Sunday, 10 January 2021


In a field outside of Beaumont, Texas, Patillo Higgins prospecting for an in situ energy source—natural gas—to power his brickworks, drilled a well and struck oil on this day in 1901, penetrating salt dome that had contained the reservoir since the Jurassic epoch, gushing some million barrels of it over the next nine days. Beforehand considered geologically relatively scarce and impractical as a staple fuel source, petroleum in this form was used primarily as an industrial lubricant and for street lamps (see also) but discoveries to follow suggesting large quantities fit for mass, universal application pushed a boom and the world into the Oil Age, abetted by the corporations leading the charge.