Drilling is a city specialization in SimCity (2013). Drilling relies on the presence of underground oil deposits in a city plot. This can be seen at region level, and at city level - using the relative overlay. Not all city plots contain oil, and those that do have differing quantities, so Drilling may not be suitable for all cities. The basic resource for drilling is crude oil, while the advanced resources are plastic and fuel.


Drilling is best paired with Trade by exporting the resources to turn a profit. It should be noted that the Petroleum HQ "grows" going from several stories to a skyscraper in 2 upgrades. Each upgrade allows the player add a new module to the HQ building. The commerce division will allow you to control the regional prices of petroleum products and grant access to the trade port and crude oil, plastic, and fuel storage lots. The refining division will grant access to the oil refinery, which will grant the option to refine crude oil into plastic and fuel. To upgrade the HQ, the player must meet a specified daily profit from petroleum profits. The first upgrade requires about §160,000 in profits, and the second about §800,000. The choice of what division to unlock first rests with the player.

Pros & Cons

Drilling has several downsides. Oil wells require a heavy investment initially at §37,500 per oil well, with further pump jacks at §10,000 each (up to a maximum of 10, the default oil well comes with 2). Drilling, like Mining, also increases the risk of HazMat fires in the city, which cannot be extinguished without a HazMat garage at the advanced fire station (Unlocking the garage also requires a regional city with a university with an engineering wing). Oil is also a finite resource, so it is highly likely that the city's supply will run dry over time. Drilling will also cause air and ground pollution, and residential and commercial zones will not enjoy being located next to an oil well. Expect more injuries and sickness from oil wells too.

On the plus side, Drilling can be extremely profitable and lucrative, and will grant a city crude oil as well as plastic and fuel if the oil refinery is installed. Plastic is one of the main materials for the Electronics specialization and both plastic and fuel and can be used towards great works. Plastic and fuel sell for significantly higher prices than crude oil and can turn a major profit quickly with adequate trade systems in place. Keep in mind though that plastic can also be obtained through recycling.


  • Oil Well: Produces 2,400 barrels (of Crude Oil) per day. Requires 7 industrial buildings and the presence of oil on your city plot.
  • Petroleum HQ: Requires an Oil Well in the city and 9,600 barrels of oil extracted per day. Can unlock Oil Refinery and Trade Port (part of the trade specialization)
  • Oil Refinery: Produces 2,400 barrels/day. Requires Refinery Division of Petroleum HQ. (Refines Crude Oil into Plastics and, with relative upgrade, Fuel)

See also

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