Oil has been known to humans since ancient times. Oil deposits found on the surface were used for centuries for waterproofing and fuel purposes. But it was not until the coming of the Industrial Revolution that civilization began to form a dependence on petroleum products. The widespread use of oil for fuel, lubrication, and other purposes led to a search for larger supplies. In the mid 1800's, the first oil wells were drilled, marking the beginning of a tremendously important and profitable industry. Today, with the world's oil supplies dwindling and the demand for oil constantly rising, oil is a more valuable resource than ever.
- Main article: Commodity (Civ2)
As a commodity, oil is available to cities near deserts, tundra, glaciers, or swamps and is especially abundant on continent number 9. The supply of oil is greatly increased by the discovery of combustion. The likelihood of exporting oil also doubles above city size 37.
The value of an oil caravan or freight is multiplied by 3½ times if it is in demand. Oil demand is enabled by the discovery of industrialization and tripled by the discovery of the automobile. (Gifting these advances to other civilizations can thus boost their oil demand if you are looking for a market.) Demand also increases with the number of known technologies and with city size. Demand is increased by factories and superhighways and reduced by mass transit and recycling centers.
The high value and late appearance of oil means its caravan bonus is often maxed out and limited by the ⅔ science cap.
- Main article: Resource (Civ2)
Glaciers can be enhanced by Oil deposits, representing increased mineral wealth, and therefore yielding extra shields when worked... Oil, representing the presence of mineral wealth, especially petroleum, can also be found in Desert squares. As they do in Glaciers, Oil squares in Desert terrain yield extra shields when worked. —Manual
Oil is a whale-class resource that appears in deserts and amid glaciers. These are handled differently by
Rules.txt ("Desert Oil" and "Glacier Oil") but in both cases the resource changes the tile's production value to 4 shields. The oil resource does not make the oil commodity more likely to appear in a nearby city, except insofar as it counts as four of its underlying tile instead of only one.
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