Mineral Guide > Petroleum > Oil Wells

Oil Wells

Oil WellsThe Middle-East oil region, the Pennsylvania oil region and the Russian oil region are the three greatest centers of petroleum in the world. The latter has its center at Bake, on the Caspian Sea.

Oil is found in Pennsylvania in oil-bearing sand-rocks, which are considered as the reservoirs in which the distilled product has found a permanent lodgment. The depth of the oil-sand or sand-rock in this State is from 800 to 1,900 feet. There are often several strata, one above the other, containing oil.

It is the uniform experience that the lightest oils are found in the lowest sandstone's, while the heaviest oils are drawn from the shallowest wells; and as we approach the surface, where it is gathered from the pools dug to the depth of only a few feet, it becomes sticky, semi-fluid, and finally a solid asphalt.

Man made no attempt to bore a deep hole through soil and rock, hundreds of feet down, to reach oil, until the summer of 1859. The first oil company 1854, with Mr. George H. Bissel at its head, which bored the first oil well in the summer of 1859, under the direction of E. L. Drake.

The price of oil, when first put on the market, was about thirty-five cents a gallon at retail, or to the consumer. It has since been sold to the consumer at as low a price as seven cents a gallon.
The Standard Oil Company owned the first pipe lines that transported oil from the Pennsylvania oil fields to the sea coast. The American oil is said to be at least twentyfive per cent. superior to the Russian article. It is of a higher grade, and commands, naturally, a higher price.

It is assumed that there must still be great quantities of oil in the rock formation of the earth.

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