Lakeview Gusher--Largest Oil Spill
In March 1910 the Lakeview Gusher, between Taft and Maricopa, let loose an uncontrolled torrent of oil that lasted 18 months (544 days). About 400 men built a barricade of sand bags to contain the oil lake that was traversed by workers in row boats. The spill started at a rate of 18,000 barrels a day and reached a peak of 90,000 barrels a day. The total volume of oil spilled was 378 million gallons, the equivalent of nine million barrels. All that remains today of this historic event is a plaque beside the road. View an interactive panorama of the site.
Kern County still supplies a significant portion of the world's oil.