Oil in Victoria 3

🛢️ Oil is an industrial raw material, quite insignificant at the beginning of the game, but meaningful as soon as you start progressing through. It may be difficult to orient oneself where to obtain and process it, so I made a summary for you.

Which countries possess oil?

As you know from real experience, oil is a resource of limited availability and it cannot be found everywhere, eventually accessible to everyone. Even though it may be a highly sought-after material, it can be a tricky nut to crack at the same time. Moreover to that, there isn’t just one map due to the constant evolution. As we can see, however, the situation with oil isn’t unsolvable and the map with possible locations of oil from 1845 may help.

Map of available oil in America around 1845
Map of available oil in Europe/Africa and Asia around 1845

My elaboration on how to access these maps can be found in the article about resource maps. As you can see, not all places are there (just as the discoveries between 1836 and 1936).

Where can you find oil?

To find out when oil will be discovered and in which provinces, I had to explore the game code. I managed to discover the following provinces (32 in total) that can provide oil mining sites right between 1836 and 1936:

StateUndiscovered amount
East Borneo60
East Java20
La Paz30
Libyan Desert30
Río Grande50
Santa Cruz30
Trucial Coast40
West Galícia36

What has to be done for the oil discovery?

If I look at the states where I would expect oil to be discovered over time, sometimes the states have information in their detail about “discoverable resources”. These resources can be found once the province is a part of a market.

How to extract (get) oil?

In the matter of Victoria 3,🛢️ Oil can be obtained in two different ways. The easier one (and without access to oil fields) is to get oil from Whaling Stations. This source can be remarkably useful if you don’t have any oil at all. The problem is, however, that this building has a +20% mortality rate for mechanics and a +30% mortality rate for labourers who work at that location.

Whaling Stations in Victoria 3

A more efficient source of 🛢️ Oil is the Oil Rigs building. Its disadvantage is, however, that to build them you need to try the Pumpjacks technology first. Once it is built it will produce 60 oil per level while consuming 10 coal and 5 engines.

Pumpjacks research is available after checking out Steam Donkey and also Dynamite. Besides the power to work with Oil Rigs, you can increase the efficiency of your plantations with “automatic irrigation”.

So in case your agriculture is plantation-based or you simply need oil, then I would recommend exploring Pumpjacks as soon as you can and possibly moving in that direction.

Where to use oil once you own it?

From a certain stage forward, oil can be used practically anywhere. Just keep in mind that your steps need to be strategically made from the same beginning of the game. Then in the later stages of playing it will be good for you to have all the things secured.

A list of all buildings where you can use oil is shown below. For each building I used the following icons: 🛍️ means that it increases the output of the building and 🫂 means that it decreases the number of employed people.


  • 🛍️ Food Industries
  • 🛍️ Chemical Plants
  • 🛍️ War Machine Industries
  • 🛍️ Arm Industries
  • 🫂 Furniture Manufacturers
  • 🫂 Tooling Workshops
  • 🫂 🛍️ Glassworks


  • 🫂 Rye Farms
  • 🫂 Wheat Farms
  • 🫂 Maize Farms


  • 🛍️ Coal Mines
  • 🛍️ Iron Mines
  • 🛍️ Lead Mines
  • 🛍️ Sulfur Mines
  • 🛍️ Gold Mines

Other buildings

  • 🛍️ Power Plants
  • 🛍️ Ports
  • 🫂 Logging Camps
  • 🫂 🛍️ Railway
  • 🫂 🛍️ Conscription Centers
  • 🫂 🛍️ Barracks

A strategic view of oil

Personally, I see the oil as a big contributor to optimization. In the late phases of the game, it will determine whether the economy grows or not. It’s definitely something you want to mine yourself and have plenty of it because that’s the only way your economy will stay strong and GDP will grow.

Feel free to import it first before you do the proper research. At the same time, don’t forget and be self-sufficient in this as soon as you can. Look at the provinces where oil will appear in the future and include them in your economic or geopolitical game. It will pay off.

Usage of oil

Lack of oil and how to solve it?

In case you don’t have enough oil you can temporarily shut down some production that requires it. I don’t say that you have to switch all factories or mines to a non-oil state immediately, switching few units of factories will help you quite enough. It will guarantee you a supply of oil right away.

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I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!