When It All Began
In 1910, Wyoming Governor B.B. Brooks recognized a need to “protect the state’s oil industry” and called for “an oil convention.” In 1921, the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association was formed at an initial meeting in Casper and by then former Governor Brooks was elected the Association’s President. Throughout World War II, volunteer Secretary-Treasurer George Jarvis kept the Association operating until 1945 when the inagural Annual Meeting was held at the Gladstone Hotel in Casper, where Paul Stock was elected President. Over the ensuing years, RMOGA Offices would be established in Casper, Denver, Boise, Billings, Bismark, and Salt Lake City.
In January of 1974, “oil leaders throughout Wyoming, in a Casper meeting, organized the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, blending the two present oil industry trade organizations into one.” The Wyoming Oil Industry Committee (WOIC) and the Wyoming Division of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association (RMOGA) “joined in an effort to establish a more effective vehicle to speak for the industry in Wyoming,” according to an issued press release. H.L. Fuller of Amoco Oil Company was elected President and Arthur W. Roberts (WOIC) and Robert H. Martin (RMOGA) were appointed Executive Directors. This gathering was the foundation upon which the Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW) was formed. Today, PAW is the largest and oldest oil and gas trade organization in the state.
History of Oil and Gas in Wyoming
Oil and gas development in Wyoming predates the state itself. The first oil well was drilled by Mike Murphy in 1883 at Dallas Dome near present day Lander; setting a course for what would become Wyoming’s primary economic engine. The Wyoming State Historical Society has compiled an excellent history of oil and gas production in Wyoming, including the following features: