. Of the county's forty oilfields, about twenty were still active in the 1980s, producing 132,000 to 185,000 barrels annually. In 2002, Menard County had about 88 producing oil wells.

From Menard County Historical Society, Menard County History-An Anthology (San Angelo: Anchor, 1982). Menard Messenger, Historical Edition, June 18, 1936. Menard News, Historical Edition, November 11, 1971.