August 19, 1909 – Butter from Oil, Milk from Kerosene?

“Skilled chemists…can convert the kerosene into sweet milk.”

As public sentiment turns against monopolies – and following journalist Ida Tarbell’s 1904 book, The History of the Standard Oil Company - the company becomes a target for humorists.

“The Standard Oil Company has decided to drive the cow and the dairyman out of business,” declares a fanciful story from Jersey City.

“Its skilled chemists have discovered a process whereby they can make gilt-edge butter as a byproduct of crude petroleum,” notes another satire, which declares Standard chemists, “in the steps leading up to the petroleum butter discovery, also have perfected a cheap process by which they can convert the kerosene into sweet milk.”

August 19, 1957 - First and Only Oil found in Washington State

Surrounded by unsuccessful attempts, Washington’s first and only commercial oil well (red) will produce 12,500 barrels before being capped in 1961.

The first and only commercial oil well in the state of Washington is discovered by the Sunshine Mining Company. The Medina No. 1 well flows 223 barrels a day from a depth of 4,135 feet near Ocean City in Gray Harbor County.

Although a well drilled six years earlier produced 35 barrels a day, the Tom Hawksworth-State well was deemed noncommercial and abandoned. The West Coast’s Medina No. 1 well will produce 12,500 barrels before being capped in 1961..

“About 600 gas and oil wells have been drilled in Washington, but large-scale commercial production has never occurred,” explains a 2010 report from the Washington Commissioner of Public Lands.

“The most recent production, which was from the Ocean City Gas and Oil Field west of Hoquiam, ceased in 1962, and no oil or gas have been produced since that time,” the commissioner adds, noting that some companies are exploring for coalbed methane in western Washington. Read the rest of this entry »