US 2723857 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 15, 1955 A. J. MILLER ET AL EDUCATIONAL OIL GAME BOARD Filed July 29, 1952 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 ALBERT J. MILLER 8 HAROLD C.THOMPSON BY CLYLJZM (43% ORNEY Nov. 15, 1955 Filed July 29, 1952 A. J. MILLER ET AL EDUCATIONAL OIL GAME BOARD 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 5i Z5" CHART A Y Z7 /Z ,5f/Lf TYPE oFDRlLLING J f EA R N N G s NO w LD c A T PROV E N sTRuKE RESULTSNO sms/LES lfg SHOWN UIL, DRILL 50,000 5 2\0 00 2 DEEPER, $\0,000 ST R IK E LARGE WEI-L 2 l 00,000 64,000 D R Y SHOWOFOILDRILL GAS WELL SELLUN |50O0O 96000 3 oEEPERFlopoo DERGROUHQSMOOO 3 200.000 .28,000
250,000 160.00 4 STR I K E ST R l K E ggsgleuLNLqssEl-; 4 500,000 @2,002 5 DRY DRY SMALLWELL 5 l e TJ-Lrzs' DR Y SMALL WELL 6 c, 525328 LosTTO0L,F|S|-|ms 550,000 352,000 7 DRY :roacossz-,ooo SMALL WELL 7 @00,000 584.000 8 DRY DRY sMALL WELL e ,253;322 2;?832 9 imi'as# MEDIUM WELL Q 2,222 2222s GIA WE L ELLLIN` 85 y 544 |0 DRY DRY neussmuhsmvw 0 903,222 576.223 n DRY sTRnK E MEDIUM WELL M 35222 fcff'ggg/L/ 12 STRTE SER l K E MAJOR WEL'- '2 K Z9 50 t 5 53 35q gcH/wr .32; 40 4f 59 I ANNUAL MAJoR\wELL LARGE WELL MEDIU wELL SMALL /wELL` PRoDucTwN BARRELS /M ,f1/
INVENTORS ALBERT J. MILLER a A ROLD C. THOMPSON ORNEY Nov. 15, 1955 A. J. MILLER ET AL EDUCATIONAL OIL GAME BOARD 5 sheets-sheet "3 Filed July 29, 1952 INVENTORS BRRELS s300/BBL )moo/BBL OIL MARKET EACH oKEN REPREseNTs 5o,ooo smo/BM saco/BBL ALBERT J. MILLER 8 HAROLD C. THOMPSON BY QW W ATTORNEY United States Patent O EDUCATIONAL OIL GAYLE. BOARD Albert J. Miller, Independence, yMo., and Harold C. Thompson, Pitman, N. J., assignors to E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wimington, Del., a corporation o`f Delaware v Application July 29, 1952, Serial JNO. 301,428
7 Claims. (01.'273-4134.)
This invention relates to a game of instruction and entertainment, and, more particularly, to a zgame apparatus involving the discovery and .market-ing xof foil.
To more .readily understand the game, -it is necessary to describe generally how oil prospecting is ycarried von, and to define some of the terms used which -rnay -not fbe generally known outside the oil industry. i
Petroleum `products yare a vital factor in the present day economy, and the .search for new oil vdeposits Vto `replace depleted wells lis carried on endlessly tto insure 'adequate supplies for the future. The discovery or strike of an oil field 'or deposit in any locality may indicate the existence of further deposits nearby, land usually results in considerable speculation in the buying and selling of .land in the area adjoining vthe fndf Fortunes vhave been made and lost in the never-ending Search.
When ya strike has been .made on-any particular `'piece of land, the area immediately adjacent thereto is considered proven, that is, the gchance of nding 'oil 'in that adjacent land is `recognized as being about l-i'n-S. Land comparatively remote from that -on which :the strike -has been made, but `still within the general area, -is called Wildcat land, and the chance of finding oil in tha-t -iand is about l-in-9.
