Oklahoma has large reserves of coal, petroleum, and natural gas, the three chief mineral fuels. Oklahoma is in the Mid-Continent Petroleum Field and ranks fifth in the nation in the production of petroleum and third in production of natural gas. The state’s first commercial oil well was drilled near Bartlesville in 1891. Although in the 1990s production had declined from earlier levels, oil wells scattered throughout the state continued to produce, pumping 62.8 million barrels of oil in 2006. Petroleum and gas are found in almost every county, but the areas around Tulsa, Seminole, Oklahoma City, Healdton, Kingfisher, and Osage County have the best pools. The Hugoton gas field, which extends from Kansas across the Oklahoma Panhandle into Texas, is the leading area for natural gas in the United States. Oklahoma also produces helium, which is a by-product of natural gas.
Much of eastern Oklahoma adjacent to the Ozark and Ouachita regions is underlain with high-grade bituminous coal. Coal was first mined on a large scale near McAlester in 1872, and production increased until the 1920s, when petroleum began to assume importance as a fuel. Coal is mined by both the shaft and the strip methods.
Crushed stone, cement, sand and gravel, gypsum, clay, feldspar, iodine, lime, pumice, and tripoli, which is used as an abrasive, are all mined in Oklahoma. Springs and salt plains in Harmon and Woods counties yield salt for household use. Glass sand suitable for the making of all types of glassware except optics is mined from open pits near Mill Creek and Roff. Zinc and lead, found in Ottawa County, were formerly the chief metallic minerals of Oklahoma. Production of these metals decreased greatly after reaching a high point in the early 1920s, finally ceasing in 1970. At one time more than one-half of the world’s zinc supply was mined in Oklahoma. A copper deposit in Jackson County was mined from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. "Oklahoma" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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