The Oil Business

by: Ellen Rollins

Edwin Drake

The oil industry was growing very fast in the 1800's. 1859 is when Edwin drilled the first successful oil well. Edwin Drake would produce well around 15 barrels of petroleum a day! Once everyone heard of his success the prospectors and investors hurried to western Pennsylvania. Oil city & Petroleum center were the names of some of the "Oil Rush" towns that sprung up over night. The oil boom expanded even faster once prospectors found oil in Ohio and West Virginia.

Getting out of hand

By the 1870's production soared to 20 million barrels of oil annually. The government was scared of running out of oil and predicted that they only had about 10 more years left going at this rate. Scared of running out of oil they decided to get oil from other places. In 1908 oil was struck in Iran and it went from there.

Since then the government have done many thing to restrict the drilling of oil to slow down and not produce at such a high rate. Some restrictions they have made are banning off-shore drilling, restricting domestic drilling, outlawed the use of coal and some fuel oils because their sulfur content is too high and considered a pollution problem, hindered the development of nuclear power plants, etc.