A wildcatter isan independent oil operator who leases Wildcat ground `and drills for oil thereon.` iEssentially, he is one who is -willing `to ta'ke extreme risks. Some early wildcatters have made and lost several fortunes Vand are yet active, still following -a willo-thewisp -to fprowl the little-known regions, in their `search :for underground wealth. The urge of discovery draws them on; they seek hidden oil pools and formations, whether the oil Vmarket is high or W. It is through their wildcatting that many great fields have been discovered.
A dry hole or Cluster is a well that never produces any oil or gas. It .represents a complete loss of the thousands of dollars which it cos't to drill.
In the oil industry, 4it is 'a Well-known certainty that every oil well eventually runs dry .and must :be replaced. .A depletion allowance is a provision fof 'the .federal tax laws which, recognizing that foil wells 'must ibe replaced, exempts from taxation a certain percentage of van oil `'drillers income in order fto help create funds that may be available, when an existing producing well has 'run dry, to drill anew. The nations interest and tha't of the oil pro'spector coincide. It; is the oil prospecton individual or corporate, who 'must replace the last well with the next, and the previous million barrels ofoil with the next million, if our proven oilreserves are to be maintained. The net elect of `this depletionv allowance is to reduce the amount of taxes which a driller otherwise would have to pay and thus permit him to ybuild up a reserve for use in future prospecting.
A gas well is one in which, instead of oil, the ydriller inds natural gas, which isa useful commodity and may be sold. Gas pockets are frequently associated with oil pools.
It is' the primary object of this invention to provide'a 2,723,857 Patented Nov. 15, 1955 ICC .game based on the successes `and failures encountered in the production of oil.
lt is another object to provide a game, which will give the players a-clear understanding of the risks and problems which are involved in the finding of oil deposits, the drilling of oil wells, and the marketing of the oil produced.
lt is a further object to provide such a game which will graphically demonstrate the effect of depletion allowances and taxes on the net return to an oil di'iller.
- It is a still further object to provide -a game of the type described which is adapted to be played by one or more players.
It is a very specic object to provide Va game apparatus which is adapted to be used in a game of the type described.
Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following description, considered in conjunction vwith the accompanying drawings, which illustrate a preferred embodimentand in which:
Figure l is a plan view of a game board 'used injplaying 'the game;
Fig. 2 is a plan view of a chart A used in conjunction with the game board;
Fig. 3 is a plan view of a chart B used in conjunction with the game board;
Fig. 4 is a plan view of a chart C used in conjunction with the game board; and
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of certain tokens and other markers (not drawn to scale.) which may be used in playing the game.
Referring to Fig. 1, it will be seen that the playing board is comprised of 'a central portion or prospecting field 11, preferably divided by a series of vertical and 2horizontal lines forming a plurality of geometrical areas 12, representing ground lots or leaseholds available for leasing by a player, and a continuous pa'th 13 divided into a number of corresponding geometrical areas 14 'surrounding and in alignment with the leaseholds 12 a'nd affording a track for the purpose of continuity o'f p'lay. Although these geometrical areas 12 and 14 are here conveniently shown as squares of equal size, it will be understood that they may be of various sizes and shapes; for example, the vertical and horizontal lines which 'form these geometrical areas may be omitted and the areas delineated by circles, squares, or other shapes, and the areas in any given ernbodirnent of the game may vary in si'ze.
In vthe preferred embodiment of the 'game b'oard shown, one of the geometrical areas 15 in the prospecting 'iield `11 is designated Oil and represents land in which oil has been found and is being produced. This particular lease is not Afor sale in the game. Oil area 15 is here 'shown in Athe exact center of the eld 11, althoughl it will be understood that it may be at any location therein. Immediately adjoining Oil area 15, and at right angles thereto, are one or more (preferably four) leaseholds 16 designated Proven lots, as explained above.
Although not essential, it has been found convenient to have one or more small holes 17 in each of the leasehold's 12 and 16 (here only representatively shown) for a purpose 'to be described below.
At 'any predetermined location in path 13 (here preferably shown in the corners), there are Vinstruction spaces 1S, 19, 20, 2.1, and 22; space 18 being designated Startf space 19 Get lOil Production As You Pass, space 20 Reactiva'te One Dry Lease, 'space 21 Sell 'Oil As You Pass, 'and space .22 Buy Any Uno'wned Lease. The stopping on or the passing over any of these spaces in his course around path 13 suggests steps which a player may take.
