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Kern River: A Case Study

The global oil supply may well mirror the life of California's Kern River field. Discovered in 1899 through a hand-dug shaft, the field grew to more than 10,000 active wells and at its peak produced 141,000 barrels a day. Over time, new technologies were used to eke out more, but now the field is in decline.

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Calif. Field Goes from Rush To Reflection of Global Limits
Article | BAKERSFIELD, Calif. In May 1899, a pair of oil prospectors wielding picks and shovels dug into a bank of the Kern River where some gooey liquid had seeped to the surface. About 45 feet down, they hit oil, and when the local newspaper printed the news, it set off an oil rush that swept up hundred...

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