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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

Chapter XVII

Chapter XVII.

Forty years ago attempts were made to discover the source of the Petroleum, which had long previously been observed exuding from the ground in the vicinity of Moturoa. Appliances were only primitive, and the greatest depth reached was 684 feet, when operations were abandoned. In 1888 a bore was put down to 875 feet, without success. Between 1894 and 1900 several bores were put down, the greatest depth reached being 2052 feet. In two or three of these oil was obtained in considerable quantities, but water could not be kept out, and eventually the efforts were abandoned. In 3904 an Adelaide syndicate bored to a depth of 2100 feet, and then ceased. Local enterprise took over the venture, and at 2331 feet, Mr. Fair, the expert, declared that he had a payable well, with the water effectually shut off. Steps were taken to float a company, with a capital of £120,000, to take over the whole concern, including boring rights over some 6000 acres of picked country. The company has been floated, and now has two other wells in process of boring. Should these prove payable, refining works will be erected, and other bores put down.

Other companies have also been formed to bore in country where pronounced indications have been proved over a very large area. Boring rights have also been secured by speculators over extensive country, which may or may not be oil-bearing.

At Moturoa, however, the existence of petroleum in large quantities is proved, for some hundreds of barrels have been taken from the well with no sign of diminution. The oil is of very high quality. A few months shall demonstrate the value of the field.