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Oklahoma's Natural Resources
Transcript of Oklahoma's Natural Resources
By Joseph Lee
Oil is a very common natural resource in many places. Oklahoma has lots of oil. Oil is a thick, liquid-like substance. Oklahoma's first oil well was a small one, drilled in 1889, in the northeast near Chelsea. The first large oil field discovered was the Glenn Pool in 1905. Oil wells drilled on the grounds of the capitol are still in operation. The Osage Indians as a tribe became very wealthy from their oil wells. Many people in Oklahoma and the state itself also became rich, because of the oil.
Natural gas has increased in importance to Oklahoma's economy over the years. In the early years of the petroleum industry in Oklahoma, gas associated with oil being produced was flared. This was a waste not only of a valuable commodity but also of the reservoir drive that provided the pressure to lift the oil to the surface. At that time however, there were no pipelines to transport the gas to places it might have been used.
Oklahoma's Natural Gas
Oklahoma coal mining provides a very important state industry. A lot of people are in the field of coal mining. Coal is a major source of energy in Oklahoma. There are many uses for coal. Oklahoma uses coal in electric power plants, lime, and cement. Across the nation, 52% of electricity is produced by coal.
Another natural resource in Oklahoma is petroleum. Petroleum is almost the same as oil, but not completely the same. Oil contains more of a liquid substance. Petroleum contains more of a rock-like liquid substance. Numerous products have petroleum as an ingredient. Petroleum and natural gas are found in all parts of the state and are one the most valuable minerals.
Oklahoma's oil and Petroleum
Commercial coal mining began in Oklahoma in 1873 with the removal of bituminous coal from underground mines in eastern Oklahoma. Surface mining began in 1915. Like the oil and gas industries, the coal industry has experienced production cycles. Since 1969, the Oklahoma coal industry has had as few as eight active mines and as many as sixty. Oklahoma coal production has declined from its peak of 5.73 million tons in 1981, to a low of 979 thousand tons in 2010. The Oklahoma Department of Mines recorded approximately 1.4 million tons of bituminous coal produced from 9 mines in seven counties for the year 2010. Until recent years, the major consumption of Oklahoma coal had been by out-of-state utilities. Major in-state use of Oklahoma coal has been by the cement and lime industry, and utilities.
Oklahoma Coal Production
Oklahoma's oil and Petroleum
Oil ushered Oklahoma into the twentieth century and gave it an economic base that for decades allowed continued development. The state's petroleum deposits lie within a vast reserve called the Mid-Continent Region, an area that also encompasses Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. For twenty-two years between 1900 and 1935 Oklahoma ranked first among the Mid-Continent states in oil production and for nine additional years ranked second. During that period the state produced 906,012,375 barrels of oil worth approximately $5.28 billion.