Oil Museums in the United States

| Arkansas | California | Illinois | Kansas | Louisiana | New York | Oklahoma | Texas | Pennsylvania | West Virginia |

Arkansas Oil Museums

Arkansas Museum
  of Natural Resources
3853 Smackover Highway
Smackover, Arkansas 71762
(870) 725-2877

Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources
Smackover, Arkansas


Located on five acres adjacent to the Education Center, the Oilfield Park includes seven operating examples of the oil producing methods used in the south Arkansas Oil Field from the 1920s through today.

  • 1920s standard rig with a 112 ft wooden derrick and a battery of wooden storage tanks
  • 1920s-1930s 64 ft pipe derrick and gear-driven pumping unit
  • 1930s-1940s central power station (jack plant)
  • 1930s "gin pole" derrick and Oklahoma pump jack
  • 1930s-1940s 87 ft steel derrick with Pennsylvania-type pump jack
  • modern production unit


California Oil Museums




California has some world-class oil museums, along with several museums that have smaller displays on tar pits, famous gushers, or the oil industry in general. Please click the button below to learn more about these museums.



Illinois Oil Museums

Museum of Science & Industry
57th ST & Lakeshore Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60637
(773) 684-1414

Museum of Science and Industry
- Petroleum Planet
Chicago, Illinois


Greeted by a remote-operated underwater vehicle and multicolored tubes of bubbling crude oil, you’ll step into the exhibit and be transformed into a tiny hydrocarbon molecule in a vast pipeline. From there, you will embark on a journey through distillation and transportation control and the "pig pen," finally arriving at your destination as a finished product. And don’t think this trip will be a stroll through the park: you’ll have the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities with fantastic murals and multimedia presentations to guide you on your way.


Illinois Oilfield Museum
10570 N. 150th St
Oblong, Illinois 62449
(618) 592-4664

Illinois Oilfield Museum
Oblong, Illinois


The Shire farm oil gusher near Stoy started the oil "boom" of 1906, oil and gas were known to exist in this territory as early as 1866. A "boom" started near Westfield with a building being erected there and known as "Oil City House", and a large tract of land leased. With a drilling outfit from Pennsylvania, the first well was put down several feet when the tools were lost in the well, which was eventually abandoned.

Other wells were started but hard-luck mishaps closed down drilling. In 1904, a good well was drilled about 100 yards from the firstwell. On February 1, 1906, D.T. Finley of Pittsburg brought in a gas well on the Shire farm that tested a pressure of 300,000 feet daily. Within a week, with deeper drilling, such a gusher was struck that work had to be stopped temporarily. News of the gusher spread fast and oil leasers and operators began flocking in to the area paying fifty cents to a dollar an acre. A week later land was going at $30 per acre with a percentage of the oil rights. The last of February, Mr. Shire refused $10,000 for his forty acres. Miss Metta Mann, who owned a 140 acre tract near the Shire well, received a bonus of $5,000 and a sixth royalty. W.T. Leckey refused $135 an acre for his 240 acre farm a mile from the Shire well. Savilla Shipman, Joseph Crowley, S.T. Lindsay and E.E. Lindsay bought 60 acres near Hardinville in May 1906 for $60 an acre, selling it a month later for $11,200 cash and one-sixth oil rights.


Wood River Refinery History Museum
Highway 111 (next to refinery)
Wood River, Illinois
(618) 255-3718

Wood River Refinery History Museum
Wood River, Illinois


The Wood River Refinery History Museum is located in front of the Conoco-Phillips Refinery on Highway 111 in Wood River, IL. There are four buildings in our complex, so to see most of our collection, plan on spending some time. Just to see the main Museum contents won't take as long, but you miss the vehicles and other significant items.


