North Dakota Geological Survey


X Marks the Spot: #11
By Lorraine A. Manz


Figure 1. The granite monument, erected in October 1953, that marks the discovery site of oil in North Dakota on April 4, 1951.

The 11th competition in the X Marks the Spot series drew correct responses from 20 people, who identified the location marked by the X as the site of the first producing oil well in North Dakota – Amerada Petroleum Corporation’s No. 1 Clarence Iverson Well near Tioga in Williams County. Anyone interested in visiting this site (fig. 1) will find it just east of County Road 21 about eight miles south of Tioga in the SW4 SW4 Sec. 6, T. 155 N., R. 95 W.

Administrative Assistant Linda Johnson drew Terry Jorgenson and Judith Dinkins as the competition winners. Terry will receive a copy of The Face of North Dakota and Judith will receive a Geologic Map of North Dakota. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who participated in the competition.


Correct answers were submitted by:

Tam Black - Minot Leonard Bornemann - Center
Ron Bosch - Wheatland, WY Wes Peck - Grand Forks
Gary Brekke - Fargo Tonya Pomeroy - Fort Worth, TX
Judith Dinkins - Hazen Ramsey family* - Crystal
Ken Gardner - Drayton Kenneth Schmidt - Ray
Allen Jacobson - Tolley Allan Stolz - Minot
Michael Johnson Dennis Tomhave - Vermillion, SD
Terry Jorgenson - Eden Prairie, MN Terry Traynor
Paul Meisel - Sawyer Larry Werner - Starkweather
John Mrozla - Harwood Barrett Williams - Tucker, GA

Readers interested in learning more about the history and development of North Dakota’s oil industry are recommended the following publications:

Bluemle, J.P., 2001, The 50th Anniversary of the Discovery of Oil in North Dakota: North Dakota Geological Survey Miscellaneous Series 89, 57p.

Gonzalez, M.A., 2002, Black gold – the economics of oil in North Dakota: North Dakota Geological Survey Newsletter, v. 29, no. 1.

Gonzalez, M.A., Burke, R. B., and Diehl, P. E., 2003, Black gold: the role of the Geological Survey in the exploration, discovery, and development of oil prospects and their economic implications to North Dakota: North Dakota Geological Survey Educational Series 29. (This is a PowerPoint presentation that has been recorded on a CD. It is not available in paper).

Heck, T.J., LeFever, R.D., Fischer, D.W., and LeFever, J., 2002, Overview of the petroleum geology of the North Dakota Williston Basin. Drilling and production statistics are available on the Oil and gas Division web site.