Moonie

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.

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