Your source for energy education. Petroleum history offers a context

for teaching the modern business of meeting America's energy needs.

Oil and Natural Gas History, Education Resources, Museum News, Exhibits and Events


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This Week in Petroleum History, April 20 to April 26

Modern hydraulic fracturing technology – “fracking” – can trace its roots to a Civil War veteran who patents his “exploding torpedo” in 1865. Read More

This Week in Petroleum History, April 13 to April 19

A 1974 well drilled in Oklahoma’s Anadarko Basin reaches almost six miles deep – before being stopped by liquid sulfur. Read More

This Week in Petroleum History, April 6 to April 12

Soon after the Civil War, the Densmore “Improved Car for Transporting Petroleum” carries oil from booming Pennsylvania oilfields. Read More

This Week in Petroleum History, March 30 to April 5

Cliff Iverson stands by a monument to the first North Dakota oil well, drilled in 1951 on the family farm in the Williston Basin. Read More


Now on Sale!  A 2015 “Today in American Petroleum History” calendar includes important industry milestones with 12 historic oil patch photographs from the Library of Congress. Order it Today

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Petroleum history news & EVENTS

Crude History of Mabel’s Eyelashes

Crude History of Mabel’s Eyelashes: Few associate oil wells of the 1860s with women’s smiling faces, but they are fashionably related. Read More

Blue Flame Natural Gas Rocket Car

The Blue Flame – Natural Gas Rocket Car: On October 23, 1970, natural gas powered the Blue Flame into the world land-speed record books. Read More

First Wyoming Oil Well

In 1883, tales of a fabled “tar spring” may have inspired a wildcatter – Pennsylvanian Mike Murphy – to drill Wyoming’s first oil well. Read More

America on the Move

America on the Move: The Smithsonian Institution’s permanent transportation exhibition features “Route 66.” Read More