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County seat
Ploiești skyline
Ploiești skyline
Coat of arms of Ploiești
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Capitala Aurului Negru
(English: Capital of Black Gold)
Ploiești is located in Romania
Location of Ploiești within Romania
Coordinates: 44°56′N 26°2′E / 44.933°N 26.033°E / 44.933; 26.033Coordinates: 44°56′N 26°2′E / 44.933°N 26.033°E / 44.933; 26.033
Country  Romania
County Stema Prahova.svg Prahova
Status County seat
 • Mayor Iulian Bădescu (Social Democratic Party)
 • County seat 58.28 km2 (22.50 sq mi)
Population (2011 census)[1]
 • County seat 209,945
 • Density 3,394/km2 (8,790/sq mi)
 • Metro 266,4571
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Car plate PH
1 Ploiești metropolitan area is a proposed project.

Ploiești (Romanian pronunciation: [ploˈjeʃtʲ]; older spelling: Ploești) is the county seat of Prahova County and lies in the historical region of Wallachia in Romania. The city is located 56 km (35 mi) north of Bucharest.

According to the 2011 Romanian census, there were 201,226 people living within the city of Ploiești, making it the 9th most populous city in Romania.


WWII refineries
(monthly metric tonnes)

  1. Astra Romania (146,000)
  2. Colombia Aquila (45,000)
  3. Concordia Vega (110,000)
  4. Creditul Minier (45,000)
  5. Dacia Romana (15,000)
  6. Phoenix (65,000)
  7. Romana Americana (92,000)
  8. Standard Petrol Block[1] (36,000)
  9. Unirea Sperantza (33,000)
  10. Xenia (22,000)

Though likely settled much earlier, Ploiesti was first mentioned in documents in the 16th century, during the reign of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave), Prince of Wallachia. It flourished as a center for trade and handicraft manufacturing in the 17th and 18th centuries. The road connecting Ploiești to Brașov opened in 1864, and the railway arrived in 1882. Many schools and hospitals date from this time.

In the mid-19th century the Ploiești region was one of the world's leading oil extraction and refinery sites. The city is also remembered as the site of the self-styled Republic of Ploiești, a short-lived 1870 revolt against the Romanian monarchy.

Ploiești's oil production made it a target during the invasion of Romania by the Central Powers in 1916, but a British Army operation under John Norton-Griffiths destroyed production and sabotaged much of the infrastructure of the industry.[3]

World War II[edit]

Columbia Aquila refinery burning after the raid of B-24 Liberator bombers

Although badly damaged after the November 1940 earthquake, the city was a significant1 source of oil for Nazi Germany. The Allies made Ploiești a target of the Oil Campaign of World War II and attacked it repeatedly,[4] such as during the HALPRO raid, and Operation Tidal Wave. Ploieşti was captured by Soviet troops in August 1944.

Following the war, the new Communist regime nationalised the oil industry, which had largely been privately owned, and made massive investments in the oil and petroleum industry in a bid to modernise the country and repair the war damage.

The world's first oil refinery opens at Ploiești, Romania[edit]

The world's first large refinery[5] opened at Ploiești in 1856-1857, with US investment. After being taken over by Nazi Germany, the Ploiești refineries were bombed in Operation Tidal Wave by the Allies during the Oil Campaign of World War II.


Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1810 2,024 —    
1859 26,468 +1207.7%
1899 45,107 +70.4%
1912 56,460 +25.2%
1930 79,149 +40.2%
1948 95,632 +20.8%
1956 114,544 +19.8%
1966 146,922 +28.3%
1977 199,699 +35.9%
1992 252,715 +26.5%
2002 232,527 −8.0%
2011 209,945 −9.7%
Source: Census data

The population of Ploiești went from 56,460, as indicated by the December 1912 census returns, up to 252,715 in January 1992.

Since the fall of Communism, however, the city's population continues to gently fall due both to emigration and to a declining birth rate. At the 2002 census, the population reduced to 232,527.[6]

As of 2011 census data, Ploiești has a population of 197,542, while the proposed Ploiești metropolitan area would have a population of 266,457.[1]

Census Ethnic composition
Year Population Romanians Hungarians Germans Serbs Jews Romani Russians Greeks Ukrainians
1930 79,149 69,139 1,591 1,307
2011 201,226 199,221 109 69 - - 1289 44 - 8


The A3 motorway links Ploiești to Bucharest, 60 km (37 mi) to the south.
Headquarters of Petrom, Romanian oil company and largest corporation in country

After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Ploiești experienced rapid economic growth due to major investments from foreign companies. The city is situated at just 60 km (37 mi) north of Bucharest, with promising infrastructure projects currently underway. It is a strong industrial center, focused especially on the oil production and refining industry. Although oil production in the region is declining steadily, there is still a thriving processing industry with four operating oil refineries, linked by pipelines to Bucharest, the Black Sea port of Constanţa and the Danube port of Giurgiu. Ploiești also has a long history as a textile manufacturing center.

