W. T. Waggoner Estate
Established 1849


OIL History

Old pump jack on the W. T. Waggoner Estate.

"The Waggoner Ranch"

Wilbarger, Wichita, Foard, Knox, Baylor & Archer Counties

The Red River Arch area in Wilbarger and Wichita counties has been a major producing region since the early 1900's. Since the discovery of oil on the property by Mr. Waggoner, who was drilling for water to supply his horse and cattle operation, the "Electra Arch" has experienced the boom and bust of the oil industry. Detailed geological and geophysical prospecting using the vast amount of information collected through the years, supplemented with new exploration technology, will lead to the discovery and economical production of oil reserves that have been overlooked.

The Electra Arch area is productive from just below the surface (Permian age) down to about 5500 feet (Ordovician age). The producing horizons include Permian fluvial & deltaic sands, Cisco fluvial sands and thin shelf limestone, Canyon fluvial sands and carbonate buildups (reefs), Strawn deltaic sands and shelf carbonates, Atoka conglomerates, Mississippian limestone buildups and reefs, and Ordovician dolomite structures. The traps vary from strictly structural, to structural stratigraphic, and some are only stratigraphic in nature. Deposition of the shallow producing horizons was controlled by the deeper Canyon structures.

The ranch is on and adjacent to the east-west trending Red River - Matador Arch. The boundary faults of this feature are complementary first order right lateral faults of the predominately left lateral Wichita System. (1) The uplifted portion of the Red River Arch is only three-fourths to one mile wide in the area.

It is generally believed that the formation of the Red River Arch resulted from uplift during the Wichita Orogeny of early Pennsylvanian time. (2) Older rocks subjected to previous erosion were thrust up and further eroded. Pennsylvanian and younger sediments lie unconformably on Pre-Pennsylvanian beds on and adjacent to the Red River Arch. During the Pennsylvanian period the Arch area remained a stable structural feature that divided the Baylor-Knox basin on the South from the Hardeman basin on the North. This stable area was optimally located relative to sea level and resulted in the formation of large carbonate buildups along the arch.

Rejuvenated movement along the fault system during and possibly after the Pennsylvanian period is evidenced by displacement and folding of the Strawn, Canyon, and, Cisco beds. Fault displacement of these formations is less dramatic on the south side where they step down into the Knox-Baylor basin. The greater overall drop into the Hardeman Basin is related to regional tilting and continual subsidence of this northern sedimentary basin. The faulting in this area has generated individual blocks that are structurally separated from adjacent features. Each of these structural blocks has the characteristics needed to form hydrocarbon reservoirs.


1 Jack L. Walper, "Wrench Faulting in the Mid-Continent",
Shale Shaker, (October 1970), page 32.

2 William E. Laing, "Southwestern Oklahoma - A Geophysical Case
History of a Basin," Geophysics, Vol XX1X, No. 6,
(December 1964), page 970.

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