Kansas Oil Museums

Kansas Oil Museums
383 East Central Ave
El Dorado, Kansas
(316) 321-9333

The Kansas Oil Museum
El Dorado, Kansas


The Kansas Oil Museum is the leading museum dedicated to the discovery and development of the oil industry in Kansas. Enjoy indoor exhibits on farming, ranching and oil; a hand-on children's area, Texaco Theater and Kansas Oil and Gas Legacy Gallery.


Oil Patch Museum
I-70 & U.S. 281
Russell, Kansas
(785) 483-3637

Oil Patch Museum - Kansas
Russell, Kansas


Oil Patch Russell is a place to see, feel and learn about oil, the "Black Gold" that fuels man's imagination, as well as his machines. The story of the people and events that make up the history of oil in this area will come alive at Oil Patch Russell.

Whether you are a youngster eager to explore a new subject or an experienced oil person looking to relive old memories, you will catch the spirit of oil at Oil Patch Russell.

Tour the museum building and learn the story of the Lucky Seven and the drilling of the Carrie Oswald #1, the first discovery well drilled in Russell County in 1923.

Walk through an actual oil storage tank and study the geology, drilling and production and transportation exhibits. Take the outdoor walking tour and view cable tool drilling rigs, rotary drilling rigs, pulling units, steam engines and pump jacks.

The spirit of Oil is alive at Oil Patch Russell.


Louisiana Oil Museums

International Petroleum Museum
111 First Street
Morgan City, Louisiana 70381
(985) 384-3744

International Petroleum Museum
Morgan City, Louisiana


A tribute to the pioneering men and women of an industry that developed a culture based on initiative, perseverance, creativity, and hard work. It is a living reminder of the positive contributions, the technological advancements and the world-wide influence of an industry that began in this sleepy, fishing village community.

Through the efforts of the rig museum, everyone will have the opportunity to experience the real oilfield. It will tell the story from the view point of the participants. The hardships and the heroism, the challenges and the conquests, the problems and the solutions will be told here. The International Petroleum Museum and Exposition will be an accurate depiction of the way it was in the offshore oil business.


Caddo-Pine Island
  Oil and Historical Museum
200 S Land Ave
Oil City, Lousiana 71061
(318) 995-6845

Caddo-Pine Island
Oil and Historical Museum
Oil City, Lousiana


The Museum is dedicated to the history and preservation of northwest Louisiana's natural resources and rich oil history, mystical Caddo Lake of Louisiana and Texas, and the regional people. Preserved antique oil-drilling machinery and a Kansas City Southern caboose reside near the renovated Kansas City Southern Depot building. See one of the few remaining regions with so much oil history undisturbed, where a country drive reveals steel derricks common in the pine forests. In 1911 lake drilling resulted in the first inland and over-water isolated platform drilling in the United States. The preserved original bank building and post office of Trees City, one of the first US oil company towns are preserved on the museum grounds.


New York Oil Museums

Pioneer Oil Museum of New York
471 Main Street
Bolivar, New York 14715
(585) 928-1796
(585) 928-2377

Pioneer Oil Museum of New York
Bolivar, New York


The Pioneer Oil Museum is located in what used to be the McEwen Brothers Oilfield Supply Store, in the heart of the old "Allegany Oil Field." The oil fields of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties are the northernmost extensions of the nation's oldest oil-producing region; Northwestern Pennsylvania. For over a century the "Penn Grade" fields of Appalachia have been the source of the world's finest lubricating oils.


Oklahoma Oil Museums

Panhandle Plains Historical Museum
2503 4th Avenue
Canyon, Texas 79015
(806) 651-2244

Panhandle Plains Historical Museum
Don D. Harrington Petroleum Wing
Canyon, Texas


You will find the heart of Texas art, the free spirit of the Taos and Santa Fe schools, and the unsurpassed Southwest American Indian art. Unlock the hidden world of the ancient past through our paleontology, geology and archeology areas while learning about the rich history of the region and seeing some of the finest examples of American fashion in the Textiles Gallery.


