March 15, 1910
The amazing Lakeview Gusher started spewing crude oil into the air of the San Joaquin Valley in California. Oil shot into the air at an estimated 125,000 barrels a day from a column of oil and sand 20 feet in diameter and 200 feet high (6 meters by 60 meters). The gushing continued at a reduced rate for 18 months and released approximately 9.4 million barrels. According to the San Joaquin Geological Society website, “Preachers and their flocks prayed that oil might not cover the earth and bring about its flaming destruction.” Half the oil was captured and processed but the rest flowed into local rivers, agricultural land, the air and the water table.