Petroleum Engineering Development Timeline from 1848-1959 (1st Part)

Petroleum engineering has been developed since the beginning of the 19th Century. The following images demonstrates petroleum technology milestone from 1848 – 1959. This is the first part of this series and more to come.

1848:World’s First Oil Well – Major Aleveev drills the world’s first oil well at Baku, Azerbaijan using a primitive cable-tool drilling technique which originated in ancient China.

1859:Oil First Discovered in US – Oil was first discovered in US when a homemade rig drilled down 70 feet and came up coated with oil. This rig was near Titusville and was owned by “Colonel” Edwin L. Drake.

1878:First Oil Tanker – The first successful oil tanker, the Zoroaster, designed by Ludvig Nobel of Sweden introduced. It was designed to navigate the challenges of the Caspian Sea and ran between Baku, Azerbaijan and Astrakhan, Russia.

1891: Gasoline Engines – The Daimler Motor Company begins producing gasoline engines in the U.S. for tram cars, carriages, quadricycles, fire engines, and boats.

1901: Texas Oil Boom – The U.S.’s first deep oil well and gusher at Spindletop, near Beaumont, Texas. Captain Anthony F. Lucas’s combined use of fishtail bits, water-based drilling mud, and steam-driven rotary drill rig resulted in such success that it triggers the Texas oil boom.

1909:Roller-Cone Drill Bit – Hughes and Sharp patent the first roller-cone drill bit with two cones made of steel.

1927:Electrical Logging – Henri Doll, Roger Jost, and Charles Scheibli conduct the first electrical logging operation at Pechelbronn, France.

1929:Controlled Directional Drilling – H. John Eastman introduces controlled directional drilling.

1933:Tricone Roller-Cone Drill Bit – Hughes introduces the first tricone roller-cone drill bit.

1935:Catalytic Cracking – Catalytic (or “cat”) cracking, a process which uses intense heat and a catalyst to split up heavy hydrocarbons first utilized in oil refining.

1941:Horizontal Well Drilling -Alexander Grigoryan, a Soviet driller, directs the first horizontal well drilling in Azerbaijan.

1949:Hydraulic Fracturing – First commercial hydraulic fracturing treatment performed in Stephens County, Oklahoma and Archer County, Texas. (Halliburton)

1949:Offshore Drilling – The first offshore mobile drilling platform, the Breton Rig 20 performs in up to twenty feet of water (Hayward-Barnsdall)

1954:Jack-up Drilling Rig – Colonel Leon B Delong builds the first jack-up drilling rig (Delong Corporation)

1958:Maritime – The first purpose-built pipelay vessel goes into use (Brown & Root).

1958: Gulf of Mexico – The last year that water depth of wells drilled in US Gulf of Mexico equaled depth of wells producing (135 ft).

1959:Offshore Alaska – Exploration activity offshore Alaska begins Image is of The Katalla discovery well, drilled on private land owned by the Alaska Development Company, marked the first unsteady steps of Alaska’s petroleum industry.

Credit – by Ethan Stahl

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