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

 

Beginning with America’s earliest oil discoveries, dynamite or nitroglycerin detonations increased a well’s production from petroleum bearing formations.

Modern hydraulic fracturing technologies can trace their roots to April 25, 1865, when Civil War veteran Col. Edward A. L. Roberts received the first of his many patents for an “exploding torpedo.”

Hydraulic fracturing has been used to increase production on millions of oil and natural gas wells since 1949.

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A marker on Route 22 at Murrysville, Pennsylvania, commemorates the Haymaker brother’s historic natural gas well of 1878.

In 1878, two brothers will discover a massive natural gas field, help bring a new energy resource to Pittsburgh – and lay the foundation for several modern petroleum companies.

Like many young men of their time, Michael Haymaker and his younger brother Obediah left their Westmoreland County farm to seek their fortunes in Pennsylvania’s booming petroleum industry.

The Haymaker brothers first found work as drillers for oilman Israel Painter, who had brought in wells a few miles north of Oil City in Venango County – not far from Edwin L. Drake’s famous 1859 discovery less than 20 years earlier. Read the rest of this entry »