$10.00
Oil Exploration Games
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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No annoying Jed Clampett tune lyrics, no wargames based in the Middle East, no Bush-era politics, and no stock trading where one of the companies just happens to have "oil" in it's name -- just games truly based on oil exploration and production.

I thought it was time to provide a new Geeklist with this subject. The one from 2004 by skelebone (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/3570) is getting dated and wasn't limited to my criteria.

The one from 2006 by Champion Eternal (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14564) started getting silly by including Pit and Popeye. I am an oil exploration geologist as a profession, so I admit I'm picky, but I wanted a Geeklist of games that at least tried to simulate the exploration and production functions, plus of course the economics, as there has to be sales of oil to make it all work.

Some definitions: The oil industry is broadly divided into "Upstream" and "Downstream", where Upstream includes Exploration and Production, and Downstream includes Refining, Transportation, and Marketing. So my Geeklist is limited to Upstream only -- no pipelines, supertankers, or gas (petrol) stations, unless the Upstream functions are also included. A classic case is McMulti, which has refineries and gas stations, but it also has drilling derricks and oil pumps.

In the Upstream oil business we refer to the "Oilfield Life Cycle":
Reconnaissance -
Prospect Generation -
Discovery -
Reservoir Delineation -
Facilities -
Primary Production -
Enhanced Recovery -
Acquire/Divest

The first three are in the "Exploration" phase, the next two are "Development", and the last three are lumped as "Production". A good oil exploration game should include most of these, and absolutely must have drilling/discovery. With that background in place, let's proceed to my narrow criteria for a game to be included on this Geeklist:

1. MUST HAVE: drilling (usually by including one or more derrick bits)
2. Should have: leasing and production
3. Will NOT include:
- primarily economic (acquire properties, produce oil, buy/sell crude, ONLY)
- stock trading (company with "oil" in its name only)
- Monopoly-like roll-and-move (only)
- wargames (based in Middle East or other OPEC hot spot)
- downstream only (pipelines, tankers, refineries, gas stations)
- other types of oil, not petroleum (such as olive oil)
- any other not listed above where oil is only remotely related to the theme

I have applied these criteria using "rejection codes" to all the games listed on the two previous Geeklists mentioned above to exclude those by name that don't fit, IMO. Any interested BGG user that is geeky enough to want to see this, just send me a PM and I'll email back an attached XLS spreadsheet with all the gory details. That spreadsheet also lists (on a second sheet) for the included games below, numerous comments and classifications by map type, mechanics, and game bits.

A note on Monopoly clones -- several games that made my list use the familiar around-the-perimeter track of properties and a roll-and-move mechanic, but they also have an interior "map" with drilling locations (or a separate added board) and a mechanic to drill and discover oil deposits. Games that are simply Monopoly with the properties being oil-related, but no drilling, didn’t make the list.

One criteria I've used to define these games is map type, with these categories: abstract (grid); made-up (fictitious country, island, or continent); United States (or portions thereof); world (or portions of world or continents); and North Sea region.

The list below is roughly listed in my ranking order, of how they best fit the goal of exploration simulation, starting with the top two BGG-ranked games. First, a disclaimer -- I've only played these top two, and tried to categorize the rest based on BGG descriptions, images, forums, reviews, and files posted. I haven't actually played any of the rest, at this time. So let's get started.

Note: feel free to add to this list if you find something I missed, but please respect the criteria I have listed. Thanks.
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1. Board Game: Giganten [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:985]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Very good game, most widely owned in this class, with 889 copies listed as owned by Geeks. Deserves its high reputation in that it incorporates leasing by auction, prospecting, drilling, production, and oil sales. It has good repeat playability with random placement of “discovery” tiles on pre-determined spaces. There are cool game bits, where trucks are representative of seismic crews, and it even has train locomotives for the train gamer. The map is what I classify as "abstract / made up", as it is a combination of an orthogonal grid overlaid on some terrain and predetermined field locations.