Each of the geometrical areas 14 in the path 13, eX- cept the corner spaces, is designated by a number for a purpose described below.
In the preferred embodiment shown in Fig. 1, there are eighty-one spaces 12, 15, and 16 in the prospecting field 11 (nine on a side) and forty spaces 14 in path 13 (nine on each side plus four corner spaces).
Where desired, each of the side edges 23, 24, 25, and 26, of the game board may be colored in different colors (here shown, for example, as red, yellow, blue, and green, respectively) for purposes of identification.
Referring to Fig. 2, chart A is comprised of a plurality of intersecting columns. A column 27 represents the numbers on dice or any other suitable chance-indicating element or means.
A column 28 represents the type of land on which a player elects to drill, column 28 being further divided into two sub-columns 29 and 30, designated Wildcat and Proven, respectively.
A column 31 shows the Strike Results. It will be noted that in the Proven column 30, there are twice the number of strike opportunities as there are in the Wildcat column 29. It will likewise be noted that in the Strike Results column 31, there are four chances for a Small Well, two for a Medium Well, one for a Large Well, one for a Major Well, and three for a Gas Well. The purpose and effect of these designations in chart A will be fully explained below in connection with the actual play of the game, but it Will be obvious that the number of strike opportunities and the number of chances for the various types of wells may be varied as desired. Those shown here more-or-less conform to actual experience.
A fourth major column is designated Earnings column 32 which shows the effect of depletion allowances and taxes by being subdivided into a Gross Sales column 33 and a Net Return After Taxes and Depletion Allowance column 34. The gures shown in the latter column closely approximate those actually resulting under the 1951 tax law, but they may be adjusted to suit the prevailing tax rates at any given time. This chart A may be conveniently included on one or more sides of the game board itself; or it may be on a separate card or cards; or it may be included in a book of instructions accompanying the board.
Referring to Fig. 3, chart B is intended primarily as a score board and, like chart A, is comprised of a plurality of intersecting columns. It shows the annual production of oil for each year of an oil wells life expectancy. An Annual Production column 35 shows vertically the decreasing amounts of oil (in barrels) that may be produced in each of six years, each horizontal line representing one year. A Major Well column 36 shows that such a well will produce oil for six years; a Large Well column 37 for five years; a Medium Well column 38 for four years; and a Small Well column 39 for three years. Each of the aforementioned wells columns 36, 37, 38, and 39 may be subdivided into any number of vertical spaces each representing one well of the category indicated, but it has been found convenient to provide for two Major Wells, two Large Wells, four Medium Wells, and four Small Wells. Each sub-column is preferably provided with a heading space 40 and a small hole 41 therein for a purpose more fully described below. While any number of horizontal columns, each representing a years production, may bev used, it has been found that the ratio of oil production shown for the four types of wells is fairly typical of actual conditions in many areas. Chart B, like chart A, may be included for convenience on the board itself; or on a separate card or cards; or in an instruction book.
Referring to Fig. 4, chart C represents an Oil Market and contains four columns 42, 43, 44, and 45, which bear the headings $l.00/bbl., "$2.00/bbl., $3.00/bbl., and S400/bbl, respectively, or any other suitable legends. These represent selling prices of oil, and have been arbitrarily selected for the sake of simplicity, but it will be understood that any other desired prices may be used as headings for these columns. As shown, each column 42, 43, 44, and 45 is subdivided into a certain number of spaces, here represented by holes 46 in the chart adapted to receive pins extended from the bottom of various markers later described. Any other method of delineating spaces within each column may be used, such as a plurality of horizontal lines (not shown). In the preferred embodiment, it will be noted that two spaces have been provided in column 42, eight in column 43, eight in column 44, and two in column 45. Obviously, the number of spaces provided in each column may be increased or decreased, as desired. Chart C may also be included as part of the game board; or may be printed on a separate card or cards.
