Location: Beaumont, Texas
General Description: The Texas Energy Museum is located in the historic, museum district of downtown Beaumont, Texas. Exhibits explore the fascinating history of petroleum science and technology. It begins with the geological history of oil production and the process to find these reserves below ground. There are exhibits detailing the history of oil exploration and drilling practices, both on land and under the waters of the Gulf. There is an archive of historical photographs and documents related to Beaumont and southeast Texas oil fields. Finally there are exhibits detailing the refining process that turns raw oil into the huge number of products derived from petroleum.
1) The Energy Museum of Texas is excellent. It leads the visitor through the history of petroleum beginning with the creation of oil in our distant past. Then it provides information about how this oil congregates in the ground and the geological formations that promote this. Then you learn about how finding evidence of these geological formations led to the discovery of oil throughout the region. There is a very good robotic exhibit about the early history of oil drilling that led to the 1901 Spindletop gusher that began the oil boom.
2) Following these exhibits are a series of exhibits that provide information about the drilling process, both on land and in the Gulf. How the oil is then pumped out of the ground and transported to the many refineries. Then there are exhibits and models of a generic refinery and the structures you see. Finally, there are exhibits about the many products that are derived from petroleum, of which gasoline is a small component. Very fascinating and well done.