“Three groups of tiles are laid over the drilling sites, giving a range of value for each site once it has been reached by a player. The deeper a site is into the field the greater its overall yield, but players have to weigh this against creating a constant supply from the smaller yields that are closer at the beginning of the game. Once oil has been produced, players can attempt to sell it on the market, but there are only three companies and with four players this means that one player will be shut out each turn. Bidding has an interesting element to it in that player's bidding pools are hidden from one another making it difficult to tell whether a player is bluffing.

Update January 2014: see also "Black Gold" later in this list. Per note on that entry: "For now Black Gold is being listed separately from Giganten, which is clearly a predecessor of this release. If the games turn out to be nearly identical, the two entries will be merged in the future. —WEM"
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2. Board Game: Crude: The Oil Game [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1226]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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The other classic, deservedly in the top 1000 rated games on BGG. Fairly widely-held, with 259 copies shown as owned, but demand exceeds supply, as the game is out-of-print and commands high prices on the resale market. Rumors are that the designer who holds the copyright, James St. Laurent, cannot be located to grant permission for a re-print (he may even be deceased by now, but no one knows). Update 4/2011: He has been 'found', and Stronghold games will release a reprint of "Crude: The Oil Game", the pre-cursor to McMulti, with some modifications.
See http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/2025/james-st-laurent-...

McMulti has great colored plastic bits, including derricks, oil pumps, refineries, gas (petrol) stations, and barrels for oil and gasoline. The pricing tracks work great to drive prices up when demand is up, and down when there are commodity surpluses.

Oil discoveries are based on luck, with drilling rigs (derricks) placed on the player’s grid (overlay on “islands” with artwork terrain), and a cross-reference of two colored (red and blue) dice. This same mechanic determines which fields (pumps) produce, and which refineries put out gasoline. Event cards and “news” also drives prices and demand.
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3. Board Game: North Sea Oil [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:8818]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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There are two different games named "North Sea Oil" both from the same year of 1974 (remember gas shortages and lines at the stations?). This one has 54 owned copies out there, versus only 5 for the Waddington’s version, later in this list. There are several editions in different languages. By all appearances this one is better -- unlike Waddington’s, it isn’t a Monopoly clone, and has better mechanics for drilling and discovery.

“There are 28 oil tiles that will be eventually placed on the 28 spaces. They vary in depth (three levels) and productivity (zero, small, medium and large deposits). Deeper deposits require bigger drilling rigs; the more expensive rig can go all the way down but could also be used in a shallower plot. The players can explore up to three plots per turn, and can open bidding on up to three plots per turn as well. Once purchased, a plot may be put into production by buying a rig for it or moving a rig (which costs money) from another plot --there is a limited number of rigs overall. First player to net $5 Million wins.
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4. Board Game: Game of Oil [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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A really old (1939) Parker Brothers game that is surprisingly well tied to its subject. The "map" is actually an oblique aerial photograph of a real oilfield and tank farm (location not identified, but it looks to me like southern California), with an orthogonal grid overlaid. The placement of game bits on the grid bears no relation to the images of derricks or tanks underneath; the photo just provides an attractive background linked to the theme.

Another nice graphics feature (for the geologist in me) is that around the perimeter are four geologic "stratigraphic columns", showing standard symbols for rock types (shale, sandstone, and limestone), and names for reservoir units taken from the real world of oil production (Woodbine and Wilcox for example).

“Gameplay was really good for its time, it's driven by an extremely large spinner (10 x 10 inches with 32 segments) and the amount of risk the players may take in drilling and how much shares they deal out to minimize their losses but on the other side also their wins." The spinner incorporates discoveries, dry holes, and random events, both economic and mechanical problems.
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5. Board Game: Gushers 'n Dusters [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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“Gushers 'n Dusters is an educational game about the petroleum industry and the risks and challenges of exploring for oil and gas. Designed for middle and high school students... In addition to providing insight into important elements of the petroleum industry, Gushers 'n Dusters presents concepts of geology and economics. Through role play and strategy development, players come to understand basic scientific and entrepreneurial principles while...enjoying fun-filled competition and risk-taking.

