BHS 56 Logo
Lakeview Gusher

Lakeview Gusher--Largest Oil Spill

The BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was a major catastrophe, but Kern County holds the record for the 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.

Lakeview Gusher
Blue Line


Go to the Home page!