Dorset's Black Gold
A History of Dorset's Oil Industry
- Alan Taylor
15th October 2021
In this book, Alan Taylor reveals that the history of Dorset’s oil starts in the 1850s with attempts to extract oil and gas from mined oil shale at Kimmeridge. By the early twentieth century exploration geologists had realised the significance of oil seeps and other geological features found along the Dorset coast. It seemed that oil might lie in the rock strata at specific locations deep under the Dorset countryside.
The author explains how exploration drilling, during a period of eighty years, led to the discovery of four producing oil fields by BP and others. The unfolding of the development of each field in such an environmentally sensitive area is described. One oilfield, Wytch Farm, has turned out to be the largest producing onshore oilfield in Western Europe.
Access to databases held by HM Government’s Oil and Gas Authority has enabled the author to produce a set of unique maps and diagrams to illustrate the historical development of Dorset’s oil. Packed with interesting facts and stories, this is an essential book for those interested in Dorset’s industrial history.