“Game parts include map board of the hypothetical nation of Kortu, study prints, practice boards, drilling boards, seismic surveys, drilling rig and lots of play money."

This is the only game that uses actual geologic cross sections, with predetermined oil pools shown on the cross sections. It appears to illustrate subsurface petroleum geology very well -- oil in anticlines, facies pinch-outs, fault blocks, and salt domes. I'd like to find this and play it sometime.
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6. Board Game: Confusion Flats: an Exploration Game [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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A petroleum exploration game developed by a geology professor from Michigan State University. Used to teach college students in petroleum geology, and the interaction of geologists with other team members including landmen and petroleum engineers. It was published in the Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

It includes two "made-up" maps: one for the students to base their exploration program on, including leasing, shooting seismic, and drilling wells; and the other being the "solution map", which shows the depth to a key horizon, structures such as anticlines and stratigraphic traps, and where the oil and gas fields are located. A grad student TA compares proposed drilling locations to the solution map, and tells the team what they found. Also includes a "stratigraphic column" of rock formations from surface to the deepest depths. Unfortunately, Dr. Fisher didn’t include the strat column in the journal article.

The basemap includes lease blocks such as a National Forest, a Navajo Reservation, a State Park, other federal lands, and private ("fee") land blocks such as farms or ranch property. The rules are included in the journal article for drilling costs, leasing, and drilling results. The rules list the oil price as $3 per barrel, with no mechanism for price fluctuation, indicating how long ago the game was designed, and how it would need to be updated for today's world.
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7. Board Game: The Denbury Resources Oil Game [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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The object of the Oil Game is to add the most oil reserves by taking carbon dioxide (CO2) from Jackson Dome to the old oil fields in the region. Each player "transports" carbon dioxide along the pipeline by moving his/her token along the pipeline and claims the tertiary oil reserves from each oil field that is reached. The winner is the player who either accumulates the most oil or reaches the winning target for the number of competitors playing.

This is the only game I found that addresses Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) directly (step 7 of the Oilfield Life Cycle). Yes, it deals with pipelines, but EOR is still an upstream function, and the game has derricks as bits, so I decided it should still be included here. The map is very attractive, of a real region along the U.S. Gulf coast in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. This game also has plastic money chips (like poker chips) instead of paper, which is a very nice touch.
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8. Board Game: International Oilman Game [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:8540]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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This is the first entry in this Geeklist of a series of games that use a similar construction or method to provide random locations for oil pools. The derrick "drills" into a "randomizer box" with 3 levels of movable shapes containing holes. In this case, the map is a world map containing evenly spaced holes into which different length derricks are inserted.

From the box: "A game that captures the true to life excitement and drama, success, and failures of the international oil magnate. Using the unique 3 dimensional board, oil companies bid for leases world wide, drill for oil, and erect oil wells. The object: to become the most successful oil company in the world. The amazing game board design insures the game will never be played the same way twice".
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9. Board Game: Gusher [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Another game where the Derrick "drills" into randomizer discs containing holes. This game is the direct ancestor of Oil Power and King Oil and is very similar. The board is a hollow box within which you move spacers; shaking the board during set up randomizes the oil deposits. Afterward, you buy leases, drill and collect money. First one to a million wins.

It features a patchwork made-up map of leases or other properties, containing variably spaced holes. It has a master derrick with plunger to drill/discover oil based on penetrating the discs or not, and the corresponding depths relate to production volumes.
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10. Board Game: King Oil [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:4261]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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The second most widely held oil exploration game, published by Milton Bradley, with 272 copies listed as owned on BGG. This is the third game on this list that earns a ranking on BGG, probably driven by the copy and owner rating count.Once again, the Derrick "drills" into (3) randomizer discs containing holes. Like Monopoly, the winner is last one standing after the other players go bankrupt. Unlike Monopoly, the plastic board has no perimeter track, but features a patchwork made-up map of leases containing variably spaced holes and a master derrick with plunger.

