Sim City Petroleum Guide

Getting the Petroleum HQ

You need to extract 9,600 barrels of Crude Oil in a day to unlock the ability to build a Petroleum HQ which you access through:

  • City Specialization > Drilling
Upgrade to the Petroleum HQ to Level 2

Once you have the Petroleum HQ you need to make §160,000 in a day from Petrol exports before you can upgrade it.
The Petroleum HQ will automatically trade your Petrol (Crude Oil), there is no separate facility needed to do that.

First thing you do is turn off your Petroleum HQ. It costs §450 per hour (§10,800 a day) and it doesn’t need to be on until you are ready to sell the oil you now need to stockpile. It requires 400 staff, that could factor in your decision whether to turn it off or not.

That’s easier said than done. To get it done quickly you will need a lot of Oil Wells with additional Pump Jacks and Garages attached to the well.

Get multiple Trade Depots and attach Crude Oil Storage Lots. Stack it with Garages to get the oil shipped out quickly when the time comes to export.

You can turn off the export of all oil from your Trade Depots (set each to “use locally“) and wait for the game clock to turn to 12:01AM.

You need to remember you have to make §160,000 in a single day so each new day the tally resets to zero and you’re back to square one.

But rather than chasing that tally each day, stockpile.

Stockpile the Oil

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Each Trade Depot can have four Crude Oil Storage Lots. Four Oil Lots can hold a total of 8,000 barrels of oil. Each barrel currently sells for §4,500 so that is a total of §36k for each Trade Depot meaning you will need about 4 and a half Trade Depots worth of Oil to sell in a single day. It’s about 35,ooo barrels but it all depends on what the price is at the time. The prices in this post are for middle of May 2013.

As each Trade Depot fills up with its 8,000 barrels turn it off as they each cost §2,880 per day and it’s money you don’t need to spend and uses water and power.

You could build one Trade Depot and fill it with Freight Lots to handle the freight from your Industry.

Not using Oil for your Own Power

If you have been using some of your oil to fuel an Oil Power Plant you might consider using a wind farm because you can burn through a lot of oil to power your own city making it slower to reach that magic 35,o00 barrels.

If you decide to go that route uncheck the box on the Plant ‘Accept Local Crude Oil Deliveries‘ so the power plant won’t take any more oil but it will use what it has stocked up. Place your wind farm down and you will probably need to stack that up with plenty of Turbines.

If you have access to coal you can go for a coal power plant or even solar if you have the space.

You can turn the Oil Power Plant off when it has exhausted the supply of oil it had. At that point monitor your power to make sure your city has an ample supply of power.

Time to Sell Up

With ALL your crude oil now stocking up you should soon reach that §160k Simoleons profit and the ability to upgrade your Petroleum HQ with a Refining Division or Commerce Division.

Once you have your stockpile of 35,000 barrels of oil and it hits midnight turn the Petroleum HQ and all the Trade Depots back on and set them all to Export and sit back and watch the progress bar on your HQ move up and the money roll in.

Upgrade to the Petroleum HQ to Level 3

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Adding a Refining Division to the Petroleum HQs

Now you’ve upgraded you can build the Refining Division for §400k. You may need to sell some of your Crude Oil first in order to pay the §400k.

The Refining Division doesn’t need to be attached directly to the Petroleum HQ but can be nearby. It has a neutral effect on land value so it can be near residential.

Oil Refinery or Commerce Division

Now you have a Refining Division you can add one of two modules to it.

  • Oil Refinery – Produce Plastic and Fuel to sell
  • Commerce Division – Enables you to build a Trade Port which can replace your Trade Depots as they hold a lot more barrels. 10k barrels per lot rather than 2k barrels per lot you get in a Depot.
The second Petroleum HQ upgrade requires §800k Petroleum profit in a day but that can include sales from Crude Oil, Fuel or Plastics.

