EDINBURGH GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY.—
On Saturday, this society had their fifth excursion for the summer session to Linhouse Burn and the district around Mid-Calder. …....The society next walked to Mid- Calder arid examined the operations at a shale pit which has recently been sunk, a short distance above the bridge, by the Mid-Calder Mineral Oil Company. This pit is 90 feet in depth, and contains four seams of shale varying from 20 inches to 7 feet in thickness. The company extract paraffin oil from this shale, and it yields from 30 to 40 gallons of crude oil per ton.
The society then proceeded up the Linhouse Burn, and examined the wan; seamen of sandstone and shale, all of lower carboniferous age to be found in it. Mr Smyth pointed out to the society an interesting mass of intrusive rook, consisting of felspathic trap, which crosses the channel of the stream. He stated that as the water could not cut its way through the hard igneous rock so rapidly as through the soft sandstone and shale in the channel, this trapdyke, having acted as a barrier, had been the cause of the small waterfall at the place ; and, he also added, that from the foregoing cause, the height of this waterfall will always be increasing. The society then inspected a curious old retort in the glen, which was one of the first that was used in Scotland for the manufacture of crude oil from shale.
They next examined a sandstone quarry containing good fragments of ulodcndron allaui, and they afterwards visited Oakbank Works, where the paraffin oil of the Mid-Calder Mineral Oil Company is distilled. Mr McKinlay, one of the partners of the firm, very courteously showed the members of the society the mode by which the crude oil is extracted ; and in another part of the works, he showed them the various processes by which shale spirit, burning oil, lubricating oil, and finally paraffine are obtained. He stated that from the Mid-Calder shale the company produced from 800 to 1000 gallons of crude oil per day.
North British Agriculturist 14th June 1865
Midcalder Oil Works & Shale
Mr Young reported that along with Mr Moffat he had examined Mid Calder Oil Works and found there were 64 new Vertical retorts, 64 old Vertical Retorts and 21 Horizontal retorts with refining machinery to purify the crude oil made. Further that there were fully two and half million tons of shale which was easily worked probably at a cost of 6/ per ton at the retorts, but of poor quality varying from 18 to 42 gallons per ton. It was therefore resolved not to offer for the works; the greater proportion of the shale being of the lower average and a very small proportion of the higher
Meeting of the minutes of the directors meeting of Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Co. Ltd., 25th October 1867
TO BE SOLD. THE OAKBANK OIL WORKS, belonging to the Mid-Calder Mineral Oil Company (Limited), together with the company's interest in the lease of the adjoining Mineral Field. The works are situated in Mid-Lothian, near the Junction of the Cleland and Midcalder and Caledonian Railways, and are connected therewith by a private line. For further details apply to Messrs MACONOCHIE, DUNCAN, & HARE, W.S.,10 Hill St Edinburgh.
Scotsman, 12th February 1868
In the mail of the 1st inst. we announced that the Oakbank Paraffin Oil Works in the parish of Mid-Calder, were about to be again put in operation by a Glasgow firm. We now learn that the purchaser is Mr Fraser of Glasgow, the proprietor of the Drumcross Works, in the parish of Bathgate.
North British Daily Mail, 12th February 1869
FIRE AT OAKBANK WORKS. The Managing Director reported that a serious fire had taken place at Oakbank Works early in the morning of Thursday 19th inst [October 1916]. The paraffin Wax Cooling Houses numbering six distinct buildings, and ranging from Nos. 50 to 55 on the plan of the Works were completely gutted entailing a considerable loss to plant and stock in process. There was also a considerable quantity of Assam Crude Paraffin and same refined wax (destroyed) lying in the open adjacent to the Cooling Houses, destroyed by the fire. The Loss is covered by the Coy's. [Company's] Insurance Policies, and energetic steps have been taken to have the buildings rebuilt, and new plant installed with as little delay as possible. FIRE AT OAKBANK WORKS. The Managing Director reported that the loss in connection with the fire which destroyed the Paraffin Wax Cooling Houses at Oakbank Works on 19th Oct last  had been assessed under the Coy's [Company's] policies of Insurance at £7289:14/- and that of this amount the Company bears a proportion of the loss amounting to £584:5.5.
Oakbank Oil Company Limited, Directors' Minute Book, No.8, 1916-1919, pp26-27 and p35
OILWORKS TO BE DISMANTLED. A BLOW TO CALDER VILLAGES.
Any hope which may have existed in the Oakbank and Calders villages with regard to the oil works at Oakbank, recently closed, has been quenched the fact that operations for the complete dismantling of the plant commenced to-day. Since the closing of the works July last year, rumours have been circulated frequently that the works site was to be utilised for various purposes—paper mills, soap works, and chemical manufactures being mentioned in this connection - but the rumours have proved unfounded, and the villagers East and Mid-Calder, Oakbank and Kirknewton, are now faced with the prospect of evacuating their homes in search of employment, the shale industry having been the chief source of employment in the district. Meantime the operations of dismantling will provide employment for about 50 workmen for some time, but 200 men, already unemployed, will require to find work outwith the Calders district.
Edinburgh Evening News, 10th May 1932