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World Oil Giants
US Oil Giants
347 A.D. Oil wells are drilled in China up to 800 feet deep using bits attached to bamboo poles.
1264 Mining of seep oil in medieval Persia witnessed by Marco Polo on his travels through Baku.
1500s Seep oil collected in the Carpathian Mountains of Poland is used to light street lamps.
1594 Oil wells are hand dug at Baku, Persia up to 35 meters (115 feet) deep.
1735 Oil sands are mined and the oil extracted at Pechelbronn field in Alsace, France.
1815 Oil is produced in United States as an undesirable by-product from brine wells in Pennsylvania.
1848 First modern oil well is drilled in Asia, on the Aspheron Peninsula north-east of Baku, by Russian engineer F.N. Semyenov.
1849 Distillation of kerosene from oil by Canadian geologist Dr. Abraham Gesner. Kerosene eventually replaces whale oil as the illuminant of choice and creates a new market for crude oil.
1850 Oil from hand-dug pits in California at Los Angeles is distilled to produce lamp oil by General Andreas Pico.
1854 First oil wells in Europe are drilled 30- to 50-meters deep at Bóbrka, Poland by Ignacy Lukasiewicz.
1854 Natural Gas from a water well in Stockton, California is used to light the Stockton courthouse.
1857 Michael Dietz invents a kerosene lamp that forces whale oil lamps off the market.
1858 First oil well in North America is drilled in Ontario, Canada.
1859 First oil well in United States is drilled 69 feet deep at Titusville, Pennsylvania by Colonel Edwin Drake.
California Comes of Age
1861 First oil well in California is drilled manually in Humboldt County.
1866 Oil is collected from tunnels dug at Sulphur Mountain in Ventura County by the brothers of railroad baron Leland Stanford, the same year that these techniques are applied to the Pechelbronn oil mine in France.
1866 First steam-powered rig in California drills an oil well at Ojai, not far from the Sulphur Mountain seeps.
1875 First commercial oil field in California is discovered at Pico Canyon in Los Angeles County.
1878 Electric light bulb invented by Thomas Edison eliminates demand for kerosene, and the oil industry enters a recession.
1885 Gas wells are drilled in Stockton, California for fuel and lighting.
1885 Oil burners on steam engines in the California oil fields, and later on steam locomotives, create new crude oil markets.
1886 Gasoline-powered automobiles introduced in Europe by Karl Benz and Wilhelm Daimler create additional markets for California oil. Prior to the automobile, gasoline was a cheap solvent produced as a byproduct of kerosene distillation.
1888 A steel-hulled tanker sails from Ventura to San Francisco, eleven years after the 1877 sailing of a Russian tanker across the Caspian sea at Baku.
1899 Discovery of Kern River oil field propels Kern County to top oil-producing region in state............................................................More Oil History >
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