Petroleum is located in western Jim Hogg County twenty-four miles southwest of Hebbronville, north of the junction of State Highway 16 and Farm Road 649. The town was founded in 1932 and received its name from its location in an oilfield. A post office operated from 1930 until 1933, and in 1940 Petroleum reported one store and a population of twenty. By 1981 only fifteen residents remained, and the community was no longer listed on state highway maps. The population was still fifteen in 1990.
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