Oil and Gas, Drilling For - Research Article from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy

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The Early Methods

On August 27, 1859, at a depth of only 69.5 feet, Francis Drake drilled and completed the first well at Titusville, Pennsylvania. By the end of the nineteenth century there were about 600,000 oil wells in more than 100 countries, with the United States and Russia dominating world production. In the United States, drilling was concentrated in the Appalachian oil fields until the Beaumont Texas, Spindletop Hill discovery on January 10, 1901, which then shifted exploration and production to the Southwest.

The world's largest petroleum reserves, in Turkey and the Middle East, were discovered just prior to World War I. Exploration and production continued to expand throughout the region in the 1920s, and culminated in the discovery of the vast oil resources of Saudi Arabia in 1938.

Early methods entailed cable-tool drilling. This crude impact-type drilling involved dropping a weighted bit by a cable and lever system to chisel away...

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This section contains 6,203 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Oil and Gas, Drilling For Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy
Oil and Gas, Drilling For from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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