  • Crude Oil – §4,500
  • Plastic – §12,003
  • Fuel – §21,000
Fuel is the most profitable but there is no guarantee that §800k worth of fuel will shift in one day. There may simply not be enough buyers so it is safer to stock up on a combination of all three types of product.

Refining Oil into Plastics and Higher Grade Fuel

An Oil Refinery (§73k) can be placed anywhere but they have a detrimental effect on land value. They are also greedy requiring lots of water and power to operate.

The Oil Refinery comes with a Plastic Polymerizer attached to it already which will produce plastic. You’ll probably have lots of oil that will be delivered to the Oil Refinery pretty soon after you plop it so you’ll start to produce plastic very quickly. You can bulldoze the Polymerizer off the Refinery if you’re not interested in plastics.

You can also attach a Fuel Distillation Unit to the Oil Refinery which produces more fuel from your Crude Oil than a refinery on its own.

You will need plastic and fuel Lots on your Trade Depot/Port .

At present I am getting:

  • Crude Oil – §4,500
  • Plastic – §12,003
  • Fuel – §21,000
How I did it

I was on Cedargates zone with no other zones taken in the region. As you’ll have a lot of smelly chimneys in your industry blocks keep them to the north. The airflow is east to west and then it changes east to south west and the air pollution can get pretty thick and your citizens will be falling sick in the hundreds causing you all sorts of headaches when you just want to concentrate on the petroleum industry.

  1. I took out a couple of §100k bonds to get two refineries down quickly with 1 plastic module and added 3 fuel modules.
  2. I left one Oil Lot on each Trade Depot but destroyed the other three Lots and replaced them with two Fuel and 1 Plastic Lot and set all to ‘export‘ to get some money in the bank.
  3. Once I was financially secure I left only one Depot with 2 Plastic and 2 Fuel lots exporting but all the rest I set to ‘use locally’ so I could start stockpiling my §800k worth of petrol stock.
I ended up with:

  • Fuel Lots = 32
  • Plastic Lots = 9
As it hit midnight I turned on my Petroleum HQ and all my Lots, set them to Export and watched it all pour out the city and the money roll in.

Before I did that I placed my Trade HQ too as the first upgrade for that requires §200k of trade in a day so I got my first upgrade for that at the same time enabling me to put different types of Lots onto my new, large Trade Ports.

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Now your Petroleum HQ is fully upgraded which means you can add the second module to it, the Commerce Division (§400k) which gives access to build Trade Port (§58k). The lots you can add onto the Trade Port have considerably more capacity than the Trade Depots and yet only a slightly larger footprint.

Trade DepotTrade Port
CostPer hourCapacityCostPer hourCapacity
Fuel Lot2k152k barrels2015010k barrels
Plastic2k152k barrels20k15010k crates
Crude Oil2k152k barrels20k15010k barrels
Truck3k505 tons per trip3k505 tons per trip

  • If your Petroleum HQ gets destroyed by a disaster or you need to demolish it to relocate, whichever upgrade you are currently working towards will be saved. It will not set back to the first upgrade.
  • With that in mind plop your Garbage Dump away from anything essential like Trade Depots or HQ/Refining Division as the giant lizard will always head for the dump taking down anything in its path. I lost a Petroleum HQ and Refining Division to him. Twice.
  • Your Petroleum HQ doesn’t need to be on all the time (costing rent and using power/water). For example, you need one to place Plastic Storage Lots on to your Trade Depot but once you have those plopped you can turn the HQ off again.
  • Turn off Trade Depots when they are full. They each cost §10,800 a day to run and use services.
  • If you place an Oil Power Plant down it comes with 2,000 barrels of Crude Oil.
Edit/Update (28 March 2013)

By the time I finished writing this the market had fluctuated and the export price had changed to:

  • Crude Oil – §9,000 (up from §4,500)
  • Plastic – §21,000 (up from §12,003)
  • Fuel – §36,750 (up from §21,000)