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Our Petunia! Capitol is only one with an oil well

The Capitol of Oklahoma isthe only capitol in the world with an oil well under it.

Its legal description is Capitol Site #1 but its nickname was Petunia #1 because they started drilling it in the middle of a flower bed, Nov. 10, 1941, and 171 days later in 1942, it was completed.

The depth of the well is 6,618 feet. The bottom of the oil well is approximately a mile and a quarter under the Capitol.

The well was drilled 3 degrees off center. It is 431 feet from the center of the building to the top of the hole.

Directional surveys were run regularly utilizing magnetic reading throughout rather than correcting to true north. This avoided the possibility of errors in direction. This is called directional drilling; the oil companies paid Eastman Survey Company $15,000 to use 18 removable whipstocks.

A whipstock is about 12 feet long and is a piece of equipment used for doing directional drilling. It was first used in Southern California and became common in Oklahoma sometime before the 1940s.

L.G. Byron, a graduate geologist from the University of Oklahoma, was the man who did the directional surveying for Eastman Survey Company.

The well has produced more than one million barrels of oil and before it is depleted, it will produce another million. By Jan. 1, 1973, the state had been paid approximately $671,499 in royalties and $103.619 in gross production tax.

The oil companies paid $350,000 for the first three oil well leases on the south side of the Capitol building. Capitol Site #1 was one of them.

British American, DX Sun Ray and Phillips 66 paid the state $5,000 each just to participate in Capitol Site #1.

At one time there were 24 oil wells on the Capitol grounds. The oil companies paid Oklahoma 25 percent in royalties for all the oil produced on the Capitol grounds. BIOG: NAME:

Archive ID: 54248

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