Raven A-1 Over the Years- Ken Bailey

RAVEN A-1 Over the years.

"Raven Park." That was an early name for the Rangely Basin. It was in the center of the Rangely dome into which the Raven Oil and Refining company sank its shallow wells during the early part of the Twentieth Century, and it was on the Raven Lease that the California Company (today, Chevron) sank the first well to successfully penetrate the Weber Sands oil zone a mile below the surface.

Here is a montage of Oil Geek's photos of this very famous well. Further captions are with the individual pictures.

1) ANCIENT LUFKIN. From its perch on the very top center of the Rangely Anticline, the A-1 well flowed by itself at first.  By 1971, however (when young Oil Geek took this photograph with a Kodak Instamatic (TM) 126 camera), the well had been "on the pump" for quite a long time, as evidenced by this early Lufkin model 64 conventional oil pump.

1) ANCIENT LUFKIN. From its perch on the very top center of the Rangely Anticline, the A-1 well flowed by itself at first.

By 1971, however (when young Oil Geek took this photograph with a Kodak Instamatic (TM) 126 camera), the well had been "on the pump" for quite a long time, as evidenced by this early Lufkin model 64 conventional oil pump.

OMETHING OLD, AND SOMETHING NEW! By the mid-2000's, the Geek was now an adult. The old Lufkin pump had given way to an early model Bethlehem -- witness the teardrop horsehead, the strange counterweight/crank arrangement, and the very early motor!  It is a static museum display, out in the middle of an oil field where most of the work is now done from underground, and the vast majority of bobbing rod pumps are history.  Even the well no longer produces oil, having been shut down in 1976 (converted to waterflood injection), and then plugged and abandoned in 1983.  A short distance away, a new well has taken over. But the old granddaddy of them all was given this Belle of the Ball antique pumping unit to sit quietly and gaze over an oil field that now was silent and unmoving.

OMETHING OLD, AND SOMETHING NEW! By the mid-2000's, the Geek was now an adult. The old Lufkin pump had given way to an early model Bethlehem -- witness the teardrop horsehead, the strange counterweight/crank arrangement, and the very early motor!

It is a static museum display, out in the middle of an oil field where most of the work is now done from underground, and the vast majority of bobbing rod pumps are history.

Even the well no longer produces oil, having been shut down in 1976 (converted to waterflood injection), and then plugged and abandoned in 1983.

A short distance away, a new well has taken over. But the old granddaddy of them all was given this Belle of the Ball antique pumping unit to sit quietly and gaze over an oil field that now was silent and unmoving.

IN GOOD COMPANY. It is mid-1972, and we see another view of the old original Lufkin pump on the Raven A1 site. It is surrounded by other rod oil pumps (I count seven others in the picture right off the bat here) -- but, already, the submersibles are moving in -- note the beheaded "air-balance" pumping the next well distant. At this point, the Raven A1 has just four more years to go as a producing oil well.

IN GOOD COMPANY. It is mid-1972, and we see another view of the old original Lufkin pump on the Raven A1 site. It is surrounded by other rod oil pumps (I count seven others in the picture right off the bat here) -- but, already, the submersibles are moving in -- note the beheaded "air-balance" pumping the next well distant. At this point, the Raven A1 has just four more years to go as a producing oil well.

A heroic picture of Oil Geek striking a pose next to the old veteran A1 of the Rangely Oil Field -- except for those pants!! It was the early 1970's, after all, and they wouldn't have garnered a second look at Rangely High School back then. Out in an oilfield? Perhaps another story -- the Geek would not be caught dead in such wear today, in 2018!  (Photo by Bill MItchem, 1972).

A heroic picture of Oil Geek striking a pose next to the old veteran A1 of the Rangely Oil Field -- except for those pants!! It was the early 1970's, after all, and they wouldn't have garnered a second look at Rangely High School back then. Out in an oilfield? Perhaps another story -- the Geek would not be caught dead in such wear today, in 2018!

(Photo by Bill MItchem, 1972).

Stay tuned for more on our resident Oil Geek's story and his fun memories that he looks back on in 2018. Do you remember growing up around oil rigs, what do you think you would have enjoyed? What are your thoughts on the development of the oil and gas industry? Let us know, we'd love to hear from you!