Oil powers the world. We’re bringing you four of the craziest oil discovery stories on record. While other means of producing power have been developed, and will be developed, oil and gas remain a key source, if not THE key source. Check out some of the biggest and most important oil (and gas) discoveries in history:
1821, Fredonia, NY
William Hart digs a well into gas-bearing shale and begins the U.S. natural gas industry. After digging the well, he began piping it into a nearby inn to burned for light. As time went on, more local wells were dug, and Fredonia became a tourist attraction given this novel new use of technology.
1948, Ghawar, Saudi Arabia
The Ghawar Field is the largest conventional oilfield in the world. Initially discovered in 1948 using structural drilling, for a time, average production from this oil discovery averaged about five million barrels a day.
1901, Beaumont, TX
On a mound called Spindletop, the nation’s greatest gusher was discovered. This oil discovery busted up concerns of an oil monopoly by a group called Standard Oil, and within 10 years of this major discovery, U.S. oil production was equal to the entire rest of the world’s.
1930, Henderson, TX
Another of the biggest oil fields ever discovered in America, the East Texas Oil Field was discovered by Columbus Marion Joiner. Mocked by others for his insistence there was oil in Rusk County, “Dad” Joiner drilled two unsuccessful wells with shoddy equipment before finally “striking it rich” on the third well in Daisy Bradford’s farm.
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