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“Slanted oil wells are the latest sensation of the oil industry,” reports May 1934 Popular Science Monthly article.
Society: SPEMain Category: PetroleumSub Category: ExtractionEra: 1920-1929DateCreated: 1929ConroeState: TXCountry: USAWebsite: http://www.spe.org/industry/history/timeline.phpCreator: Eastman, H. John

H. John Eastman introduces controlled directional drilling in 1929 and was awarded a patent the following year.

The technique became widely adopted after an oil strike in Conroe, Texas, caught fire in January 1933. The well exploded, creating a 600-foot deep crater, and the oil burned for months. Although the fire was eventually put out,  oil continued to flow into the “lake.” The only way to manage this was to drill another well to relieve the pressure.

Image Credit: American Oil & Gas Historical SocietyImage Caption: “Slanted oil wells are the latest sensation of the oil industry,” reports May 1934 Popular Science Monthly article. “Drilled by experts who use special tools and secret methods to send the bit burrowing into the ground at strange angles, they are finding amazing new applications.”
Workers digging an oil well by hand at Bibi-Eibat (Azerbaijan).
Society: SPEMain Category: PetroleumSub Category: ExtractionEra: 1840-1849DateCreated: 1848Bibi-HeybatState: BakuCountry: AzerbaijanWebsite: http://www.spe.org/industry/history/timeline.phpCreator: Aleveev, Major

 

On July 14, 1848 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Major Alekseev supervised the completion of a 20+ meter well, reaching a small pocket of crude oil, thus establishing the world’s very first oil well. The process used was an archaic technique known as cable-tool drilling, employed for hundreds of years in ancient China. Major Alekseev acted under the instruction of governor-general Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, who in a memo wrote:

 

Image Credit: WikipediaImage Caption: Workers digging an oil well by hand at Bibi-Eibat (Azerbaijan).
Drake Oil Well
Society: SPEMain Category: PetroleumSub Category: ExtractionEra: 1850-1859DateCreated: 1859202 Museum LaneTitusvilleState: PAZip: 16354Country: USAWebsite: http://www.spe.org/Creator: Drake, Edwin

The drilling of this oil well marks the modern phase of the petroleum industry. A series of revolutionary technological changes, unforeseen even by the most prophetic, followed. Drake demonstrated practical oil recovery by applying salt-well drilling techniques, including the use of the derrick, and invented the modern method of driving iron pipe.

YearAdded:
2013
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Zamoose (CC BY-SA 2.5)Image Caption: Drake Oil WellEra_date_from: 1859
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