Referring to Fig. 5, the markers used in conjunction with the game may be of any desired configuration or size, but are preferably of the type shown here, as follows:
A token 47 is used as a means of player identification in moving along path 13 and is preferably colored to indicate the player.
A marker 48 is adapted to be placed on one or more of the leaseholds 12 and 16 in the prospecting field 11 to designate ownership of the property by virtue of the color indicating the player.
A marker 49, here shown as approximating the shape of an oil derrick, is adapted to be placed upon any of the geometrical areas 12 and 16 to indicate the strike of oil on that property. It is likewise colored to designate ownership.
A marker 50, similar to marker 49, but bearing a distinctive color, and called a drilling rig, is placed in the hands of a banker for use as described below.
A marker 51, here conveniently shown of the same configuration as marker 48, but preferably distinctively colored, represents any desired quantity of oil, here shown as 50,000 barrels, a number of these markers 51 being initially placed in the Oil Market chart C.
Markers 48, 49, 50, and 51 preferably are each provided with a peg or pin 52 extending from its bottom side and adapted to tit the holes 17, 41, and 46 described above.
A pair of ordinary dice 53, or other suitable chanceindicating element or means (not shown), is used in the playing of this game as described below.
Imitation money 54 is initially supplied to each of the players and the banker (who may be a non-player or one of the players) in pre-determined amounts and denominations for use in the various transactions occurring during the play; for example, $910,000 in the following denominations:
5-100 thousand dollar bills- $500,000 5- 50 thousand dollar bills-$250,000 10 10 thousand dollar bills-$100,000 10- 5 thousand dollar blls$ 50,000 10 1 thousand dollar bills$ 10,000
The object of the game is to secure oil-producing wells and make a profit thereon as rapidly as possible. The length of the game will vary, and may be arbitrarily predetermined in any Way. For example, the player with the greatest assets (cash and holdings in oil and leases) at the end of a certain time limit, say, two hours, may be declared the winner; or, when two or any other number of players have gone bankrupt, the game may be terminated and the winner found by a totaling of assets. A player is said to be bankrupt when he no longer has sutiicient assets to drill or to lease ground, or when he fails to meet an obligation, or if he cannot make a deal with another player to raise sufficient capital to continue. Another method of terminating the game may be by predetermining that the winner shall be the rst player to acquire a certain number of oil wells, for example, tive producing wells.
In actual play of the preferred embodiment of the game, the player tokens 47 are placed on the "Start space 18, each player being represented by a marker of 5 his respective color or any other distinguishing means. Each player .then throws `the dice 53 for high number `to determine which one starts the play. Thereafter, the play moves clockwise in turn. In play, a complete circuit of path 13 by a player represents a full years operations for that player. On a players rst turn, he moves his token 47 from Start space 18 the number of spaces 14 in path 13 indicated byhis roll of the dice 53. The player then has the option of purchasing any leasehold 12 or 16 in a direct vline across the board from the space on which his token stops. The purchase price of the leasehold is determined by multiplying the numbers in spaces 14 at the ends of the two rows which converge on that leasehold, each unit preferably representing $1,000. For example, referring to Fig. l, if a players `token 47 stops .opposite the number 4, and he elects .to purchase the third leasehold from path 13, this will correspond -to the ,number 6 in the other column containing that leasehold. The product of 4X 6, or 24, represents a price of $24,000. If the leasehold selected .is a proven leasehold 16, $50,000 is added to the price determined as above. The player pays this amount to the banker, and places one of his ownership markers 48 on that leasehold.
In subsequent plays, he may elect not to purchase any more land, wait for his next turn, and then further ad- Vance this token 47 along path 13 with the aforesaid options.
After a player has acquired one or more leaseholds 12 or 16, he has .the further option, on his next turn, of drilling on any lease he owns. To do so, he rents the distinctively-colored drilling rig 50 from ythe banker, at a rental of $50,000, and places it on the particular leasehold 12 or 16 where he elects to drill. He then throws the dice, and the result is indicated in chart A shown in Fig. 2 opposite the amount of his throw. If the leasehold is a Wildcat leasehold 12 he uses the -Wildcat sub-column 29 of chart A. If .the leasehold is a proven leasehold 16, he uses the proven ,sub-column 30. If this results in a dry well, drilling rig 50 is returned to the banker, and a second marker 48 is placed on that leasehold to indicate a dry hole. Two dry holes may be drilled before a lease is considered completely dry or a dusterf Once a leasehold is dry, it is valueless, unless the players token 47 stops on the Reactivate One Dry Lease instruction space at some subsequent trip around path 13. In the latter case, the two dry hole markers are removed and the leasehold may be re-drilled on a later turn.
