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Oilfield A-List: Fasken Oil & Ranch

Part 1: A look at Fasken's 100 year history in the Permian Basin
Midland -- 100 years. It's an anniversary Fasken Oil and Ranch is excited to celebrate this year, and the story of how they got to this point is one they're proud to share. It's a story that begins with David Fasken.

"David Fasken was a farm boy from Alora, Canada who came to Toronto and became a lawyer, eventually became president of an insurance company, made a great deal of money in mining in about 1905-06...that period," explained Ian Kyer, Fasken Martineau council.
   
That money would eventually help Fasken make a 220,000 acre investment in West Texas .

"In 1913, he was approached by his business partner, they had been doing land investments out west in Canada, about the possibility of buying the C Ranch in Midland, Texas. It was a real estate flip. They were to buy the land, turn it into farms, sell it off to Europeans and make lots of money," said Kyer.

But according to Norbert Dickman, general manager of Fasken Oil and Ranch, "He miscalculated and very shortly he found out something that we are all painfully familiar with in this area. Namely, there was insufficient water for the plant. So, once he realized that, he was faced with a dilemma. How to get out of it? Not seeing a quick way out he decided to stay in the ranching business which is quite fortunate for us who are now working for Fasken."
   
Fasken sent his nephew down to manage the property. He also built a railroad and a town before he passed away in 1929. But he died never knowing what would soon be discovered on his land, changing the course of the company and his family's future - black gold.

"David Fasken's grandson (David Fasken, Jr.) leased the property out and what he did was lease the property to Stanolind Oil Company and this happened in the early 1940's," said Dickman.
 
Oil was discovered in 1945, paving a new road for the company.
   
David Fasken, Junior went on to be a successful oilman and continued in the oil business until he passed away 1982.  All the property went to his widow, Barbara Fasken.

"Barbara Fasken, at that point, could've decided... since she'd never lived in Texas (and) she lived her whole life in California...she could've decided to let it all go. Liquidate it and go on with her business," said Dickman.

But instead, she decided to get personally involved in the business. 

"She increased production. She increased drilling. She also started acquiring leases which is something Mr. Fasken had not done," added Dickman.
   
Dickman said Barbara Fasken planted a seed that has helped the company grow into what it is today.

"We are now drilling about 140 wells a year. At the time of her death we drilled maybe two wells a year. At the time of her death we may have operated 5,000 barrels of oil a day, now we operate 17,000," explained Dickman.

They've also grown from 50 employees to about 200.

Needless to say, Fasken Oil and Ranch is thriving now perhaps more than ever, and the future looks very bright.

NEXT WEEK:  Next Thursday at 10pm, we'll take a look the future of the company and their latest venture in real estate - The Vineyard. Not only is it a big deal for Fasken,  it's also a big deal for the Tall City.
   
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