Shell’s “The Birth of an Oil Field” is a 1948 color education film that explains how an oil well is drilled and crude oil is brought up from the ground and started on its way to the refinery. While live action is used to show glimpses of a drilling crew at work animation reveals what is taking place below the surface of the ground. The film was produced by Academy Award-nominated producer and animator George Pal (who was nominated for an Oscar for for seven consecutive years from 1942 to 1948) and produced the influential 1953 film “The War of the Worlds.” “The Birth of an Oil Field” has some rough edits and quickly opens with an animated scene of an oil plant as a narrator explains the various ways gas is used before moving on to the treatment of oil and its transfer to field tanks and then a pumping station (mark 02:34) before being moved to a refinery. At mark 03:36 we watch workers sink a new well using a rotary method, including erection of a derrick and rig. We learn about the various parts of a drill including the more than 50 types of drill bits (mark 05:12), and the fact that oil comes from 26 states (mark 07:23) and 47 different countries. “Oil coming from the Earth in huge quantities to fulfill our increasing demands,” the narrator says. Oil also means jobs, with more than 1.2 million workers steadily employed in the oil industry (mark 08:05). Mark 08:44 kicks off a brief history lesson on oil drilling, dating back more than 3,000 years in China when similar principles were used to drill for salt. “Only time and continuing research … will reveal what added comforts may be developed for the generations of today and the generations of the days to come,” the narrator concludes.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com