Go greener and stay profitable: The pandemic is pushing the international oil companies, battered by climate change, even deeper into crisis. The magazine Industriekultur/Industrial Heritage addresses this issue with a special focus on oil - and reflects on the past as well. Among other things, it spotlights a number of sites listed on the ERIH's Theme Route Application of Power.
"Is oil a subject for museums?" author Frieder Bluhm asks and takes his audience on an exciting quest to trace the history of the black gold. However, the journey does not lead to Saudi Arabia, Iraq or other leading oil-producing countries, but criss-crosses Europe back to the early days of the oil industry. The tour starts in Baku, Europe's southernmost capital and the site of Villa Petrolea, nucleus of one of the world's largest oil companies, "Branobel", established by the Nobel brothers at the end of the 19th century.
Next, we visit the inventor of the petroleum lamp in the Polish Ignacy Łukasiewicz Open Air Museum of the Oil Industry, covering the time when the Carpathian foothills of Galicia became the world's third-largest oil region. Travelling via Romania's National Museum of the Oil Industry in Ploiesti and its Hungarian counterpart in Zalaegerszeg, the route leads to the German Petroleum Museum in Wieze and on to museum sites in Twist in the Emsland region and near Reinkenhagen in the north-eastern part of the former GDR territory.
Other stops along this oil-related European itinerary are the Petroleum Museum in Merkwiller-Pechelbronn in Alsace, the Petroleum Museum Park in Vallezza, Spain's first oil museum in Sargentes de la Lora 50 kilometres north of Burgos, the Estonian Mining Museum - one of the Europe's principal deposits of shale oil - in the Kohtla area in north-eastern Estonia, the Swedish refinery island Oljeon, the Norwegian Museum of the Petroleum Industry in Stavanger, the Scottish Aberdeen Maritime Museum, which is home to a true-to-scale and detailed reproduction of a complete oil drilling platform, and the Esbjerg Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Denmark, which focuses on offshore power generation.
European Theme Route 'Application of Power' (Subcatogery 'Oil')