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Monday June 4, 2007

Miri’s first oil well stands stately at museum


THE “Grand Old Lady” is no stranger to Miri folk, but for visitors a trip to this oil city in northern Sarawak would not be complete without stopping by to see her. 

This “lady” is actually the first oil well to be sunk in Miri.  

Miri’s pride: The “Grand Old Lady” on display outside the Petroleum Museum in Miri.
Located on top of Canada Hill, it provides stunning views over Miri and the sea. 

The well was dug on August 10, 1910, and completed on Dec 22 the same year, the first of 624 wells to be commissioned in Miri’s oilfield. 

After a remarkable record of 62 years in service and produced over 650,000 barrels of oil, the “Grand Old Lady” was finally decommissioned in Oct 31 1972. 

One year after she retired, the oil well No 1 was handed over to the Sarawak Gover-nment for it to be kept as part of a historical monument. 

Visitor looking at a photo of the Petronas LNG Complex in Bintulu
Its site has since been preserved as a place of interest for visitors. 

A Petroleum Museum was opened at the site in 2005 in conjunction with Miri’s elevation to city status. 

The Grand Old Lady is the star of the museum. Statues depicting oil workers at work have been erected at the well to show how drilling was done. 

A photo of the first offshore rig used in Malaysia.
Inside, the museum exhibits an assortment of items associated with the history of oil production in Miri, including old photographs of the industry and a model of an offshore rig. 

Outside, there is a jogging path around the museum grounds and ample parking for visitors.  

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