Re: UTLX Leasing Practices

Cyril Durrenberger

In most cases, at least in Texas, he pattern seems to have been that after an oil producing field was developed, for the first year or two the crude was shipped by tank car.  Then if there was enough production, a pipeline was built.  But it took time to lay the pipeline.
In some cases refineries were built near the oil production field.
The book "Early Texas Oil" is a good reference and shows many photos.  There are many photos showing crude being loaded into tank cars for shipment to the refinery.
Based on traffic data that I have studied for the earlier fields this pattern is clear, even though out of the time period being here.
So it was necessary to lease tank car to ship the crude for a short time period, but did the companies would not likely want to purchase the cars.  Certainly the time period would not allow the purchase of new equipment.
In the case of Humble, Texas, discovered in 1904 (I know this is too early for 99% of you) they had a large number of private owner tank car mileage during the early years that fdecreased after the peak in abut 1906.   The field was serviced only by the HW&WT and that was the only oil production field of significance on the railroad.  The traffic statistics show a large increase in crude shipments, but that then dropped significantly.  However, the tonnage of crude shipped for the next decade or so was larger amount than before the discovery of the oil field.  During the early days, the mileage would vary from private owner to private owner, and there was no clear pattern.  One year it would be large for one company, then large for another one the next year, etc.  One interesting thing is that there was much mileage for the Merchants and Planters Oil Company who made cottonseed oil.  The mileage was far greater than the capacity to make
cottonseed oil or the tonnage of cottonseed oil shipped.  All of this is from memory and all of my data are back in Austin, Texas.  If anyone is interested, I can provide more specific information after I return to Texas in late August (we are in Minnesota). 
Cyril Durrenberger

--- On Sun, 6/21/09, FRANK PEACOCK <> wrote:

Subject: [STMFC] UTLX Leasing Practices
Date: Sunday, June 21, 2009, 6:01 AM

Thanks for the replies. I admit that it has been almost four years since I've read JDR's Secret Weapon by Carr. He is good on UTL's origins, but less good on the time period most of us are modeling. For example, what % of UTC's traffic came from the former Standard Companies in the forties and what % came from "outside"? Carr does say (p.207f) that UTC started looking for customers outside the former Standard Companies well before WWII, somewhere around the late 'twenties. I suppose that UTC(changed from UTL in June 1919) realized that being the "secret weapon" was good when the guys using you controlled 95% of the market, not so good when that percent went to 60% and falling. Spindletop (1901) changed everything. It took a few years but upstarts like the Texas Co., Gulf, Sun, Phillips, Skelly, etc. began eroding the former Standard Companies' market share. Back to the original question: how did the T&P Ry. move all the extra crude out of the Permian
Basin 1947/48? I suspect that due to the size of the two major tank car companies, UTLX with 38814 and GATX with 37428 cars (10/47 ORER) they were the primary sources. Depending on assumptions I figure that it would take several thousand cars to cover this movement. FHP(Frank H. Peacock)
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