Muzeum Przemysłu Naftowego i Gazowniczego im. Ignacego Łukasiewicza

Muzeum Przemyslu Naftowego Bobrce - Museum of Oil and Gas Industry in Bóbrka


Useful Information

Location: Kopalniana 35, 38-458 Bóbrka.
(49.616307, 21.710842)
Open: MAY to SEP Tue-Fri 9-18, Sat, Sun 10-18.
OCT Tue-Fri 8-16, Sat, Sun 9-17.
NOV to APR Tue-Sun 7-15.
Closed 06-JAN, 16-MAY, 15-AUG, 01-NOV, 11-NOV, 25-DEC, 26-DEC.
[2022]
Fee: Adults PLN 20, Children (0-7) free, Students PLN 15, Seniors PLN 15, Disabled PLN 15.
Movie PLN 3, Audioguide PLN 15.
[2022]
Classification: MineCrude Oil
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Maciej J. Kotarba, Elżbieta Bilkiewicz, Krzysztof Jurek, Dariusz Więcław, Grzegorz Machowski (2021):
Origin, migration and secondary processes of oil and natural gas in the western part of the Polish Outer Carpathians: geochemical and geological approach
International Journal of Earth Sciences (2021) 110:1653–1679. DOI pdf
Henry De Cizancourt (1931): Geology of Oil Fields of Polish Carpathian Mountains, AAPG Bulletin (1931) 15 (1): 1–41. DOI pdf
Address: Muzeum Przemysłu Naftowego i Gazowniczego im. Ignacego Łukasiewicza, ul. Kopalniana 35 Bóbrka, 38 - 458 Chorkówka, powiat krośnieński, woj. podkarpackie, Tel: +48-13-43-33-478, Fax: +48-13-43-33-478. E-mail:
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

1854 first Bóbrka oil mine opened.
1872 stone obelisk erected by I. Łukasiewicz in the center of the mine to commemorate its foundation.
1893 mine bought by MacGarvey-Bergheim.
1893 bought by the Galizische Karpathen-Petroleum-Aktiengesellschaft from Glinik Mariampolski, today Gorlice.
1923 bought by the Konsortium Dąbrowa.
1946 after World War II the area became socialist Poland, the mines were owned by the government and operated by Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG).
23-MAY-1961 museum opened to the public.
1967 buildings renovated.
1977-1978 additional land purchased to extend the museum.
1982 bust of I. Łukasiewicz unveiled.
2000 modern museum building inaugurated.
2018 declared a Historical Monument.

Geology

Early Silurian formations located at the boundary of the East European Craton have been subjected to temperatures and pressures that are required for the formation of the crude oil. Oil in the oil shales was mobilized and formed crude oil deposits. There are only a few spots where they are close to the surface, but the oil deposits actually form two areas, the Baltic Basin including the Warsaw Trough and the Podlasie Basin. One is along the northern foot of the Carpathians, southeast of Warsaw, the other is west of Gdansk.

Description

This museum has probably the longest name of all sites listed on showcaves.com. It is Muzeum Przemysłu Naftowego i Gazowniczego im. Ignacego Łukasiewicza w Bóbrce and it translates "Ignacy Łukasiewicz Museum of Oil and Gas Industry in Bóbrce". But it has also a shorter name, which is Muzeum Nafty i Gazu (Oil and Gas Museum). It is located on the site of Bóbrka oil mine, one of very few mines where crude oil was mined underground. This mine was founded by Ignacy Łukasiewicz, Tytus Trzecieski and Karol Klobassa-Zrencki.

The whole area is important for the development of the modern oil industry. It extends from Jaslo in Poland across the border to Borysław and Lwiw in the Ukraine. The museum at Bóbrka is the significant museum on the Polish side, on the Ukrainian there should be a museum at Borysław. As far as we know there was one, but it was abandoned at some point and does not exist any more. In the last decades both countries tried to intensify tourism and reactivated significant cultural and historic locations. So they started with an oil route named Karpacko-Galicyjski Szlak Naftowy (Carpathian-Galician Oil Trail) which connected above-mentioned cities across the border. It had numerous side loops and hiking trails and allowed a journey to the remains of the 19th century oil industry. Unfortunately this has been discontinued, at least the websites are gone and it seems there is not much left on Ukrainian side. We guess the educational signs along the rout were not removed, so it should be still possible if you get a map from a tourist office. At the moment [2022] the Ukraine is off limits, due to the war, so we decided to add a short background info on Borysław on this page, because of its importance for Bóbrka.