“Drilling is resolved with a little rig whose plunger is pushed up if it doesn't go through the hidden disc; if it pushes through all three, the well is dry. Deeper holes cost more, of course.

“Pipelines can be bought once you have 4 producing oil wells on a property; they reach across that property's boundary to another player's property, and are used to siphon royalties from him every turn. This is a clever mechanic that accelerates bankruptcy and keeps total playing time within reasonable limits."
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11. Board Game: Oil Power [Average Rating:6.19 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Begins (in this Geeklist) a series of the next 11 games all based on Monopoly. Oil Power at least continues the mechanic of a master derrick with plunger that "drills" into multiple variable height randomizer discs or rings like donuts. The made-up map in the center shows colorful bands (leases? depths?) containing variably spaced holes. This game also has cardboard lease chips related to the "monopoly board" properties around the perimeter.

“Welcome to the hard-hitting, gusher-exploding, win-big-or-lose-bigger world of the oil tycoon! A game of oil intrigue: acquire leases, drill wells, strike it rich or go broke. Each game you play is different because the playing board changes each time with a simple shake - and the rich oil fields will change location for the next game."
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12. Board Game: Exploration: The Seismic Game of Oil and Gas [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Another Monopoly-like board, and the last in the set with the derrick that "drills" into the "randomizer box" containing several shapes that are shaken around at setup. This time, the shapes look like black blobs representing subsurface oil pools, and some of them contain embedded magnets. The magnets work together with the "seismic tool" that contains iron filings. The maps in the center are of six continents, regions, or countries from around the world on different squares, and with a 9X9 grid overlaid on each map. The magnetic seismic tool alone makes this game truly unique among the rest and adds a cool prospecting method to the Oilfield Life Cycle.

From the Rules: "The game of Exploration is a realistic model of the daily events and excitement in an Oil & Gas Exploration Department. Players will instantly find themselves making decisions regarding where to drill, where to run seismic surveys and how much to bid for prospective land parcels."
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13. Board Game: Oil: The Great Adventure [Average Rating:5.19 Overall Rank:10136]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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In at least six different language editions, and with 94 copies owned by Geeks, it actually earns a ranking on BGG, the last game on this Geeklist to do so. It features a real world map plus four detail map inlays. It is also one of the few to have a geologic stratigraphic column in the components, showing standard symbols for rock types (shale, sandstone, and limestone), and names for reservoir units from the real world.

“Players represent Oil Companies competing for oil-fields and oil-cargoes. Players move around the board in "monopoly manner" and can land on a variety of fields: "Information" (card drawing - a bit risk-cards type), "Memo" (card drawing - bonus-card-like), "Drilling" or "Helicopter" (allow to buy drilling rights), "Stock Market" (allows to buy stocks). Each time a player passes one of the 2 "production" fields, his oil fields produce certain quantities of oil (Kuwait producing most, Iraq second most, Qatar, Iran and Trinidad only little). When opting for drilling, the player token is moved from the board on a special drilling track which can either end with finding a well or with failure. At any time, a player can ship a cargo of his oil to the world's major ports."
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14. Board Game: Wildcatter [Average Rating:5.61 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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"’The Authentic Oil & Gas Exploration Game’ has an educational aspect to it, as the drilling success ratios, drilling depths, costs and monthly production figures were taken from the real world.

“The game is played within the U.S. and Alaska; the players lease properties and drill for oil and gas, trying to get rich. On each lease, you must decide whether to go for shallow or deep wells --once a well has been drilled, even a dry hole, all future drilling must be done at the same depth, even if the lease changes hands. The first few wells are Exploratory and have lesser chances of success; once a producing well has been drilled, further drilling is Developmental. When you land on a player's lease, you buy its monthly oil production from him; landing on your own lease nets you double that amount (paid by the bank). Payments also roll in every time you go around the board.

“Random events are injected by Wildcat and Blowout cards. The rest of the game falls in line with what its design is: a Monopoly clone. Big box with lots of fairly nice bits, however."

