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Coat of arms of Merkwiller-Pechelbronn
Coat of arms
Merkwiller-Pechelbronn is located in France
Coordinates: 48°56′N 7°50′E / 48.94°N 7.83°E / 48.94; 7.83Coordinates: 48°56′N 7°50′E / 48.94°N 7.83°E / 48.94; 7.83
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Bas-Rhin
Arrondissement Haguenau-Wissembourg
Canton Reichshoffen
 • Mayor (2001–2008) Paul Schiellein
Area1 3.76 km2 (1.45 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 879
 • Density 230/km2 (610/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 67290 /67250
Elevation 153–199 m (502–653 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Merkwiller-Pechelbronn (German: Merkweiler-Pechelbronn) is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.

It is notable as the original home of oil sands mining.

Oil sands were mined from 1745 in Merkwiller-Pechelbronn,[1] initially under the direction of Louis Pierre Ancillon de la Sablonnière, by special appointment of Louis XV. The Pechelbronn oil field was active until 1970, and was the birthplace of companies like Antar and Schlumberger. The first modern oil sands refinery was built there in 1857; and it also had the first school of oil technology.[2]

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