Natural petroleum was being worked on a small scale in Britain for several centuries before oil companies began looking for it in a systematic way. Most deposits had been discovered entirely accidentally, either on the surface or during coal mining, in the form of seepages, rock impregnations and, occasionally, brief and irregular flows.


Coal Measure British Petroleum Rock Impregnation Carboniferous Limestone Professional Scepticism 
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  1. 1.
    J. Cranfield, ‘When Shropshire Struck It Rich in Oill,’ Shropshire Magazine, Jan. 1974, p. 19.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. Randall, ‘Petroleum Wells in Shropshire’, Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club Transactions, vol. IV, 1906, p. 99.Google Scholar
  3. 16.
    See D. Buckman, ‘Heathfield—Gas Bonanza That Never Was’, Inst. of Pet.Rev., vol. 21, 1967, pp. 169–77.Google Scholar
  4. 17.
    W. Forbes-Leslie, ‘The Occurrence of Petroleum in England’, J.Inst. Pet.Rev. 1916–17, vol.III, pp.153 ff.Google Scholar
  5. 18.
    H.P.W. Giffard, ‘The Recent Search for Oil in Great Britain’, Trans.Inst.Min.Eng., vol.LXV, 1922–3, p.221.Google Scholar

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© J. D. Huxley 1983

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  • John Huxley

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