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History of Oil Exploration in the State of São Paulo Before the Foundation of Petrobras (1872–1953)

  • Júlia C. T. Oliveira
  • Silvia F. de M. FigueirôaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Historical Geography and Geosciences book series (HIGEGE)

Abstract

This paper brings to light a still poorly known history, which demonstrates the technological and intellectual momentum of the geology of the State of São Paulo, before the creation of Petrobras. Although the results regarding the presence of oil in significant amounts were disappointing, relevant geological results were achieved, as well as technical advances. The initial steps of oil exploration in the State of São Paulo were linked to private entrepreneurs, and date back to the year of 1872. Exploration and research attempts took place in the hinterland localities of Morro do Bofete and Águas de São Pedro, through geological studies performed by naturalists, engineers and geologists. In the 1920s, surveys were performed by the Geographical and Geological Commission of São Paulo (CGG), in cooperation with the Brazilian Geological and Mineralogical Survey (SGMB). A special subdivision was created within the CGG in 1927, and the North American petroleum geologist Chester Wesley Washburne (1883–1971) was hired in 1928. The set of documentation used includes private and official letters, besides other types of historical documents, in custody of the Historical Archives of the State Geological Institute of São Paulo.

Sources

Manuscript Sources

  1. Historical Archives of the Instituto Geológico (SP): FCGG, Série Técnico–Científica, Boxes 55 to 59 Google Scholar

Printed Sources

  1. Collon A (1897) Le Pétrole dans les environs du Mont de Bofete el de Porto–Martins, dans l’État de São Paulo, suivi d’une Étude Chimico–industrielle des grès bitumineux cette region. Brejão 1897. Fac–simile edition by: Instituto Geográfico e Geológico, São Paulo: Secretaria de Estado da Agricultura, 1970Google Scholar
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  3. Washburne CW (1930) Petroleum geology of the state of São Paulo – Brasil. Commissão Geographica e Geologica do Estado de São Paulo, São PauloGoogle Scholar

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Júlia C. T. Oliveira
    • 1
  • Silvia F. de M. Figueirôa
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.ARANZ Geo Ltd.SantiagoChile
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of CampinasCampinasBrazil

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