The city has become a hub of foreign investment. Companies such as OMV-Petrom, Lukoil, Shell Gas, Timken, Yazaki, Coca Cola, Efes Pilsener, British American Tobacco, and Interbrew have operations there, and retailers like Carrefour, Metro, Selgros, Kaufland, Billa, Bricostore, Praktiker, Lidl, Obi, Auchan, Profi, Mega Image have found in Ploieşti a continuously growing market. There are two McDonald's restaurants in Ploieşti and three KFCs - the first opened in 2006 and the most recent in 2013 in AFI Palace Ploiești.

The German retailer Tengelmann built a depot in Ploieşti to support a €200 million regional expansion plan. With its Interex operation, the French independent retailer Intermarché intends to become a distribution leader in the Balkans. In Romania the first Interex store was opened in June 2002 in Ploieşti. The Interex depot and facilities where bought by Penny Market XXL in 2014.[7]

Unilever has a detergent plant in Ploiești. By transferring their food production to Ploiești, the company will concentrate all its activities in Romania at the same location. At the beginning of March 2006, Unilever announced they would invest money to build one production center in Romania, and the construction of the new food plant is part of this plan.[8]

In 1950, as a milestone in the development of the petroleum, hydrocarbon processing, and petrochemical industries, the Engineering and Design Institute for Oil Refineries and Petrochemical Plants, SC IPIP SA, a Romanian company with a large range of capabilities and experience, was established at Ploiești.

In Ploiești there are four local televisions: Ploiești TV, Valea Prahovei TV, Wyll TV and Prahova TV.


City bus in Ploiesti.

Ploiești is situated on the A3 motorway (partially completed as of Spring 2014),[9] the main route to Romania's northern and western provinces and the Western EU. Henri Coandă International Airport is 45 km (28 mi) distant, and the ski resorts of the Prahova Valley can be reached in an hour's drive. The scarcity of modern motorways and well-built roads around Ploiești, as in Romania in general, makes transport a challenge. Under the scrutiny of the EU, several motorway improvement projects are planned or in progress.

Ploiești is the second most important railway center in the country after Bucharest, linking Bucharest with Transylvania and Moldavia. The city's public transportation system is run by Transport Călători Express (TCE Ploiești) and includes an extensive network of buses, trolleybuses and trams/streetcars. Ploieşti's distinctive yellow bus fleet is one of the most modern in Southeastern Europe, providing connections to all areas within the city, for a daily average of 150,000 passengers. The municipal roads comprise over 800 streets with a total length of 324 km (201 mi). Around 5,300 vehicles transit Ploieşti each day, with East and West ring belts diverting much traffic. The municipal vehicle fleet comprised 216 buses, 32 trams and 25 trolleybuses carrying about 70 millions passengers annually. There are 33 bus lines, with a total length of 415.46 km (258.15 mi); two trolley-bus lines having a total length of 19.9 km (12.4 mi) and two tram lines having a total length of 23.8 km (14.8 mi).


Ploieşti Cultural Palace

Ploiești is home to the Ploiești Philharmonic Orchestra—one of the top-rated philharmonic orchestras in Romania, a prominent football club in Liga I, Petrolul, women handball club CSM Ploieşti from Liga Națională and basketball team CSU Asesoft.

There are many cultural and architectural monuments, including the Cultural Palace; the Clock Museum, featuring a collection of clocks and watches gathered by Nicolae Simache; the Oil Museum; the Art Museum of Ploiești, donated by the Quintus family; and the Hagi Prodan Museum, dating to 1785: the property of a merchant named Ivan Hagi Prodan, it contains elements of old Romanian architecture and for a short time after World War I it hosted the first museum in Ploiești, "Prahova's Museum". In August 2011, Ploiești hosted the Golden Carpathian European Film & Fair and Goran Bregovic concert.


Ploiești is home to the following universities and colleges:


The Mio-Pliocene Zone in the Ploiești region has been exploited for hydrocarbons and coal since the 19th Century.[12] The zone extends from the flysch on the north to the Moesian Platform on the south.[13] The zone is marked by alternating deposits of Clay, Marl, Shale and Sand, conglomerate, Salt and Limestone.[14] Structural traps and stratigraphic traps are formed from Salt Diapirism which gave rise to anticline folds and faulting.[14] There are four major alignments of the anticlines, all parallel to the Carpathian Range.[14] Pliocene sands are the main oil and gas producers, in particular the Meotian (60%) and Dacian (29%), followed by the Miocene Sarmatian (5%) but some oil exists in Miocene Helvetian and Oligocene sandstones.[15] Major producing structures include Moreni-Gura Ocnitei, Baicoi-Tintea and Boldesti.[14]


The Teleajen River and Dâmbu River run through the city.

