RINTOUL, BILL, The Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, CA
ABSTRACT: The Changing Scene
From tentative beginnings in hand-dug holes and miners' shafts, the fledgling oil industry in California advanced to its first truly commercial well in 1876 in Pico Canyon. Wildcatters fanned out to make discoveries before the end of the century in each of the areas that formed the foundation for the state's industry, including the Los Angeles basin, San Joaquin Valley, and coastal region. In 1897, a pier at Summerland served as a base from which to drill the nation's, and perhaps the world's, first offshore well.
By 1903, California was America's largest oil-producing state, accounting for almost one-fourth of the country's total production with a yearly output of 24.4 million bbl. Nearest competitors were Ohio, 20.5 million bbl, and Texas, 18.0 million bbl. In 1910, the Lakeview gusher blew in, flowing an estimated 125,000 bbl/day. The well was hailed as the greatest gusher in the United States.
During the decade ending in 1919, California produced 909 million bbl of oil, more than any other state, representing one out of every three barrels produced in the nation during the 10-yr period. Closest competitors were Oklahoma, 799 million bbl, and Texas, 268 million bbl. A decade of discoveries starting with Huntington Beach in 1920 enabled California to dominate the nation's production picture through the decade of the 1920s, producing 2.1 billion bbl, or only slightly less than one out of every three barrels of the nation's oil. Discovery of the East Texas field in 1930 boosted Texas ahead of California. In post-World War II years, offshore discoveries and enhanced recovery technology kept the state in the forefront of the nation's oil production.
AAPG Search and
Discovery Article #90992©1993 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Long Beach,
California, May 5-7, 1993.