On this day in oil and gas: May 10 - Romanian independence

May 10th, 1877, Bucharest, The Romanian United Principalities – The Romanian Senate adopts Foreign Affairs Minister Mihail Kogalniceanu's Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the country’s split from the Ottoman Empire.

After the end of the ensuing Romanian War of Independence, waged between a Russo-Romanian alliance and the Ottomans, the country will become a constitutional monarchy in 1881.

So what does this country of 21 million, located on the Black Sea at the intersection of Central and Southeastern Europe have to do with oil and gas? Well, according to The Science of Petroleum journal it’s only the first country in the record books to have produced oil on a commercial scale, with 275 tonnes (~1925 barrels) attested as early as 1857 – a full 3 years before first oil in the USA. The same year, Bucharest became the first capital city to be illuminated by kerosene lamps, 1000 to be precise.

On the eve of World War II, Romania was the largest producer of oil in Europe and its oilfields at Ploiesti would become pivotal to both the Allied and Axis war efforts. I could go on, but suffice it to say that in the history of oil and gas, and also the world Romania has played a bigger part than we all think!

P.S. For more firsts in the Romanian oil story, click here




  Have Your Say
Rate this feature and give us your feedback in the comments section below