Teleajen River in Prahova County


The climate is similar to that of the nation's capital, Bucharest. According to the Köppen climate classification, the city falls within the temperate humid continental climate(Dfa) of the hot summer type.

Climate data for Ploieşti
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1
Average low °C (°F) −6
Precipitation mm (inches) 40.6
Source: Weather Channel


The Ploiești Municipal Council, elected in the 2012 local elections, is made up of 27 councillors, with the following party composition:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns - sister cities[edit]

Ploieşti is twinned with:


For a list of notable people from Ploesti, see Category:People from Ploiești.


See also[edit]

Petrochemical industry in Romania

Notes and references[edit]

^1 Sources provide differing estimates regarding Romanian production:
  • 1942: The Axis Oil Position in Europe, November 1942 by the Hartley Committee estimated that "Romanian oil fields" contributed 33% of Axis supplies.[21]
  • 1944: "Ploiești, thirty-five miles (8.0 km) from Bucharest, supplied one-third of all the oil fuel Germany required for war purposes."[22]
  • 1999: The fragile, concentrated Bucharest facilities provided "60% of Germany's crude oil supply"[23]
  1. ^ a b "2011 Census press release" (in Romanian). INSSE Prahova. February 2, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ "U.S. Air Force photo" [sic] [diagram] in Gurney, Gene (Major, USAF) (1962). The War in the Air: a pictorial history of World War II Air Forces in combat. New York: Bonanza Books. p. 121. 
  3. ^ Burg, David F. (2010). Almanac of World War I. L. Edward Purcell. University Press of Kentucky. p. 336. ISBN 9780813137711. Retrieved 2012-10-29. "7 December 1916 [...] Falkenhayn's Ninth Army turns to the north in hopes of capturing the oil fields and refineries at Ploesti, but Falkenhayn is too late: John Norton-Griffiths has done his work. The oil fields at Ploesti, Targoviste, and elsewhere are aflame and their refining facilities in ruins - a severe loss to the German war effort, as it will be months before production can be restored." 
  4. ^ Video: American Bombers Smash Axis Oil Fields In Romania Etc. (1943). Universal Newsreel. 1943. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ "WORLD EVENTS: 1844-1856". Retrieved 2009-04-22. "world's first oil refinery" 
  6. ^ 2002 Census
  7. ^ "Penny Market XXL, pe locul fostului magazin Interex Ploieşti". Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  8. ^ Bucharest Business Week, Unilever builds factory in Ploieşti, March 10, 2006
  9. ^ 'A3 Motorway Bucharest-Bors', retvd 4 12 14;
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Paraschiv, P., and Olteau, G., Oil Fields of Ploiești District, Romania, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1970, p. 401.
  13. ^ Paraschiv, P., and Olteau, G., Oil Fields of Ploiești District, Romania, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1970, p. 399.
  14. ^ a b c d Paraschiv, P., and Olteau, G., Oil Fields of Ploiești District, Romania, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1970, p. 425.
  15. ^ Paraschiv, P., and Olteau, G., Oil Fields of Ploieşti District, Romania, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1970, p. 415.
  16. ^ Pawlewicz, M., Total Petroleum Systems of the Carpathian-Balkanian Basin Province of Romania and Bulgaria, US Dept. Interior USGS Bulletin 2204-F, 2007, p. 9
  17. ^ Pawlewicz, M., Total Petroleum Systems of the Carpathian-Balkanian Basin Province of Romania and Bulgaria, US Dept. Interior USGS Bulletin 2204-F, 2007, p. 6
  18. ^ Pawlewicz, M., Total Petroleum Systems of the Carpathian-Balkanian Basin Province of Romania and Bulgaria, US Dept. Interior USGS Bulletin 2204-F, 2007, p. 5
  19. ^ "Radom - Miasta partnerskie" [Radom - Parntership cities]. Miasto Radom [City of Radom] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  20. ^ "Radom - miasta partnerskie" (in Polish). Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  21. ^ US Secretary (January 1943). Casablanca Conference: Papers and Minutes of Meetings. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library; COMBINED CHIEFS OF STAFF: Conference proceedings, 1941–1945; Box 1: Office of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. pp. 40–43,88,256. "Brehon Somervell[inside front cover] … DECLASSIFIED … 10/29/73 … U.S. SECRET … BRITISH MOST SECRET … COPY NO. 32[inside back cover]" 
  22. ^ Turner, S.J., F. R. G. S -- maps (1944). "Vol. 2 [September 3, 1941—August 15, 1943]". Pictorial History of the Second World War (Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc.). pp. 519–1020 [986]. 
  23. ^ Modrovsky, Robert J. (April 1999). 1 August 1943 -- Today's Target is Ploesti: A Departure from Doctrine (pdf). p. 4. 

External links[edit]