The cultural and historical geographies of onshore oil exploration in the British East Midlands during the 20th century

Naylor, A.W. (2016) The cultural and historical geographies of onshore oil exploration in the British East Midlands during the 20th century. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This thesis tells the hitherto neglected story of onshore oil exploration in the British East Midlands from 1908 to 1964. Drawing on a series of case studies it provides a regional historical geography, connecting science and industry to the exploratory field science of geology. During the period examined, two low key discoveries – Hardstoft, in Derbyshire (1919), and Eakring, in Nottinghamshire (1939) - altered Britain’s energy prospects, supplementing coal with liquid mineral oil. Using archival research methods and oral testimonies, the thesis reveals how a diverse assemblage of earth scientists, oilfield technologies and techniques, institutions and private companies developed a regional laboratory for oil exploration. Liquid energy fuelled heated political debates over land nationalisation and private ownership rights, the science of subsurface quantification and governance, and the role of industry in exploration. Though small when compared with global consumption and production figures, oil discovered in the British East Midlands provided a time critical supply of oil during World War Two. It also facilitated technological advances in oilfield development, contributed towards a new arm of economic geology (geophysics) and encouraged earth scientists to think of territory as a three dimensional entity, extending beneath, as well as along the land surface.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Heffernan, M.
Watkins, C.
Subjects: T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
Item ID: 35862
Depositing User: Naylor, Andrew
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2017 09:31
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2017 18:10
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/35862

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