If the drilling indicates a Show of Oil, or Lost Tool, he pays the banker the sum indicated on chart A but gets a second turn to throw the dice. If the result of the players first or second throw of the dice is a strike, he throws the dice once more and inds the ultimate result of his drilling in the Strike Result column 31 of chart A. If this is a Gas Well, he returns the drilling rig 50, sells the gas to the banker at the ligure indicated thereon, and receives from the banker that amount less taxes, as shown in the Net Return column 34 in chart B, Fig. 3, but no additional marker is placed on that particular leasehold. If he gets an oil well, the player returns the drilling rig 50 to the banker, replaces it with one of his own derrick markers 49, and places a marker 48 on chart B in the head space 40 of the column which indicates the type of well he has acquired; i. e., a Major Well, a Large Well, a Medium Well, or a Small Well.
An immediate etect of an oil strike is that any wildcat leaseholds adjoining and at right angles to that oil land become proven leaseholds and their values are increased by $50,000 because the chances of a strike thereon are greatly enhanced.
In each ensuing turn, the player again has the option of advancing farther along path 13 or of drilling yfor oil on anyone of his leaseholds 12 or 16. If he elects to do the former, Ahe then has the further option of purchasing any un-owned ieaseho'ld 12 or 1'6 in the row directly opposite 'the space 14 on which his token 47 stops. He may or may not exercise this option, yas he sees t.
If a players token 47 stops on instruction space 22, bearing the Vlegend Buy Any Un-Owned Lease, hev may purchase any unsold leasehold in lprospecting iield 11 regardless of its location.
When aplayer stops on orpasses over instruction space 1'9, IGet Oil Production As You Pass, the -banker removes from the oil market chart C the number of oil production markers 51, indicated in column 32 of chart B for all wells the player owns, and gives them to the player. Each marker 51 `preferably represents 50,000 barrels of oil.
When issuing oil production from the Oil Market chart C, Fig. 4, the banker first removes the markers 51 from the S/bbl. column, then ysuccessively those from Athe $2.00/bbl. column, the "$3.'00/bbl. column, and the $4.00/bbl. column. Should oil production markers v51 need to -be issued in excess of the Oil Market chart C spaces, they are issued from an excess supply.
Whenever the players token 47 passes over 'or Vstops on instruction space 21, Sell Oil As You Pass, the player may elect to sell to the banker any desired number of barrels of oil he has. The selling price of the oil Vis always xed at the highest price indicated by the vacant spaces in oil market chart C, so the banker places the oil sold to him in chart C in reverse order from that in which `it was issued. In other words, if there are any vacant spaces in the $4.00/bbl. column, the rst oil sold to him is replaced in that column, and paid for at that rate, then in the S300/bbl. column, and so on. The gross sales price of the oil is then reduced by taxes and the net added to by a depletion allowance and the net amount shown in column 34 -chart A is paid by the banker to the selling player in imitation money 54. When excess markers 51 have been issued and are sold while the Oil Market" spaces are full, the price of the excess markers is only $1.00 per barrel, thus reiiecting the law of supply and demand.
A player may elect to hold any desired part of his production oi the market in an eiort to secure a higher selling price which, of course, depends on the amount of oil issued.
If oil is sold, no other transaction, such as leasing or drilling, can be made on that turn.
As will be evident from a study of the above description, many opportunities for bargaining with other players will arise. For instance, a player holding a Wildcat leasehold adjacent to another players leasehold may nd it expedient to contribute to the cost and thus encourage the other player to drill on his leasehold. If a strike results, the rst players leasehold 12 becomes a proven area with its normal value increased by $50,000 and its own chances of a strike on any subsequent drilling thereon greatly enhanced. Also, if one player has acquired a number of leaseholds in any particular area, he may wish to buy out another players leasehold in his area for an agreed price.
