Deutsches Erdölmuseum Wietze


Useful Information

Location: Schwarzer Weg 7-9, 29323 Wietze.
A7 (E45) exit Buchholz, B214 towards Celle, after 10km in Wietze turn left.
(52.660172, 9.833418)
Open: MAR to JUN Tue-Sun, Fri 10-17.
JUL to AUG daily 10-18.
SEP to NOV Tue-Sun, Fri 10-17.
Admission until 1h before closing.
[2021]
Fee: Adults EUR 6, Pupils EUR 3, Children (0-5) free, Students EUR 3, Trainees EUR 3, Unemployed EUR 3, Disabled EUR 3, Families EUR 10.
Groups (6+): Adults EUR 5, Pupils EUR 2,50, Students EUR 2,50.
[2021]
Classification: MinesCrude Oil
Light: electric
Dimension:
Guided tours: self guided.
D=90min. Deutsch - German English
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:
Address: Deutsches Erdölmuseum Wietze, Schwarzer Weg 7-9, 29323 Wietze, Tel: +49-05146-92340.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1960s Petroleum museum is started on the premises of Deutsche Erdöl AG.
29-SEP-1970 Official foundation date when the museum is officially handed over to the community by Texaco.
1982 first non-Texaco exhibits for the open-air exhibition added.
1988 Support association founded.
1991 Support association takes over the management of the museum from the municipality.
1992 New museum building opened.
1997 Entrance building and exhibition hall opened.
2002 Administration wing built.
2004 Mine railway line inaugurated.

Geology

No crude oil was drilled in Wietze, it was bound in highly oily sand which was mined. The mining of oil sand was at all times an exotic type of petroleum extraction. Above all, it is only profitable in special cases. In addition, many smaller oil deposits in the North German lowlands were managed from Wietze. The crude oil is found in traps tied to salt domes. From the 1930s onwards, these deposits were prospected with the help of gravimetry. They are still used for the extraction of crude oil today.

Description

The Deutsches Erdölmuseum Wietze (German Petroleum Museum Wietze) is located in a place steeped in history. It was here in Wietze that German oil production began. Petroleum leaked naturally and led to contamination of the river and foul-smelling pollution of the meadows. The wells were dug up as early as the 19th century and oil was extracted on a small scale. Each farmer dug up the oil on his own land. This petroleum was used for many purposes, but was very popular in Hamburg as a road surface. For this purpose, the petroleum was simply spread on the ground and the highly volatile components evaporated naturally. However, this exacerbated one of the greatest fire disasters in Hamburg's history. The Hamburg fire of May 1842 originated from unknown causes, but became a catastrophe due to many highly flammable materials in the warehouses and the lack of extinguishing water. A detail that often goes unmentioned is the new type of road surface made of petroleum. Since they still contain many highly volatile and medium volatile components, they burned much faster than modern tar pavements. This meant that the fire was able to spread even over wider roads.

However, with increasing industrialisation, the need for lubricants, solvents and fuels became greater. Advances in the processing of crude oil opened up more and more uses. Accordingly, the demand, the price and also the crude oil production in Wietze increased. There were many small oil producers who sold the crude oil to middlemen. In 1899, the Deutsche Tiefbohr-Actiengesellschaft was founded, which later became known as DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG. Among many other activities, they also took over all the small oil producers in Wietze. The company grounds in Wietze belonged to DEA, and in 1970 DEA became Deutsche Texaco AG.

Interesting decommissioned equipment had already been collected by employees in Wietze since the 1960s. When Texaco gave up the site in 1970 and stopped mining, it was handed over with all the equipment to the municipality of Wietze, which officially ran it as a petroleum museum. However, the museum was run by volunteers, many of them former miners, who continued to expand the collection. A non-profit support association took over the museum from the municipality in 1991 and still runs it today. Originally, the museum consisted only of the outdoor area with mining equipment, some of which was quite large. The highlight was and still is a metal drilling rig. An exhibition hall was built, which contains an exhibition on petroleum geology, petroleum extraction and local history. And finally, a mining railway was rebuilt, which runs on special occasions.