Healdton Oil Museum
315 E. Main Street
Healdton, OK 73438
(580) 229-0900

Healdton Oil Museum
Healdton, Oklahoma


The opening of the Healdton oil field in 1913 set into motion one of Oklahoma's greatest oil booms. By 1937 this field, the largest of nine such fields located in Carter County, had produced over 2 million barrels of oil, making it one of the most productive pools in the state. The first successful well was completed in August 1913 at the depth of only 920 feet. Oilmen streamed into the area as word of the discovery spread. By June 1914, an estimated 120 oil companies were actively searching for oil around Healdton. The shallow depth of the oil bearing sands attracted smaller operators. The shallow depth reduced the amount of capital necessary to drill a well. This gave the Healdton area a reputation for being a "poor man's" field. The low cost of drilling in the Healdton field attracted a large number of Oklahoma investors. Among those establishing a financial base through Healdton oil were Lloyd Noble, Wirt Franklin, Robert A. Hefner and former Governor Charles N. Haskell. Also in the Healdton field, Erle Halliburton perfected his methods of oil well cementing, establishing his company as a leader in oilfield technology.


Marland Oil Museum
901 Monument Road
Ponca City, Oklahoma 74604
(800) 422-8340

Marland Oil Museum
Ponca City, Oklahoma


The Marland Oil Museum presents the saga of the amazing success of E. W. Marland's early oil company in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and its ultimate takeover. Many flamboyant personalities created the Oklahoma oil industry in the early 20th century, but none equaled E.W. Marland. Marland's vision and tireless energy formed a progressive company whose ideals and innovations continue to this day.

Murals and artifacts highlight the Marland oil boom and the prosperity that followed.


Texas Oil Museums

Texas Oil Museums
600 Main Street
Beaumont, Texas 77701
(409) 833-5100

Texas Energy Museum
Beaumont, Texas


Explore the fascinating world of petroleum science from the formation of oil to the geology surrounding it. Talking robotic characters relate the story of early oil well drilling.

Discover the beginnings of the Texas oil industry as historical characters share their adventures of the great Spindletop Gusher of 1901. Interactive exhibits depict the unique history oil exploration, production and refining.


Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum
Pier 19
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 766-7827

Offshore Energy Center
Ocean Star Museum
Galveston, Texas


Visitors board the retired jackup drilling rig and view a video about the offshore industry. The museum features three floors of models and interactive displays illustrating the story of offshore oil and gas from seismic technology to exploration and production. Scale models of production platforms, actual drill bits and remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) as well as videos and exhibits explain drilling, geology, seismic, well servicing and production.

Following a leisurely tour inside the museum, visitors can take the skywalk out onto the drill floor of the rig, or visit the exhibits on the pipe deck from the first floor of the museum.


East Texas Oil Museum
Hwy 259 at Ross St
Kilgore, Texas 75662
(903) 983-8295

East Texas Oil Museum
Kilgore, Texas


The easy-going rural life of East Texas changed drastically with the discovery of oil in 1930 and 1931 – years of hardship, scorn, luck and wealth which brought people, ideas, institutions and national attention to East Texas.

In 1929, a 70-year-old wildcatter, Columbus Marion “Dad” Joiner, unsuccessfully drilled two dry holes south of Kilgore. Then in May, Joiner spudded a third hole on the Daisy Bradford farm in Rusk County. It was not until Oct. 3, 1930 that a production test was done, resulting in a gusher – the discovery well, Daisy Bradford No. 3.

Two months later, oil fever had begun to mount with a production test by Bateman Oil Company on the Crim family farm, south of Kilgore. On Sunday morning, Dec. 27, while Mrs. Crim was attending church, the Lou Della Crim well blew in, flowing at 22,000 barrels a day.


