Oil Seeps in Northern California
July 2001 by Edgar B. Heylmun, PhDIndians used asphalt from oil seeps in California for caulking boats and other objects long before the white man arrived. Spaniards noted seeps as early as 1542, and the Portola expedition in 1769 used oil for wagon axles and as a fuel. Spaniards also used crude stills for obtaining lamp oil for use in the missions.
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