EventsSaturday 13 May 2017

Romania has marked the world history of oil

Romania is the first country in the world that officially recorded the oil production- the world's first refinery in Ploieşti - Bucharest, the first city in the world illuminated with kerosene

The first oil rigs in Ploiesti

In 1938, the publication „The Science of Petroleum” of Oxford University Press, attests the fact that Romania was the first country in the world that officially registered an oil production (275 tonnes in 1857). The countries that followed Romania were: USA (1859), Italy (1860), Canada (1862), Russia (1863). After 1900, Romania became the first country in the world which export gasoline and the largest petroleum producer in Europe.

In 1914, there were 104 oil companies established in Romania. In 1937, Romania ranked 7 in the top of world’s oil reserves. There have been several events that have made Romania an important participant in the world oil history. The first commercial oil rig in the world was recorded in Lucăceşti (Bacău) ), always here, in 1840, was built the first "gassings" (installations for petroleum processing). In fact they were simple workshops, rudimentary equipped, using a method similar to the alcohol distillation in peasant boilers.

The first refinery in the world, which practiced the industrial distillation, was built near Ploiesti, in 1856. „The gas factory” of Marin Mehedinţeanu, as it was called, had rudimentary equipment, but was an important step in the oil history of the world. The boilers for the distillation of the oil shale were ordered to Moltrecht Company in Germany. The oil thus obtained, colourless and odourless, was for lighting. Using lamps with wicks, the flame produced by burning the lamp oil was giving a constant light, both in intensity and form, burning smokeless and without leaving any ash or resinous compounds.

On 1 April 1857, a thousand lamps were lighting the streets, giving the city a much better light than that given by candles, but also a romantic aspect. Bucharest became the first city in the world that had the public lighting with kerosene. In this way, was born a new profession of „lamplighter”, namely, those who had to turn on and off the lights, to clean the glass, to match the wick, to oversee the proper functioning of the street lamps.

In 1904, at Campina, was founded the first school for "master driller" in the world, to which was added also the school of „master refiner”. The new masters trained here were called to work also abroad, being appreciated for their high level of training and professionalism.

Elena Radu

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