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The Origin of " Mex " Spirit.

25th March 1909, Page 4
25th March 1909
Page 4
Page 4, 25th March 1909 — The Origin of " Mex " Spirit.
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It makes very interesting rendingin the,,e prosaic days to listen to the romance unfolded by Mr. Clive Bowring, a director of the Bowring Petroleum Co., Ltd., and the Imperial Oil Co., Ltd., whose offices are at 5 and 6, Billiter Avenue, E.C., in relation to the history and development of the oil industry of Mexico, The discovery of these fields resulted in the following manner. The well-known firm Messrs. S. Pearson and Son, the British Firm of harbour and port improvement contractors, had contracts for improving the harbours and port facilities at Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz, the Atlantic and Pacific terminals of the National Tehuantepec lines which railroad they were operating under a lease from. the Government for several years. While carrying on this work, the firm became aware of oil indications near Nlinitatlan, only some few miles distant from Coatzacoalcos. As soon as this discovery was made, ne.,..zotiations for the purchase of land were entered upon. Prospect wells were bored, and large flows of oil discovered. Development then proceeded apace, further holdings—scattered all along the coast and also inland were secured, and, today, this firm is in possession of more oil-bearing wells and land than any other concern in Mexico. All these operations were so silently conducted that few realised the enormous strength of the position attained by this firm, so that it is now the most important and active operator in the Mexican oil industry. Two years ago, large. refining plant was erected at Minitatlan, and pipe lines were laid; also, in order to give full control of the transport of the products, a fleet of tank boats capable of conveying one and a half million gallons of oil was purchased. At the present moment, seven or eight of these enormous ships are in constant use, and others are under construction.

It is impossible, at present, to estimate the ultimate yield of petroleum from this district. New wells in the Minitatlan field are being constantly added. Refineries have been laid down, and business has developed at a rapid rate, whilst the firm possesses large storage facilities at Minitatlan, as well as tankage at convenient spots.

One of the most sensational events in the history of the oil industry of Mexico occurred last year, on the 4th July, when the great gusher at Dos limas. close to the San Geronimo River, in the State of Vera Cruz, was brought in. The gas and oil which poured from it caught fire, causing an explosion which turned the well into a volcano of burning and_boiling oil. It took two months to extinguish it, and the boiling water and oil covered more than 2; acres. The loss of oil through this fire was estimated at several million barrels, and the gusher produced, at one period of its existence, as much as t5o,000 barrels of oil per day. After the quenching of the dames, the geyser produced (and is now producing) about 5,000 barrels of oil per day, which is caught by means, of a ditch or spillway. All the laud, with the exception of a small holding belonging to the Pennsylvania Oil Company, belongs to. Messrs. S. Pearson and Son.

Further refineries will be put down at Tampico, as soon. as the production warrants the enlargement, and a system of pipe lines is also planned there. Small producer wells have been exploited in the San Cristobal di,,:trict, State of Chiapas, as well as in the Tuxpam territory, which is now receiving the attention of this firm. At Furbero, about 30 miles from Tuxpam, oil in paying quant:ties was discovered some years back, but, owing to lack of transport facilities, development was relarded. It is reported that Messrs. S. Pearson and Son have acquired extensiveholdings in this district, and that, in order to overcome the difficulties of transport, they are laying down a railway and oil pipe-line.

One of the advantages of the Mexican petroleum is its extraordinarily clear state when found in the crude; it is stated to require much less relining than that of other oilfields. This particularly applies to the later discoveries

The marketing rights for the entire produce of spirit, with sole rights of sale for the United Kingdom and Europe, has been secured by the Bowring Petroleum Co., Ltd., and it will, therefore, be seen that this company's spirit is from the very outset controlled by British capital and enterprise, which facts should command the attention of users. The spirit, on its arrival in England, is " runthrough " again, to ensure purity and uniformity. The Bowring Company's active selling campaign has developed since the beginning of the year, and it has. establisheddepeits in many centres already, and appointed agents. In a way, its position is unique—it is outside the so-called " ring." The cost of production and transport is probably lower than in respect of any other suppliers, on account of the position of the wells, and the pureness. of the crude oil.

I am indebted to the manager of the Bowring Company's petrol department for many of the above details; this gentleman states that the specific gravity of his company's petrol is .705 to .710 for the usual light spirit, and .735 to .745 for commercial-vehicle purposes. The cost compares favourably with that of other suppliers, and I wish to imprint imrpliblv on users that the 'name of this petrol is MEX. " Homoc."


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