You probably think that oil drilling is something that started in the previous century, but that is not the case. Everything goes back to China, where Chinese were the first people that drill wells again in 2000 BC.
They used a cable tool percussion method with the idea to produce high-quality brine. A chisel on bamboo rods went down into the good cables. On the other hand, first wells were dug with percussion-of-method in Russia in the 9th century with the idea to produce common salt.
Before the development of oil rigs and offshore accommodations, people started with developing oil as the extract in small amounts during the 19th century. In most cases, people drilled it from shallow wells where they can find natural oil.
However, everything changed in the second half of the 19th century, because the demand for oil increased and components that used it also started to rise. This particular thing happened with the popularity of steam engines as well as other industrial developments that require oil as the lubricant.
The first drilling of oil took place in Baku on the Absheron peninsula in 1846, and the depth was only 21 meters. Director of Baku oil fields, Major Alekseev, was the supervisor of the entire operation, and the process used the percussion method.
According to Prince Mikhail Vorontsov, the completion of first oil well digging was successful, and that was a precedent that changed the way world functions.
The Next Steps Towards Massive Production
The beginning of American oil production industry started in 1859, and there were 75 wells in Oil Creek river valley by 1860. They produced 500 thousand barrels of oil at the end of the year, which brought both financial and production success when compared with the entire world.
Soon afterward, Russia joins in, and it started with Colonel Ardalion Novoseltsev, who drilled first oil well at a depth of 55 meters in Kudako river valley in 1864. He used mechanical cable tool percussion, and the first gusher entered the scene in 1866.
When it comes to global scale production, the development rose between the 19th and 20th centuries, with the invention of petrol and diesel combustion engines as well as their applications that industry used all across the globe.
Mining engineer Romanovsky used a steam engine to drill a well in the Moscow prominence, and soon afterward, the productive well began operating in Baku. The first steam engines appeared in 1873, and they completely replaced horse traction, which meant more production in overall.
The next step that increased technology of oil production used rotary drilling that used the circulating flow of fluid, and it was first applied in the USA in 1901. Rotary drilling was first used in Russia to drill 345 meters deep, but everything was invented by Fawell, who was a French engineer, and who used this particular method to drill an artesian well.
He was the first one who used circulated liquid to the internal cavity of pipe to create cutting transport and increase the efficiency of drilling, which brought us to the point of enormous use of oil reserves.
If you have in mind that gas production was also launched in Baku by Vasily Kokorev’s plant, and he extracted it from 207 meters depth to use the gas to heat the entire plant. He transported it via pipelines, and that was the first time in the world when someone drilled for gas.
Dmitry Golubyatnikov was the one that predicted the existence of the massive oil deposits, and he started to drill for gas, and soon afterward he proved that he was right. He produces 200,000 pods on a daily basis by drilling 545 meters, and he was the mass producer of oil for the entire world.
The development of downhole motors was something that existed only in sketches and plans, which means that constructors required years to put it together and to design based on the same principle. It used hydraulic pump energy as well as electrical energy.
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However, only in the beginning of 20th century, the problem was solved by the development of turbodrill, which is another concept made from engineers that worked in Baku.