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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Oil well

The oldest oil wells date from AD 347, when the Chinese drilled to depths of up to 240 m (787ft) by attaching primitive drill bits to pipes made from bamboo.

North America's first commercial oil well came about when asphalt producer James Miller Williams set out to dig a water well in Black Creek, Ontario in September 1858 and found oil instead.

Williams' discovery triggered North America's first oil rush and the village's name was changed to Oil Springs that same year.

The first commercially successful oil well in the United States was successfully drilled in 1859 by Col. Edwin L. Drake near Titusville, Pennsylvania, just northeast of Pittsburgh.

The world's first offshore oil well was drilled in 1896 at the Summerland Oil Field on the California Coast.

On January 10, 1901 oil gushed from a drilling derrick near Beaumont, Texas, kicking off the American Oil Industry. The oil spray coated the land for hundreds of feet around the well. The geyser pumped oil at a rate of 100,000 barrels a day for nine days before it capped.

The pumpjack, such as this one south of Midland, Texas, is a common sight in West Texas

The population around Beaumont skyrocketed and by the end of the year there were more than 285 oil wells and 500 land and oil companies. Some of those oil companies are still in existence today: They include Exxon, the Magnolia Petroleum Company, also known as Mobil and The Texas Company or Texaco.

The first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East was made at Masjed Soleyman in southwest Persia in 1908. The rights to the resource were quickly acquired by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.

Oil prospectors in Kern County, California, drilled into a pressurized oil deposit on March 14, 1910. The eruption of hydrocarbons from the pressurized oil well in the Midway-Sunset Oil Field created the largest accidental oil spill in history. The Lakeview Gusher lasted 18 months and released nine million barrels (1.4×106 m3) of crude oil into the atmosphere.
Lakeview #1 oil gusher after the well had partially subsided

Cat Creek was the site of the first commercially successful oil field in Montana. First discovered in 1919, it produced oil so pure it could be used in Ford Model T cars straight from the ground.

The first oil was taken in Oil Rocks (Neft Daşları), the world's oldest offshore oil platform, on November 7, 1949. Neft Daşları lies 100 km (62 mi) away from the Azerbaijani capital Baku, and 55 km (34 mi) from the nearest shore in the Caspian Sea.

Oil Rocks near Baku Wikipedia

Neft Daşları is actually a functional town with a population of about 2,000 and over 300 km (190 mi) of streets built on piles of dirt and landfill.

The Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea was destroyed by explosions and fires in 1988. 167 oil workers were killed, making it the world's worst offshore oil disaster in terms of direct loss of life.

After studies suggested there could be up to £1 billion worth of oil lying beneath Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II gave permission on December 6, 1994 for drilling to take place in its grounds. However, the Government did not renew the licence needed for exploration to take place.

Windsor Castle

There is a cluster of oil wells on the campus of Beverly Hills High School that generates about $300,000 of revenue per year for the school.

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