Oil well, 19th century

Oil well, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Oil well. Crude oil erupting from a wellhead in a 19th-century oil field. The wellhead is the structure used to contain and pump oil as it reaches the surface from deep underground, often, as here, under great pressure. This oil well is in the Balakhani oilfield in Baku, Azerbaijan, then under Russian rule. Oil had been produced in this region since at least the 16th century. The first modern oil wells here were drilled in the 1840s. The oil industry here expanded over the following decades, with large amounts of oil still being obtained here today. Artwork from the first volume (first period of 1888) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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