CANADA: ALL STARTED AT OIL SPRINGS IN 1858

Long before the first oil find at Oil Springs in 1858, some reports mention the presence of bituminous sands at confluence of Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers. Around 1846, Dr. Gesner of Nova Scotia developed a refining process that transmuted coal, natural tar, and eventually oil into an illuminating fuel which he called kerosene; an alternative to the expensive whale oil. Charles Nelson Tripp was the first Canadian to recover the substance for commercial use. The year was 1851; the place, Enniskillen Township, near Sarnia, in present-day Ontario. It was there that Tripp started dabbling in the mysterious gum beds near Black Creek. This led to incorporation of the first oil company in Canada. Parliament chartered the International Mining and Manufacturing Company, with C.N. Tripp as president, on December 18, 1854. The charter empowered the company to explore for asphalt beds and oil and salt springs, and to manufacture oils, naphtha paints, burning fluids. Several factors contributed to the downfall of the operation. Lack of roads in the area made the movement of machinery and equipment to the site extremely difficult. And after every heavy rain the area turned into a swamp and the gum beds made drainage extremely slow. This added to the difficulty of distributing finished products. A Hamilton asphalt producer, James Miller Williams, an ex. carriage builder, purchased the Tripp properties. He formed J.M. Williams & Company in 1857. Williams dug a well a few yards down an incline from his plant. In 1858 at a depth of 51 ft the well struck oil. It became the first commercial oil well in North America, remembered as the Williams No. 1 well at Oil Springs, Ontario. It was a year before Colonel Drake’s historical oil find in Titusville, Pennsylvania. William’s find launched an oil rush and soon the town’s population swelled to 4,000. John Henry Fairbank, a surveyor turned oil man who came to Oil Springs in 1861, bought some property and despite incurring debts and suffering family tragedies, founded the successful Fairbank Oil Company that is now the oldest petroleum company in the world. He also invented the jerker line, a method used to pump oil to the surface from multiple wells using a shared steam engine. By 1861 400 wells had been dug or drilled in the area. About 11 km north of Oil Springs is Petrolia, where another oil gusher was found in 1866. Oil Springs is about a 40-minute drive from Sarnia, in Lambton County, in the heart of an area known as the Oil Heritage District. Lambton County is a region of small towns, farms and beautiful beaches. The village, an enclave within Enniskillen Township, is today home to the Oil Museum of Canada. (Image: Searching for oil in Lambton county, Canada, in the 1860’s/Glenbow archives)

INTER OIL SPUDING OF ANTELOPE-3 IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

October 02, 2012

Formed in 1997 Inter Oil is a developing fully-integrated energy company whose focus is on operations in Papua New Guinea and its surrounding region.The...

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OPHIR TO RESUME THE TANZANIAN DRILLING CAMPAIGN

October 01, 2012

Ophir Energy announced the resumption of the Tanzanian drilling campaign to be executed with BG Group, its partner in this Joint Venture. The multi-well programme...

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XUE LONG CONCLUDES ARCTIC EXPEDITION

September 30, 2012

Xinhuanet News report that the Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon," returned to its Shanghai base on Thursday after wrapping up the...

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A FORMER NATO BASE BECOMES A POWERFUL SOLAR POWER PLANT

September 30, 2012

The French EDF Energies Nouvelles announced the commissioning of a solar power plant, with an installed capacity of 60 MWp, at Crucey-Villages located...

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A NORWEGIAN OBSERVATORY ON SVALBARD

September 30, 2012

The Norwegian Government has allocated NOK 219 million (app €29.5 million) to building of the new observatory, which will be located in Ny-Ålesund,...

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FAROE PETROLEUM SECURES WEST NAVIGATOR

September 29, 2012

The Aberdeen based independent oil and gas company focusing principally on exploration, appraisal and production opportunities in the Atlantic margin,...

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RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS TO SEARCH FOR WILLEM BARENTS SHIP

September 29, 2012

According to the Russian news magazine Vesti, a group of Russian scientists is sailing to the Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya to search for the legendary...

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A NEW ADMIRAL FOR ATWOOD

September 29, 2012

The Houston Based offshore drilling contractor, Atwood Oceanics  announced today that one of its subsidiaries had entered into a turnkey construction...

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SHERIGHAM SHOAL WIND FARM GOES LIVE

September 28, 2012

The UK's booming offshore wind market is to  received a further boost  with the official opening of the giant 317MW Sheringham Shoal offshore wind...

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NOBLE ENERGY SECURES ATWOOD ADVANTAGE FOR ITS EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN PROJECT

September 27, 2012

Houston based Noble Energy announced that  it has entered into a 36 month contract with  Atwood Oceanics the new build drillship Atwood Advantage,...

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THE EARLY DAYS OF THE TUSCALOOSA SHALE

September 27, 2012

The Tuscaloosa shale play  is spread over several Louisiana parishes and spills over the state line into a few Mississippi counties. With only 18...

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COSCO DELIVERS ISLAND INNOVATOR

September 27, 2012

Cosco Shipyard Group, China, announced that the sixth-generation semi-submersible drilling platform Island Innovator, built at its Qidong shipyard, was...

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