Scenic Trips to the Geologic Past #14
The Story of Oil in New Mexico
By P. W. Christiansen, 1989, 112pp.
The first commercially successful natural gas and oil wells were drilled in northwest New Mexico in 1921 and 1922. However, fascinating accounts of search, limited success, and failure have been documented since the beginning of the century, as "oil fever" spread south from Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, and west from Texas. The story of oil in New Mexico is a weave of history and anecdotes, production statistics, and nontechnical descriptions of exploration methods, drilling technology, and the geology of New Mexico's two great oil-producing areas, the Permian and San Juan Basins. There are no recommended trips nor road logs in this book. However, maps that preface chapters on the Permian and San Juan Basins include major highways, state and national parks, monuments, and recreational areas, as well as major geographic and geologic features. This book is for history buffs and for readers curious about the oil industry in New Mexico. Drawings illustrate how oil and natural gas are "trapped" under- ground and diagram the basic parts of cable-tool and rotary drilling rigs. Photos include the dramatic gushers and the more routine work around the drilling rig. An extensive glossary explains for the beginner the technical language encountered in the text.
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