Central Texas Oil Patch Museum
421 East Davis Street
Luling, Texas 78648
(830) 875-1922

Central Texas Oil Patch Museum
Luling, Texas


In 1922, Edgar B. Davis brought in the Rios #1, which proved to be a part of one of the most significant fields ever discovered in the Southwest. Almost overnight, Luling was transformed from a railroad town of 500 - to an oil town of 5,000. The Central Texas Oil Patch Museum was founded in 1990 as a non-profit, educational foundation. It is dedicated to the collection, restoration, and preservation of historic oil producing methods, accessories, and the people of the industry. Established to share the history with the public, the museum illustrates the life and times of the Central Texas "Oil Boom in the Oil Patch".


Permian Basin Petroleum Museum
1500 Interstate 20 West
Midland, TX 79701
(432) 683-4403

Permian Basin Petroleum Museum
Midland, Texas


There was a great variety of equipment in the oil fields (the “oil patch”) in the 1920s and 1930s . Steam, gas, and electric powered drilling rigs, contributed to the excitement of the industry growing to meet mushrooming demand. The Museum’s 40-acre outdoor exhibit area of drilling rigs and related equipment is the largest collection of its type in the world.

Exhibits Include:
  • Eight full-size cable-tool rigs
  • Santa Rita No.2 - originally a drilling rig but converted for pumping
  • 148 ft mast rotary drilling rig
  • 119 ft 1930s steel production derrick
  • Oil field tools such as drill bits, tools, equipment, hard hats and more
  • Modern drilling rig


Pennsylvania Oil Museums

The Pumping Jack Museum
Crawford Center Business Office
603 Hill St.
Emlenton, PA 16373
(724) 867-0030

Pumping Jack Museum
Emlenton, Pennsylvania


The Pumping Jack Museum's mission is to collect, protect, and display the unique heritage of the town of Emlenton and the surrounding area. Our rich history is a convergence of early oil history and the heritage of the surrounding area. We want to honor all those who have gone before us that worked in the early western Pennsylvania oil fields, refineries, and on local farms.


Drake Well Museum
292 Museum Lane
Titusville, Pennsylvania 16354
(814) 827-2797

Drake Well Museum
Titusville, Pennsylvania


Come see where the industry that puts a drop of oil in your life every day was born.

A steam engine whistle calls you to the replica of Edwin Drake's 1859 engine house, where oil from the famous well flows into a "never filling" barrel. Follow squeaking rod lines to learn how pioneer oil workers used one engine to pump many wells. They invented a whole new industry.

Don't forget your camera.

Feed plastic apples to "Ed and Dan" in the Oil Transportation building as you wait for the Nitro truck to explode. Walk the path along Oil Creek to the Oil Pits where Native Americans collected oil even before Columbus came to the new world. You might see bald eagles fishing for trout in the creek.

Listen to stories of life in oil boomtown days told by videos, tour guides, working antique machinery, and historic buildings. Smell oil from wells around the world. Make plastic. Play old fashion games. Wear your sneakers. Bring your bike. And pack a picnic lunch.


West Virginia Oil Museums

Oil & Gas Museum
119 Third Street
Parkersburg, West Virginia 26101
(304) 485-5446

Oil & Gas Museum
Parkersburg, West Virginia


Both oil and natural gas were discovered in western Virginia by the first explorers in the mid-1700s. George Washington acquired 250 acres in what is now West Virginia because it contained an oil and gas spring. This was in 1771, making the father of our country the first petroleum industry speculator.

A thriving commercial oil industry was in process as early as 1819 with the first major wells drilled at Petroleum, West Virginia, outside Parkersburg, early in 1859; California, West Virginia in the summer of 1859; and Burning Springs, West Virginia a year later in 1860. Natural gas was moved in wooden pipes from wells to be used as a manufacturing heat source by the Kanawha salt manufacturers as early as 1831. These events truly mark the beginnings of the oil and gas industry in the United States.



