Historical Timeline

The Beginning

1859 – 1911

In 1859, Edwin Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the United States in Titusville, PA and America would never be the same again. The industry grew quickly, and among the companies born was Standard OIl, formed by JD Rockefeller in 1870, which became the world’s largest oil refinery. Eventually oil drilling spread to the west coast, and in 1893 the Los Angeles City Oil Field was developed.

Once the combustion engine was developed in the late 1800’s and the automobile industry emerged, the use for oil grew exponentially. In 1907, Royal Dutch Shell was formed through a merger to compete globally with Standard Oil. The following year, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which would later become BP, was formed in the middle east after a large reserve was discovered in Persia (now Iran). In 1909, C.J. Berry, a successful gold miner, purchased land in Taft, CA and formed Berry Holding Company, which later became Berry Petroleum. In 1911, Standard Oil was determined by the US Supreme Court to be a monopoly in the refining industry under the Sherman Act and broken up in 34 independent companies.


1912 – 1938

  • 1921 First use of Seismic Imaging
    Oil discovered on Signal Hill, California
    The Santa Fe Springs and Long Beach Oil Fields are discovered
  • 1923 Dominguez Oil Field is discovered
  • 1926 EE Combs mortgages his house and drills his first well on Signal Hill - An Oil Man is born
  • 1927 Most communities in Southern California had gas service
  • 1928 Kettleman Hills Oil Field is discovered in Kings County
  • 1928 Hope Well fire - EE forced to seek partners
  • 1930 The discover of large oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin caused a flood of oil to reach the market, reducing the price
  • 1931 EE Combs Fox Well Discovery, East Texas
  • 1933 Standard Oil of California granted concession to drill in Saudi Arabia
  • 1933 EE Partners with Roscoe Oaks, retired Union Carbide executive - The Termo Company is formed
  • 1935 Termo drills and operates in the Huntington Beach Field, Orange County - Eventually producing from 16 wells in the field
  • 1938 After several failures, oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia


1939 – 2002

  • 1941 US enters WWII. Termo recognized for producing supplies vital to the war effort
  • 1942 Termo begins participation and operations in the Wilmington Field, Los Angeles
  • 1947 Kerr McGee completes first producing well on the Outer Continental Shelf off Louisiana
  • 1953 EE Combs dies - Eldredge Combs becomes president of Termo
  • 1960 OPEC formed
  • 1962 Termo discovers the Brentwood Field, Contra Costa County - At the time, the northern most oil field in California
  • 1966 David Combs joins Termo
  • 1968 Oil is discovered in Alaska’s North Slope
  • 1969 Oil spill off Santa Barbara, CA causes major backlash and contributes to the formation of the modern environmental movement
  • 1969 David Combs forms Termo of Texas to more aggressively explore for oil and gas
  • 1970 Termo's Schrack #1 well in Kimball County, Nebraska comes on line at 200 bbls a day for two years
  • 1973 Arab Oil Embargo
  • 1975 North Sea’s oil production begins
  • 1981 Oil prices increase three fold to $34 a barrel
  • 1981 David Combs becomes President of Termo
  • 1985 California oil production reached an all time high
  • 1986 Oil prices collapse
  • 1987 Termo and Termo of Texas merge
  • 1988 Termo begins active acquisition of Rocky Mountain and Appalachian royalty and mineral interests
  • 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
  • 1989 Termo purchases and commences multiple year development of the Aliso Canyon Field in the Los Angles Basin - Continues to be one of Termo's premier properties
  • 1990 Termo expands operations in Louisiana with purchase of SMLC Section 28 A and B field, Opens regional office in Breaux Bridge - Develops taste for Cajun Food
  • 1992 Termo purchases and commences development of the Oat Mountain Field adjacent to Aliso Canyon
  • 1997 World’s first LNG facility built in Qatar
  • 1998 Termo discovers the SA Creek Field, Campbell County, WY
  • 1999 Amoco v. Southern Ute Tribe clears way for CBNG production
  • 2000 Termo opens its Powder River Basin office in Gillette, WY
  • 2002 Termo discovers and begins development of the South Joe Creek field with the Brew Well, Campbell County, WY

Modern Day

2003 – Present

  • 2003 Termo begins development and operations of 100 CBNG wells in Wyoming
  • 2004 Purchase of the Oaks interest and consolidation of Termo
  • 2007 Termo participates with ORX in the White Castle Project, Vermilion Parish, LA. Cumulative production to date of 1.7 MMBO and 5.1 BCFG
  • 2008 Oil prices hit record high
    Oil price collapse
  • 2009 Termo begins active participation North Dakota and Montana Bakken and Three Forks play
  • 2011 Termo begins acquiring interest in Oklahoma’s Granite Wash Play
    Termo begins acquiring interest in the Eagle Ford Shale Play, Texas
  • 2013 Termo celebrates 80 years of challenges and success in the Oil and Gas Industry; learn more here.
  • 2014 Termo drills two successful discovery wells in Fresno County, CA
  • 2015 Price of oil collapses, again
  • 2016 Price of oil hits 7 year low, begins recovery
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