State Route 33 runs along the axis of the Midway-Sunset for much of its length, and the towns of Taft and Fellows are built directly on the oil field. Other oil fields along Route 33 going northwest within Kern County include the Cymric Oil Field, McKittrick Oil Field, and the large South Belridge Oil Field. Route 33 is not the only road through the field: roughly paralleling 33, but closer to the Temblor Range, is Midoil Road, which winds through the field and along its southwestern boundary. The road commences from Taft Heights, passes through Fellows, and rejoins Route 33 just south of Derby Acres. Crocker Springs Road, which goes over the Temblor Range to the Carrizo Plain, intersects Midoil Road about two miles south of its intersection with Route 33. Another road that passes through part of the Midway-Sunset Field is Petroleum Club Road, which runs southeast from Taft, and passes the site of the Lakeview Gusher.
One of the next pools to be discovered was the Gusher Pool, which, when found in 1909, took its name from the event itself: a large oil gusher. This occurrence was eclipsed spectacularly the next year, when drillers found the Lakeview Pool, unexpectedly drilling into a reservoir of oil under intense pressure, later estimated at approximately 1,300 psi from the heights attained by the spewing oil. The resulting Lakeview Gusher was the largest-lasting and most productive oil gusher in U.S. history.
Drillers continued to find new oil pools throughout the 20th century, with new discoveries still occurring in the 1980s. The most pools occur in the Miocene-age Monterey Formation, with depths usually to , although one discovery, the "PULV" Pool of 1979, was below ground surface. The only well developed at this depth, and the only well in the PULV pool, was abandoned a year after it was drilled.
The principal operators of Midway-Sunset, as of 2008, were Aera Energy LLC, and Chevron Corp. As of the end of 2006, the most recent date for which data was available, the field contained 11,145 producing wells, more than any other oil field in California (the Kern River Field was second at 9,183). A traveler along State Route 33 between Maricopa and McKittrick will see hundreds of nodding donkeys, the relatively small proportion of the oil wells that are visible from the highway.
Several enhanced oil recovery technologies are have been employed at Midway-Sunset. Since the oil is heavy, and does not flow freely, it can be assisted by thermal methods, which include steamflooding, cyclic steam, and fireflooding. Waterflooding is also used.
While most of the oil has been removed from the field, it still contains an estimated of oil in-situ, which amounts to 18% of California's total estimated reserve of .
Oil Giants Slammed By Reserve Write-Downs.(US oil and gas companies report weak fourth-quarter results)(Statistical Data Included)
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