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Vera Cruz Oilfields
New York 1915 - A unique wall map of the Mexican oil fields in 1915. Oil was first drilled in the remote, undeveloped area north of Vera Cruz in 1869 and a law passed in 1884 allowed land owners the right to drill and develop oil on their own lands. By the turn of the 20th century, the boom had begun. In 1901, 10,000 barrels were produced; in 1908, 3.9 million barrels and by 1917, roughly the time of this map, Mexico produced 55 million barrels of oil. Considering that the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the overthrow of Porfirio Diaz and the U.S. occupation of Vera Cruz all occurred in this period, the incredible growth of the industry in Mexico in this period is even more impressive. Most of the production was undertaken by foreign companies, with more than 150 such companies operating at the height. This map, compiled by Richmond Levering & Co. Inc., shows the locations of all the wells, both producing and drilled, in the Vera Cruz oil region during the boom. The map is elaborately color coded to reflect the claims by the larger petroleum companies, including Huasteca Petrolum Company (controlled by California oil man Edward L. Doheny) and Aguila Oil Company (controlled by Englishman Sir Weetman Pearson). The map, done on a large scale (1 inch = 1.43 miles), shows the region along the Gulf coast from Tampico in the north, to Tihuatlan in the south, and approximately 50 miles inland. Richmond Levering Company was involved in the building of refineries in Mexico in the period, including one in Palo Blanco, though also owned properties in the region which they conveyed to the Port Lobos Petroleum Company in 1914. The following year, both corporations were involved in a lawsuit with a broker who claimed to be owed commissions for the transaction as he had been retained to finance a company for Richmond Levering for the purpose of developing those lands. The present map seems to have been used in that lawsuit, as it is marked "Exhibit D" above the cartouche. Cf. Grayson, The Politics of Mexican Oil (Pittsburgh:1980). Photographic map, hand-coloured, sectioned and linen-backed at a contemporary date. Sheet size: 72 1/4 x 43 1/2 inches.
      [Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2014-08-08           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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