History: Black gold drew people to Kern, Taft n the late 1800s, discoveries of oil made Kern County a hot spot for folks looking to strike it rich. Old Sunset field was one of the earliest oil fields. The first rig placed in Old Sunset by Lovejoy and his partners only produced one barrel per day. Another well dug to a depth of 300 feet produced sulfur water. The Midway-Sunset oilfield continues to be extremely productive today. According to a 2013 report by the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the Midway-Sunset is the largest producing oil field in California. Estimates from the report show the field produced 28.8 million barrels of oil last year.