History of TIPRO

History oil rig1reduced
It all began with the discovery of the great oil fields across Texas – first Spindletop in Beaumont in 1901, then Burkburnett in North Texas in 1915, followed by Luling in Central Texas in 1924, then the Santa Rita – the strike that funded the Texas university systems for a century - in the West Texas Permian Basin in 1923, and more.

Circumstances in each field were unique, causing varying conflicts between independents and the majors, both of which were eager to drill. At the world-famous East Texas Field, for instance, thousands of farmers, share croppers and other laborers had been working for little or no money in exchange for royalties, should anything materialize. Then, in 1930, when the Daisy Bradford hit, hundreds of regular citizens became royalty owners overnight. In no other place in the world were so many everyday citizens suddenly large, private owners of such a valuable national resource. The largest reserve discovery in the world at that time, the 600 derricks in Kilgore alone signaled the presence of almost as many wells as the town had people in 1930. This discovery also made the Texas Railroad Commission one of the most influential governing bodies for global oil prices.

History oil rig2reducedBut such a significant discovery of oil quickly sent global oil prices down, due largely to overproduction, theft and growing ire of the majors. The majors lobbied hard at both state and federal levels for proration limits and other measures to reduce the flood of supply.

Seeing this massive threat to their livelihoods, in what had become a very personal business, many independents resisted such measures. In 1931, martial law was even declared in East Texas with National Guard troops sent by Governor Ross S. Sterling to enforce the limits.

History Old Tipro logoreducedUnder this backdrop, independent producers began to organize. While regional groups formed in each significant field throughout Texas, it was the East Texas Field that gave rise to the Independent Petroleum Association of Texas in 1933. This group would later reconstitute itself as TIPRO in 1946. 

Led by Glenn McCarthy and Jack Porter, the group originally consisted of 39 Texas Wildcatters. Today that membership has grown to over 3,000.


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