A Chronology of U.S. Oil & Gas

This Week in Petroleum History

This Week in Petroleum History, July 6 to July 12

July 6, 1988 - Piper Alpha North Sea Tragedy - An explosion and fire on Occidental Petroleum's Piper Alpha offshore production platform in the North Sea resulted in the deaths of 167 out of 224 personnel. It remains the most deadly offshore disaster of the petroleum...

This Week in Petroleum History – June 29 to July 5

June 29, 1956 - Interstate Highway System enacted - The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, became law. Passed at the urging of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the act provided 90 percent federal...

This Week in Petroleum History, June 22 – 28

June 23, 1921 - Signal Hill Discovery brings California Oil Boom - A discovery at Signal Hill, California, one of the world’s most famous oil strikes, launched another southern California drilling boom. When the Alamitos No. 1 well erupted oil, the discovery revealed...

This Week in Petroleum History, June 15 – 21

June 15, 1954 - Launch of First Mobile Offshore Rig - The offshore barge drilling platform, Mr. Charlie left its Louisiana shipyard and went to work for Shell Oil Company in a new oilfield in East Bay, near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The rig's design, which...

This Week in Petroleum History, June 8 – 14

June 9, 1894 - Water Well finds Oil in Corsicana, Texas -  A contractor hired by the town of Corsicana to drill a water well on 12th Street found oil instead, launching the First Texas Oil Boom, seven years before a more famous discovery at Spindletop Hill, 230 miles...

This Week in Petroleum History, June 1 – 7

June 1, 1860 - First Book about Oil published - Less than 10 months after Edwin L. Drake completed the first commercial U.S. oil well at Oil Creek in Titusville, Pennsylvania, an 80-page pamphlet was published that some historians regard as the first book about...

This Week in Petroleum History, May 25- 31

May 26, 1891 - Patent will lead to Crayola Crayons - Today's Crayola crayons began when Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith received a patent for their “Apparatus for the Manufacture of Carbon Black.” The refining process used petroleum to produce a fine, intensely black...

This Week in Petroleum History, May 18 – 24

The “Great Oil Boom” of northwestern Ohio began in May 1885 when Benjamin Faurot – drilling for natural gas – found oil instead in the Trenton Limestone formation. “The oil find has caused much excitement and those who are working at the well have been compelled to build a high fence around it to keep curiosity seekers from bothering them.”

This Week in Petroleum History, May 11 – 17

Originally the Caddo-Pine Island Oil and Historical Museum, Louisiana’s first publicly funded museum dedicated to the petroleum industry opened on May 14, 2004, at Oil City, north of Shreveport. On May 15, 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court mandated dissolution of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey…

This Week in Petroleum History, May 4 – May 10

On May 4, 1869, the first U.S. patent for an offshore oil drilling rig was issued to Thomas Rowland, owner of Continental Iron Works of Greenpoint, New York, for his “submarine drilling apparatus.” Many experts believe this…

History of oil and Gas

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