A small township on the edge of the Surat-Bowen oil and gas basin.
Location: 323 km west of Brisbane at the junction of the Moonie and Leichhardt Highways.
Thomassen De Stegg Holland Beam Pump also known as Pump Jack or Nodding
Horse, is on display in the town. This was the original beam pump used
on the Moonie #1 well back in the 1960’s. Beam pumps are used to
lift a variety of liquids from subsurface. The wells at the Moonie Oil
Fields are drilled to 5800ft and the beam pumps are used to pump oil
from this depth to the production facility.
Places of interest: oil wells, pipeline from Moonie to Brisbane (1969)
Brief history: The area was first settled in the in the 1840s but it
only came to prominence in December 1961 when it became
Australia’s first commercial oil field. In reality it is only a
small oil field accounting for less than one per cent of
Australia’s oil and gas reserves but the excitement which was
associated with its success led to the establishment, in 1969 of a
pipeline which joined the fields to refineries in Brisbane.
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Origin of name: the town's name is derived from Moonie River, first
recorded as Mooni by Sir Thomas Mitchell (1792-1855) NSW
Surveyor-General, in November 1846 when he passed through here. He left
no record of the meaning or significance of the name which is believed
to be of Aboriginal origin.