Foreign Oil Museums

| Canada | England | France | Germany | Hungary | Indonesia | Norway | Poland |



Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre
50339 Highway 60
Devon, Alberta T9G 2B9
(866) 987-4323

Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre
Devon, Alberta, Canada


On February 13, 1947, news of a huge oil strike at Leduc #1 was transmitted around Alberta, Canada and the world. On that cold February day, local residents, government and Imperial Oil officials gathered to watch as Vern “The Dry Hole” Hunter and his crew brought Leduc #1 into production. They didn’t know it yet, but that well was the start of an oil boom that provided both growth and prosperity to Alberta and all of Canada.

Operated by the Leduc/Devon Oilfield Historical Society, the Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre at the Leduc #1 Historical Site salutes the grit, determination and success of the Alberta oil patch and indoor and outdoor exhibits reflect on its history, technology and progress. We invite you to come to where it happened and stand on the floor of a 1940’s drilling rig to touch a part of Alberta’s rich petroleum heritage.


Oil Museum of Canada
2423 Kelly Road
Oil Springs, Ontario N0N 1P0
(519) 834-2840

Oil Museum of Canada
Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada


The Oil Museum of Canada, in the Village of Oil Springs, preserves the site of the first commercial oil well in North America. This oil heritage district also developed the world's first gusher and the world’s first oil exchange. While visiting the museum guests can explore a replica of the first oil well dug by James Miller Williams in 1858, or they can view original oil wells adjacent to the museum which continue to produce oil to this day, on one of the oldest oilfields in the world. Visitors will experience the eventful life and times of Canada’s oil pioneers and the birth of the oil industry in North America.

The museum and outdoor exhibit buildings contain a wealth of petroleum industry artifacts, working exhibits, kerosene lamps, fascinating stories, intriguing photographs and more! There are many odd and unique mementos of the ‘foreign drillers’ – snake skins, butterflies, brass urns, bead work – all brought home by pioneer oilmen who travelled the world in search of oil. Visitors can also see tools, dishes, photos, bird eggs, Peruvian water jugs, rocks, clocks and more. This unique history and the many fascinating stories are of interest to everyone!


The Petrolia Discovery
Tank St.
Petrolia, Ontario N0N 1R0
(519) 882-0897

The Petrolia Discovery
Petrolia, Ontario, Canada


In an age when few people traveled beyond the borders of their own home town, the pioneer oil men of Lambton County went out from the wilderness of Southwestern Ontario to discover most of the major oilfields of the world. These Hard Oilers brought home Alberta tar sands to pave the main street of Petrolia.

See the little known story of these amazing men at the PETROLIA DISCOVERY, a one-of-a-kind museum combining history and artifacts from the world's first Oil Industry within the framework of an original and still operational oilfield, established in the 1870s



Leicester Gas Museum
Leicester, England


The Gas Museum was established in 1977 to preserve the knowledge and skills of the industry during a period of rapid technological and economic change arising from the change to manufacturing gas from oil, the enormous program to convert the nation's gas appliances from town gas to natural gas, and continuing improvements in gas storage and distribution.

The National Museum of Science and Industry has described the collection as "the largest, most representative and most significant holding of material related to the gas industry, its application and effects upon society, probably anywhere in the world."


Natural History Museum
London, England


Exploration for oil and gas and the efficient exploitation of discoveries rely on the successful integration of technology and expertise. Robust biostratigraphic frameworks are essential for the subsurface application of drilling technologies.

The research scientists in the Natural History Museum's Earth Science departments have a long history of providing up-to-date palaeontological and mineralogical information to oil companies, consultants, service providers and national geological surveys.



French Oil Museum
Pechelbronn, France


Inaugurated May 9, 1967, the museum operated by the Association of Friends of the Museum of Oil, is designed to keep the memory of what was for centuries the main activity throughout northern Alsace. Mainly consists of documents, photographs, models, objects and oil equipment, the museum traces 500 years of history in treating Pechelbronn: the origin of petroleum, geology of the Rhine basin, mining oil sands, oil by drilling and pumping and refining oil.