In 1850 the area of Borysław and Bóbrka was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the rest of what is today Poland was part of the Russian Empire and a small part in the west belonged to Prussia. So we are talking now about the northern Hungarian borderlands of 1850, many people living here were speaking German. Borysław is located in the plain at the northern foot of the Carpathians, and there were numerous places where crude oil was close to the surface, there were oil springs in the forest. They were not very popular, as they were stinking and poisoned the ground. But soon the uses of oil became known, and it was collected, sold, and was used for lubrication, sealing and as a raw material for medicines. Then wells were dug, in which the oil accumulated, and it was pulled out with a rope and a bucket. It was called Naphtha or Erdnaphtha, also Erdwachs (earthwax, ozokerite).

The Lwiw (Lemberg) apothecary Ignacy Łukasiewicz (*1822–1882) knew about the oil due to its medicinal use, and about its increasing availability while Borysław became the most important center of crude oil mining in Europe. He had a small laboratory and explored other uses of the oil and when he was able to extract petroleum or kerosene from the oil, which did not become solid and burned well, he developed a kerosene lamp which burned this liquid in 1853. He is actually famous for inventing a process for extracting kerosene from crude oil, while the kerosene lamp was invented by many people all over the world at the same time, so he is not officially its inventor. But he is said to be the inventor of the tubular round wick, although this had been invented in 1780 by Aimé Argand for plant oil lamps. Anyhow, now he needed fuel for the lamps he wanted to sell, and was looking for additional sources.

Not far away he found Bóbrka, quite similar to Borysław, but without mining activities, so he found partners, and they opened the very first oil mine in 1854. Karol Klobassa-Zrencki was the owner of the forests with the oil wells. Tytus Trzecieski was the owner of the nearby village of Polanka, which is today a district of Krosno. Kopalnia Bóbrka (Oil Field in Bóbrka) developed fast, but while at other locations the oil was first collected in wells, then shafts were dug and the oil collected at the bottom, at Bóbrka the new company started with a 120 long ditch, but from 1854 they started to drill holes. Between 1854 and 1880 they constructed 60 drilling rigs and drilled holes which were up to 150 m deep, and Małgorzata borehole from 1858 produced 4,000 l/d. This was an enormous amount at a time when oil was collected manually with buckets from ditches.

In 1871 Karol Klobassa-Zrencki bought out his partners and became the sole owner, but Ignacy Łukasiewicz still was the general manager. Both died in the 1880s, the end of an era. In the following decades the company was sold numerous times, most owners had German names, at least to World War II. At the end of this war Austrian and German influences were gone, German-speaking people had been evicted, and any property was nationalized as the area was now part of socialist Poland. The country which actually never existed was created by the Russians as a buffer zone to the West. The country needed national oil because buying crude oil on the world market was restricted. It was important for decades and in 2000, 64.000 tons of the 350.000 tons of national oil production were still made here. However, to there is not much oil left and most pumps were stopped.

The museum actually has a very long history, it started in 1872 with a stone obelisk erected by I. Łukasiewicz in the center of the mine to commemorate its foundation. A first open air museum was actually a pile of old equipment, which was not used any more and was dumped somewhere since between the wars. But in the early 1960 the idea of a real museum became more popular and on 23-MAY-1961 the council of the museum in Krosno decided to open such an exhibition. The Society of Engineers and Technicians of the Oil and Gas Industry also passed a resolution to establish the museum. A supporting association was founded, lead by Henryk Górka and numerous companies from the oil sector donated equipment. This was all in 1961, the year which is given as the founding of the museum, but we are not sure it was actually open to the public. The first open air exhibition with available equipment was created, but the buildings were renovated in 1967. We guess it became a museum after the buildings were available and equipped as museums. In 1077 and 1978 additional land was purchased and the museum extended. But the main improvement was a new museum building which was started in 1998 and was inaugurated in 2000.

The open air exhibition includes approximately 50 outdoor exhibits. There is wooden equipment from the early years of the mine, like various hand-operated conveyors, and wooden huts containing forges, repair workshops or engines. Early mechanical drilling and production equipment with above-ground winches is also on display. But there are also drilling rigs and vehicles like winch tractors, specialized trucks and a mobile seismic vibration generator for geophysical exploration. Most are from the early and mid 20th century.