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A brief history of oil and gas exploration in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California: Chapter 3 in Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas in the San Joaquin Basin Province, California

Professional Paper 1713-3

This report is Chapter 3 in Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas in the San Joaquin Basin Province, California. Please see Professional Paper 1713 for other chapters.
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Abstract

The Golden State got its nickname from the Sierra Nevada gold that lured so many miners and settlers to the West, but California has earned much more wealth from so-called “black gold” than from metallic gold. The San Joaquin Valley has been the principal source for most of the petroleum produced in the State during the past 145 years. In attempting to assess future additions to petroleum reserves in a mature province such as the San Joaquin Basin, it helps to be mindful of the history of resource development. In this chapter we present a brief overview of the long and colorful history of petroleum exploration and development in the San Joaquin Valley. This chapter relies heavily upon the work of William Rintoul, who wrote extensively on the history of oil and gas exploration in California and especially in the San Joaquin Valley. No report on the history of oil and gas exploration in the San Joaquin Valley would be possible without heavily referencing his publications. We also made use of publications by Susan Hodgson and a U.S. Geological Survey Web site, Natural Oil and Gas Seeps in California (http://seeps.wr.usgs.gov/seeps/index.html), for much of the material describing the use of petroleum by Native Americans in the San Joaquin Valley. Finally, we wish to acknowledge the contribution of Don Arnot, who manages the photograph collection at the West Kern Oil Museum in Taft, California. The collection consists of more than 10,000 photographs that have been scanned and preserved in digital form on CD-ROM. Many of the historical photographs used in this paper are from that collection. Finally, to clarify our terminology, we use the term “San Joaquin Valley” when we refer to the geographical or topographical feature and the term “San Joaquin Basin” when we refer to geological province and the rocks therein.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
A brief history of oil and gas exploration in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California: Chapter 3 in Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas in the San Joaquin Basin Province, California
Series title:
Professional Paper
Series number:
1713-3
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Western Energy Resources
Description:
Chapter 3: 24 p.
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas in the San Joaquin Basin Province, California (PP 1713)
Country:
United States
State:
California
Other Geospatial:
San Joaquin Valley
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
Y