Origins of gas production

In 1910, while digging a drainage channel on his land, Jan Medlen, a local farmer from Gbely, encountered flammable gas leaking from the ground. He managed to construct a primitive reservoir and a brick conduit to supply his house with this gas, which he used not only for heating, but also to forge iron. The conduit was linked to a fireplace to ensure continuous ventilation through the chimney. However, one day in 1914, the gas accumulated in the house to a point where it formed a priming composition and caused an explosion which blew the farmer’s house to smithereens and jeopardized the operation of a nearby railway track. Initial exploration drilling operations in Gbely started shortly afterwards, on October 28th of the same year, under the supervision of A. Thone, using a then modern drilling rig, Trauzl-Rapid. The drillers expected to find only natural gas in the area. The first traces of gas were encountered at a mere depth of 114 meters and the first local oil-bearing formation was drilled at 163.8 m.