Black Gold in California: The Story of the California Petroleum Industry
by Robert D. Francis
From the prologue:
Humans arrived in California, first Indians and then Europeans. They farmed the rich land, built towns and made lives for themselves. At first the incalculable treasure beneath their feet was unknown to them, although it manifested itself at the surface in various places as tar seeps or even rivers of asphalt. By 1903 California became the largest producing state in the United States, peaking at over 1 million barrels a day in the 1970s. It is still producing over half a million a day, making it the number three state. This great resource would never have been utilized for the benefit of mankind had it not been for the pioneers of the early petroleum industry. The risk-taking, hard work, and innovating spirit of those entrepreneurs are still alive today in companies great and small, which even now are finding new ways to unlock America's hidden bounty. This is a story about people-past and present-who made the mighty energy industry of today possible.