The map in the center shows sedimentary basins (where oil is found) of the U.S., but I can't tell if the map is actually played on or just informative.
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15. Board Game: North Sea [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Same name as the Omnia publication, but very different -- really just a Monopoly clone.with drilling added. The abstract "map" in center has a grid of squares, colored by depth(?).

“North Sea Oil is another venture into the combined realm of education and entertainment, developed by Shell Oil. Its goal is to both entertain and to inform people of (and gain support for) the efforts to develop oil fields off the coast of Great Britain. Two to four players compete at running their respective oil companies. Players will need to temporarily go into debt to bring oil production on line. The first player to have two producing oil fields and to be out of debt is the winner."

Besides all the other game components, it includes a Shell information booklet: "Oil and Gas from the North Sea", and an information sheet on Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology.
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16. Board Game: Oil Barons [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
 
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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“Oil Barons is a board game based on buying and selling in the oil industry. On a player's turn, the player rolls two six-sided dice, with doubles giving you extra turns. When you land on a square you get options to change your position on the board, such as buying/selling oil wells or opening/closing oil pipelines. The winner is the first player to deliver a specified number of oil barrels to the Refinery, usually 15 or 25."

Cute derricks with flags, barrels, and valves for the pre-printed pipelines on the board. The abstract "map" has four boxes representing producing areas labeled Texas, New Mexico, Alaska, and Nebraska, plus one offshore producing area. Player pieces are colored cowboy hats. Appears to be mostly economic with no drilling, but included in this Geeklist because there are derricks. Not the same game as the 1984 computer-aided game with the same name.
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17. Board Game: Oil: The Slickest Game In Town [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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The map in the middle shows yellow blobs representing continents of the world, with overlaid boxes to hold production. There are predetermined oil pools per the exploration areas.

“The players roll to move their tokens around the board. They buy drilling areas in the exploration squares that represent areas around the globe by paying a "royalty" cost, and then they drill wells and produce oil from the three fields attached to each exploration area. After it is produced, the oil is sold on the market squares.

“Each area has a fixed amount of oil that is depleted with each production. When the agreed upon fixed time for game passes, or all of the available oil is produced from all 17 exploration areas, players sell remaining oil they hold for a flat rate and the game ends. The player with the most money wins."
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18. Board Game: Total Depth [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Subtitled "An Oil Man's Game". Has a spinner and dice. Features an abstract map grid on a separate "pegboard" for drilling numbered from 1-36 just like a U.S. Congressional Survey Township.

“As in Monopoly, players roll dice to move around the outside board edge. Different is an interior board path and an elevated 6x6 drilling board. Landing on an outer board space usually offers the chance to lease a plot on the drilling board if not already leased. Travel on the interior board, possible only by landing exactly on its entrance or possession of a plastic permit token (obtained by landing on other spaces), permits drilling once one has a drilling company. This is very much a costly hit-and-miss affair, especially when drilling without any other proven oil fields nearby.

“If the player does not go bankrupt, eventually his plots should be populated with a lot of black plastic pegs indicating gushers rather than the yellow ones which signify dry holes. Then each time a player passes the start, he is paid based on the number of barrels he is pumping. Unlike Monopoly, the idea is not to drive others into bankruptcy, but to be the first to reach one million dollars."
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19. Board Game: La Conquête du Pétrole [Average Rating:4.94 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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The Conquest of Petroleum, in English. Has derricks for onshore, and drillships for offshore. Made-up country map with an orthogonal grid overlay, vaguely resembles a map of Middle Earth. The money looks more like checks than currency.

“In the fictional country of Araweit, you compete in the exploration and exploitation of petroleum to be the first to amass 500 million francs. The map shows the country, divided into two zones; the A zone is harder to get to and out of, so exploration permits are cheaper -- because only big deposits are likely to be money makers.

