Our History

Our History

National Fuel’s history dates back to the origins of the natural gas industry. Since the early 1800s, National Fuel and its predecessor companies have been tied to many industry firsts and have pioneered a number of industry practices. We have evolved through periods of changing regulation, supply scarcity and industry consolidation. And we are now playing a significant role in the industry’s rebirth.

 

Images from 1820 to 1940

Industry Origins and Company Beginnings (1820s to 1940s)

1821

The nation’s first natural gas well for commercial use was drilled in the village of Fredonia, N.Y., by William Hart, and was used to illuminate 100 street lights on the main street in the village.

1859

The first oil well was drilled by Colonel Edwin Drake in Titusville, Pa.

1902

National Fuel is incorporated on December 8, 1902, organizing interests in Buffalo and Western Pennsylvania natural gas investments that had been placed in John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Natural Gas Trust.

1916

A predecessor to National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation developed the first underground natural gas storage reservoir in the United States at Zoar Field, 40 miles south of Buffalo.

historical images from 1950 to 2000

Deregulation, Restructuring and Supply Diversification (1950s to 2000s)

1974

National Fuel realigns corporate structure, separating utility and interstate pipeline and storage assets to form present-day National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation and National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation, respectively.

1987

Seneca establishes its West Coast operations when it acquires a 75 percent interest in Argo Petroleum Corporation’s principal oil and gas properties in California.

1994

Seneca drills its first offshore well in the Gulf of Mexico. Seneca sold its offshore oil and gas properties in 2011 to focus on its Appalachian shale development program.

historical images from 2000 to present

Shale Revolution and Industry Rebirth (2000s to Present Day)

2002

National Fuel purchases the Empire Pipeline from Duke Energy, adding a key route in upstate New York that would become a centerpiece for multiple system expansions over the next decade.

2009

Seneca drills its first operated Marcellus Shale well in Tioga County, Pa. National Fuel Gas Midstream Corporation is formed to construct gathering facilities to bring Seneca’s Appalachian production to market.

2018

National Fuel’s annual natural gas production climbs to 163 billion cubic feet, six times higher than the output in 2007. ​Annual throughput on our interstate pipeline systems also doubled over the same period.

2020

National Fuel completes acquisition of Shell’s integrated upstream and midstream assets in Pennsylvania; the largest acquisition in our Company’s 118-year history.

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