One player for each side of the board is the ideal number, but a larger or smaller number may play if desired. Two or more players may team up to form a company. Such a company receives the same amount of money and markers issued to an individual player, but has the advantage of pitting the combined judgment of the group against that of the individual players in making decisions and deals in the eiort to win.
The board and charts A, B, and C may be constructed of any suitable material, such as heavy paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, articial leather, or metal sheeting. Markers 47, 48, 49, 50, and 51 may also be of any suitable lmaterial, such asheavy paper, cardboard, wood, plastic,
Various modications may be made in the rules and play of the game, as well as in the game apparatus described above, but the game will generally be one of great interest and entertainment, as well as being genuinely instructive as to the problems and operations in the oil industry.
It is apparent that many widely diierent embodiments of this invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof; and, therefore, it is not intended to be limited except as indicated in the appended claims.
1. In a game, a board provided with a central portion comprising a plurality of geometrical areas representing ground lots available for leasing at predetermined prices, a path of geometrical areas corresponding in shape and size to said first-mentioned areas and in contiguous alignment therewith, said path aiording a continuous track for the purpose of continuity of play, chance-indicating means for determining the distance a player may move along said path and for determining certain moves to be made in the game, a drilling and earnings chart having a plurality of intersecting columns indicating the results of the numbers obtained by the chance-indicating means, and a production chart having a series of intersecting columns adapted to show the annual production of an oil wells life expectancy.
2. The game of claim 1 in which the last-mentioned chart contains a column designated Major Well, a column designated Large Well, a column designated Medium Well, and a column designated Small Well, and in which the number of producing years for each of the types of wells is respectively shown.
3. In a game, a board provided with a central portion comprising a plurality of geometrical areas representing ground lots available for leasing at predetermined prices, a path of geometrical areas corresponding in shape and size to said first-mentioned areas and in contiguous alignment therewith, said path affording a continuous track for the purpose of continuity of play, chance-indicating means for determining the distance a player may move along said path and for determining certain moves to be made in the game, a drilling and earnings chart having a plurality of intersecting columns indicating the results of the numbers obtained by the chance-indicating means, a production chart having a series of intersecting columns adapted to show the annual production of an oil wells life expectancy, and means for determining the market price of oil to be sold.
4. The game of claim 3, in which the means for determining the market price of oil to be sold comprises an oil market chart having a plurality of vertical columns bearing appropriate varying sale price legends and spaces within those columns to accommodate a predetermined number of markers representing unit quantities of oil.
5. ln a game, a board provided with a central portion comprising a plurality of geometrical areas representing ground lots available for leasing at predetermined prices, a path of geometrical areas corresponding in shape and size to said first-mentioned areas and in contiguous alignment therewith, said path affording a continuous track for the purpose of continuity of play, chance-indicating means for determining the distance a player lmay move along said path, and player-identification markers.
6. The game of claim 5 in which the markers comprise tokens to be used on the path and ownership markers to be used on the ground lots.
7. In a game illustrating the operations in the oil industry, a board comprising a plurality of geometrical areas representing ground lots available for leasing at predetermined prices; a path of geometrical areas corresponding in shape and size to said first-mentioned areas and in contiguous alignment therewith, said path affording a continuous track for the purpose of continuity of play; chance-indicating means for determining the distance a player may move along said path and for determining certain moves to be made in the game; a plurality of charts for use in connection therewith to determine the consequence of the results obtained by the chance-indicating means, one of said charts designating the type of land drilled and the results obtained thereby, another of said charts designating the oil yield from any well obtained, and another of said charts designating the sale price of any oil production sold; and a plurality of player-identification markers.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,095,934 Seed May 5, 1914 1,537,605 Hansen May 12, 1925 1,551,951 Haibloom Sept. l, 1925 1,629,398 Link May 17, 1927 2,178,330 Thomas Oct. 31, 1939 2,273,292 Smith Feb. 17, 1942