Flaring Gas

Campbell-Bilbury Well - Overton County, Tennessee

Pryor Oil Co., Inc. is a Missouri corporation, founded in 1984 by Jim Pryor. It was in the business of oil and gas leasing, exploration, development and operations. Besides Missouri, the company was registered and authorized to do business in Kansas and Tennessee. At the time of The Big Blowout, the focus of operations was in Tennessee. Pryor Oil Co., Inc. was a Member of the Tenessee Oil & Gas Association.

Pryor Oil began exploration and drilling in Leavenworth County, Kansas in 1984. After bringing in several successful wells, the Leavenworth County properties were sold, and the profits were put to work in a deep well venture in Oklahoma, and waterflood programs in Anderson County, Kansas. The Oklahoma venture resulted in a dry hole and a marginal producer that were abandoned. Operations in Anderson County, Kansas were successful, and the Donley Lease in particular became a model of successful planning and implementation of enhanced recovery techniques in Kansas. The Donley Lease was sold in 1999, and the profits were put to work in Tennessee, where the company achieved enviable success with its initial test programs. The company owned and operated oil and gas properties primarily in Morgan, Overton, and Scott Counties in Tennessee.

Drilling in Tennessee

Drilling near Alpine, Tennessee

The company´s early success in Tennessee corroborated extensive pre-drilling evaluations. Before selecting drill sites, the company commissioned high tech satellite remote sensing with stereo pair high altitude photography, covering Morgan and Overton Counties. These were combined with surface and subsurface geological studies, plus three dimensional seismic studies and ground surface radiation surveys. Finally, data was analyzed using sophisticated computer modeling. While the modeling predictions were promising, the biggest test remained because, as the oilpatch maxim goes, oil is where you find it. The company proceeded to acquire acreage and drilled 21 test wells. This testing program was financed entirely by the company, without investor participation. Three dry holes were drilled; the rest found oil and gas, showing calculated reserves of 130,000 barrels of oil and 2 billion cubic feet of gas. Market value of the oil and gas reserves under the test program exceeded $9,000,000.00 at average market prices at the time.