“What you can do during your turn is driven by the outer track. Eventually, you'll buy permits, conduct seismic exploration, drill (also a form of exploration), or place reservoir markers for oil or gas. Random events intervene, and nationalization occurs now and then. The game has a definite educational bent to it."
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20. Board Game: Oil Well [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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An old game with crude graphics from 1956. (Wait a minute, I was born before this game came out, so what does that make me?) From the box: "Drill for Black Gold, Be a Texas Millionaire, A Game of fun for young and old." Has an outer ring resembling Monopoly and an inner area with Roads and Properties with well sites. Landing on the appropriate areas on the outer ring allows you to drill on the well sites in the inner area. Poor photos; looks like a museum piece.
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21. Board Game: Oil Tycoon [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Very little information is available for this final Monopoly clone, but from the picture it appears to have a lease map in the middle (including Texas longhorn cattle) and derricks to drill with. Also a pad of "Oil Scout Clues" to record your prospecting results (oil scouts are a vanishing breed of "spies" that share just enough information about your operations in order to trade for critical information from the competition. They even used to sit hidden behind a hill with binoculars, watching a well being drilled and counting the stands of drill pipe in the derrick to find out how deep the other guy’s well was).

From the back of the box: "During the years since Col. E. A. Drake brought in his first oil well in 1859, the Discovery of Oil has made more men wealthy than any other single endeavor. Oil, now as then, is just waiting to be discovered. Yet, only a few men - a special breed of men - seem to solve its Mystery and find it. What do these men possess that sets them apart from the average person? Few people qualify for the extraordinary title of "Oil Tycoon".
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22. Board Game: Offshore Oil Strike [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Bringing up the rear, after all those Monopoly clones, are the "also rans". This one features a map board showing the North Sea and parts of the Atlantic Ocean, English Channel, etc., with two colors of water depths, and land regions including the UK, Ireland, and continental Europe. An orthogonal grid representing leasing areas is overlaid on the map. Rather than just derricks, offshore oil platforms are included.

“Two to four players compete at exploring for oil, building platforms, and laying pipelines to bring the offshore oil back to the player's home company. Players take on the roles of either BP, Amoco, Chevron, or Mobil in their quest for oil. As with other games focusing on offshore oil exploitation (e.g., Omnia's North Sea Oil), there is also the risk that storms will reduce production on, or eliminate, one's oil platforms. The first player to make $120,000,000 in cash is the winner."
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23. Board Game: Petróleo [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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“This is a simple economic game about oil companies where the goal is to construct oil towers (derricks), gas deposits and buy cistern trucks and boats. Each player has a small number of cards that determine the game. The game is over when all of the 60 cards are played."

Portuguese, from the 1980’s, but no exact year given. Card drafting mechanic. An orthogonal grid representing onshore and offshore leasing areas is overlaid on the made-up map artwork. Cardboard counters/tiles representing player companies are laid on lease blocks. The money looks more like checks than currency.
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24. Board Game: Jogo do Petróleo [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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"The Game of Oil: A fascinating game, involving risks and big investments!" Brazilian.

About 20 lease blocks on a made-up map base surround a huge drilling rig (derrick) on a mound in the middle. Money (to bet) is plastic chips. There are little plastic derricks to place on the leases as well.

“This game was released by Estrela, ca. 1975, licensed by Tomy Kogyo Japan. Players bet up to 4 chips each, putting them into a huge plastic oil rig and then pull the trigger. If the oil rig throws up the chips, players must follow the instructions printed on the secondary game board: earning or losing money accordingly."
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25. Board Game: Oil Barons [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Tom Anderson
United States
Waxahachie
Texas
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Very interesting game -- has game management software that runs on a Commodore-64 (remember those?). Apparently there are C-64 emulators that run on more modern PCs, and you can get the needed disk image, so it isn’t totally out of the question to resurrect this game and play it. See this forum thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/259779.

Very "noisy" looking map board IMO (made up terrain and lease blocks). The oil pools can be played either preset/fixed or computer generated randomly placed, modified by terrain types. The software handles all the random elements like drilling success and keeps track of money and production.
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