Previous coin
10 lei 2007 - 150 Years of Petroleum Industry in Romania
Next coin
37 mm diameter, 31.103g, 99.9% silver, grained edge
Obverse: ROMANIA, coat of arms of Romania, face value 10 LEI, an image of Mehedințeanu Refinery, circular inscription „RAFINARIA MEHEDINTEANU„ meaning „MEHEDINȚEANU REFINERY„
Reverse: an oil derick from the beginning of the 19th century, a modern oil well (pumpjack) and inscription "150 ANI DE INDUSTRIE PETROLIERA ROMANEASCA" meaning "150 YEARS OF ROMANIAN PETROLEUM INDUSTRY", years 1857 - 2007

Issuing date: 3rd of September 2007

Mintage: 500 coins


The coin marks 150 Years of Petroleum Industry in Romania. The coin pictures above are present on the site through the permission of an anonymous donor.

The beginnings of the petroleum industrial exploitation in Romania

The first oil refinery in Walachia (and the first in nowadays Romania) was built in 1857 at Rîfov near Ploiești by Teodor Mehedințeanu. The equipment was imported from the state-city of Hamburg. The refinery was the third installed in the entire world (the first being built between 1854 and 1856 at Jaslo in the Austrian Empire, nowadays Poland). In 1857 only 275 tons were produced, and the crude oil was for the first time taken into account as industrial production.

In 1861 Romania exported for the first time refined oil - a quantity of 1041 hectoliters.

Crude oil exploitation - mentioned by prince Dimitrie Cantemir in Descriptio Moldavie

The Romanian word "păcură", meaning crude oil or petroleum, is derived from the Latin picula. A toponym "Păcură" is attested in a Moldavian diploma issued in 1440.

Here is the paragraph from description of Moldavia of Dimitrie Cantemir:

"In Tazlăul Sărat, near the village of Moinești, in Bacău county, petroleum mixed with water is gushing from a spring, and our peasants have the habit to use it for lubricating the axles of the wagons; they say that it is much better for household necessities than the resin they extract from trees, but only if it is separated from water."


Back to selection page!