Goose Creek oil fields
Schlueter, Frank J.
The first offshore drilling for oil in Texas occurred along Goose Creek in southeast Harris County, twenty-one miles southeast of Houston on Galveston Bay. In 1903 John I. Gaillard noticed bubbles popping to the surface of the water at the point where the creek empties into the bay. With a match he confirmed that the bubbles were natural gas, a strong indication of oil deposits. Royal Matthews leased the Gaillard property and drilled for 2½ years but could not bring in a continuously producing well. Not until a Houston-based syndicate, Goose Creek Production Company, drilled on the marsh of the bay was oil found, on June 2, 1908, at 1,600 feet. The Goose Creek field reached its peak annual production of 8,923,635 barrels with onshore and offshore drilling by 1918. By the 1990s total production of the field's lifetime stood at 140,644,377 barrels. Since Goose Creek oilfield was a prospective long-term producer, Humble constructed its major refinery, which was completed by April 21, 1921, adjacent to the field and named the plant and townsite Baytown. The Goose Creek field is a deep-seated salt dome with overlying beds slightly arched; its discovery spurred exploration for deep-seated domes, and led to the discovery of some of the largest oilfields in the United States. (From Handbook of Texas Online)
Submerged drilling at the Goose Creek oilfield. The writing on the back of the photograph includes notes "Looking to Morgan's Point" and "View towards Houston Ship Channel."