When oil was needed to power the war effort during World War II, the federal government created incentives to locate and drill for oil in Florida. Humble Oil Company (now known as Exxon) made the first discovery on Collier minerals at Sunniland Field just south of Immokalee in 1943. It was the beginning of oil exploration and production in Florida. Since then, the Sunniland Field has produced more than 13 million barrels of oil and continues to produce today.
Partially located in the Big Cypress National Preserve, Bear Island oil was discovered in 1972 (before the creation of the Preserve) and production began just a year later. The field has yielded nearly 13 million barrels of oil since then and continues to produce today.
Oil at Raccoon Point field was first discovered by Exxon in 1978 and production began in 1981. The field is located in the Big Cypress National Preserve near the Collier/Dade County line and produces approximately 1,950 barrels of oil per day.The field has produced more than 18 million barrels of oil to date. Production at Raccoon Point was recently increased with a new horizontal well.