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September 17, 2021

160 years since the first refinery in the world was established, celebrated at Ploiesti

Known as the city of the “black gold”, Ploiesti celebrated, at the end of the last week, 160 years since the first refinery in the world was established. On this occasion, a monument dedicated to the Mehedinteanu brothers – the founders of the refinery, was unveiled in front of the Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti; this event was the beginning of other events included in the project called “Prahova 2017 – The World Capital of Oil”.

In this festive ambiance, in front of the Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti – the only one in Romania and one of the few universities in Europe and around the world with this profile – a monument dedicated to those who founded in Ploiesti the first oil refinery in the world – brothers Teodor and Marin Mehedinteanu, was unveiled. The monument is made of black granite; on the front side there is an aluminum plate on which there is an effigy with the face of the two brothers and the image of two distillation columns, the ensemble being visible both on the sidewalk and on the way, from the transportation means. Along with representatives of the county and local administration, the event, which was followed by a symposium dedicated to the personality of the two oilmen from Prahova, Teodor and Marin Mehedinteanu, was attended by Iulian Iancu – Cheirman of the Industry and Services Committee of the Deputies’ Chamber, University Professor Ecaterina Andronescu PhD, Ion Ocneanu – the first Rafirom Manager, the former Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana, the Presidential Counselor for Culture, Cults and Centenarian – Sergiu Nistor, representatives of the companies activating in the field of oil exploitation and processing.

At the event, which was held at the Petroleum-Gas University, the personalities of the Mehedinteanu brothers and their involvement in founding the first oil refinery in the world at Ploiesti, in 1857, were mentioned. In this context, those who were present at the event agreed that Ploiesti – the city of the “black gold” – must be better promoted both internally and externally, celebrating 160 years since the first refinery in the world was founded being considered an important step in defining and consolidating this local brand. Also, during the talks, the guests who were present in Ploiesti spoke about Mehedinteanu brothers’ contribution in founding and developing the oil industry in Romania and across the world, which is significant. We mention that brothers Marin and Teodor Mehedinteanu started to build the refinery in Ploiesti in 1856 and they ended it one year later, in 1857. The refinery had an area of 4 hectares and it was endowed with cylindrical boilers, each of them having 10,000 liters; its refining capacity was 7.5 tons per day, meaning ten times more than Romania could produce at that time. This marked, actually, the beginning of the oil processing industry, given that 160 years ago, Mehedinteanu brothers established the first refinery in the world.

We mention that the event in Ploiesti was the first one of several events included in the project “Prahova 2017 – The World Capital of Oil”, which will be held until October, both in Prahova and in Bucharest or Constanta. Specifically, next month, namely in May, the events will be held in Bucharest, given that it was the first city in the world lit with lamp oil. The event will be organized in cooperation with the Bucharest Municipality, and it will be held close to the National Bank of Romania – a building with major significance in the modern history of Romania, located in the old downtown of Bucharest. In June, the events will be held in Constanta, where unveiling an anniversary plate dedicated to the Academician Anghel Saligny is scheduled; he was the promoter of the oil transport activity in Romania. The event will be held at Oil Terminal Constanta; on this occasion, the history of the crude oil transport in Romania through pipelines will be also mentioned. In July, the events will be held in Prahova, Telega, consisting in the ceremony of unveiling an anniversary plate also dedicated to the Academician Anghel Saligny, as the designer of the first pipeline for oil transport on the route Bustenari-Baicoi- Ploiesti- Cernavoda-Constanta.

We mention that Telega hosts one of the biggest and oldest oil exploitations in the world. In August, the events will be held in Campina, given that the first school of drilling and refinery masters in the world was established here. In September, Ploiesti will host an exhibition dedicated to the Oil Museum, the only one with this profile in Romania and in Europe, while in October, 50 years since the Petroleum-Gas University was founded, will be celebrated. The events will be organized by the University of Ploiesti, and its partners are the Ministry of Culture and national Identity, Ploiesti Municipality, “Mihai Viteazul” Cultural and Historical Society of Ploiesti, “Constantin Stere” Foundation and Prahova County Council.


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