The presentation of a 20-minute video accompanies the discovery of the two showrooms. Guided tours on request (in French, German, English) last about 90 minutes.



Oil Museum in Wietze, Germany
Wietze, Germany


On the southern edge of the Lüneburg Heath is one of the most interesting oil fields in Germany. The farmers drew Wietzer proven in the 16th Century, the oil from so-called Theerkuhlen and sold it as lubricants and medicines. 1858/59 brought the geologist Konrad Hunaeus one the world's first low-discovered oil drilling. Thus began the industrial oil production in Wietze that gave rise to more than 2,000 wells in 1918 and a petroleum mining. The whole village was aligned with the oil industry, with a station, a port, a refinery, numerous operational and administrative buildings, the manager of residential, worker settlements, oil tanks ... 1963 oil production was set in Wietze, but to this day are still everywhere traces of the oil industry to explore. The German Oil Museum was established in 1970 to a section of the former oil field. This makes it the oldest museum in the world oil.



Hungarian Petroleum Museum
Zalaegerszeg, Magyarorszag, Hungary


The Museum is located at Zalaegerszeg, and collects, arranges and presents artifacts from the Hungarian petroleum industry.

The Hungarian Petroleum Museum is national and specialized. It has been collecting, arranging and presenting, both through exhibitions and publications, Hungarian petroleum industry artifacts, since its foundation in 1969.

In the central Museum facility at Zalaegerszeg, there is a special exhibition paying homage to the celebrated geologist, Dr. Simon Papp. The Zsigmondy Memorial Room also deserves a visit for those interested in the life and times of the great Hungarian petroleum industry and underground production facilities.



Indonesian Oil and Gas Museum
East Jakarta, Indonesia


The idea to build this museum came up in the 14th IPA convention in October 1985, as a monument to commemorate the Centennary of the Oil and Gas Industry in Indonesia. Physical construction started in July 1987, and the museum was innaugurated by President Suharto on April 20, 1989.

    The mission of the museum is to
  • Preserve and to bequeath the fighting spirit of the pioneers in the oil and gas industry.
  • Conduct guidance and education on the development of the oil and gas industry, science and technology.
  • Distribute information and the positive image of the role of the oil and gas industry.
  • Preserve and develop the inheritance of the nation's culture.



Norwegian Petroleum Museum
Stavanger, Norway


The Norwegian Petroleum Museum is a museum for everyone. Its exhibits explain how oil and gas are created, discovered and produced, and what they are used for. The museum also provides information about technological advances and the way petroleum influences Norwegian society. Original objects, models, films and interactive exhibits illustrate everything from everyday life offshore to technology and dramatic incidents.



Oil Museum in Bobrka, Poland
Bobrka, Poland


Welcome to the only Polish museum located in active crude oil country. You can see crude oil & drilling in its natural state & view the nineteenth century Kopanki (oil wells) while strolling among the beautiful alleys of the forest.

The website is available in English, with excellent photo gallery.


The Petroleum Trail


The museum has exhibits and also offers an oilfield-themed trip through Poland and Ukraine that connects the places associated with the birth and history of the European oil industry. The first half of the tour - Jaslo - Krosno - Sanok - Lesko - Ustrzyki Bottom - Sambor-Borislav-Drohobycz - Lviv - has loop trails for hiking and cycling. The second half of the tour visits the XIXth century Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia, which was in "oil fever".

The tour traces the fortunes of entrepreneurs, and teaches about the first mining equipment for processing oil from the rock. The tour also traces places associated with Ignacy - the inventor of the kerosene lamp - who lit up the Lviv hospital in 1853, and founded the world's first oil mine in 1854 near Krosno Bóbrka, as well as oil distilleries and refineries in Ulaszowice, Chorkówka and Polanka. Oil wells also appeared in nearby Sanok, Lesko and Transboundary.

The Museum website is not translated into English, but the Google Translator works fine.