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County seat

Ploiești skyline
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Capitala Aurului Negru (Romanian: Capital of Black Gold)
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 Status County seat
 • Mayor Iulian Bădescu (Social Democratic Party)
 • County seat 58.2 km2 (22.5 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. [1] (36,000)
  9. Unirea Sperantza (33,000)
  10. Xenia (22,000)

The town originated in 1596, during the reign of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave), Prince of Wallachia. It rapidly 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

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

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.


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 Roma Russians Greeks Ukrainians
1930 79,149 69,139 1,591 1,307
2011 201,226 199,221 109 69 - - 1289 44 - 8


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 from Bucharest, with promising infrastructure projects currently underway. Ploiești 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 through four operating oil refineries, linked by pipelines to Bucharest, the Black Sea port of Constanţa and the Danube port of Giurgiu. Ploiești is also a textile manufacturing center. Ploieşti concentrates many foreign investments: OMV-Petrom, Lukoil, Shell Gas, Timken, Yazaki, Coca Cola, Efes Pilsener, British American Tobacco, Interbrew. Many retailers like Carrefour, Metro, Selgros, Kaufland, Billa, Bricostore, Praktiker, Lidl, Obi, Real, Profi, Mega Image found in Ploieşti a continuously growing market. There are also two McDonald's restaurants in Ploieşti and two KFC restaurants - the first opened in 2006 and the last in 2012 in Ploieşti Shopping City.

The German retailer Tengelmann expects to have some 30 stores this year and has set itself a target of 120 stores by 2010, investing €200 million. To facilitate its growth, Tengelmann built a depot in Ploieşti. 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 the city of Ploieşti.

Unilever has a detergent plant in Ploiești. By transferring their food production to Ploiești, the company will concentrate their full activity in Romania to 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.[7]

At Ploiești, as a milestone in the development of the petroleum, hydrocarbon processing and petrochemical industries as well as of their related fields, was established in 1950, 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.

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


Ploiești is situated on the future highway BucharestBrașov, the main path towards the north and west provinces and the Western EU. The Henri Coandă International Airport is just at 45 km (28 mi) distance, and the ski resorts from Prahova Valley can be reached in one hour driving. The scarcity of modern motorways and well-built roads surrounding Ploiești, and Romania in general makes transport a challenge. Under the scrutiny of the EU, the motorway infrastructure will improve substantially over the next few years.

Ploiești is the second 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 distinct yellow bus fleet is one of the most modern in Southeastern Europe, provides 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). East and West ring belts cannot prevent around 5,300 vehicles transiting Ploieşti each day. The municipal vehicle park comprised 216 buses, 32 trams and 25 trolleybuses carrying about 70 millions passengers annually. There are 33 bus lines having 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).

Culture and education

Ploiești is home to the Oil & Gas University, Ploiești Philharmonic Orchestra—one of the top-rated philharmonic orchestras in Romania and a prominent football club in Liga I, Petrolul.

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.


The Mio-Pliocene Zone in the Ploiești region has been exploited for hydrocarbons and coal since the 19th Century.[8] The zone extends from the flysch on the north to the Moesian Platform on the south.[9] The zone is marked by alternating deposits of Clay, Marl, Shale and Sand, conglomerate, Salt and Limestone.[10] Structural traps and stratigraphic traps are formed from Salt Diapirism which gave rise to anticline folds and faulting.[10] There are four major alignments of the anticlines, all parallel to the Carpathian Range.[10] 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.[11] Major producing structures include Moreni-Gura Ocnitei, Baicoi-Tintea and Boldesti.[10]


The Teleajen River and Dâmbu River run through the city.


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 2008 local elections, is made up of 27 councillors, with the following party composition:

International relations

Twin towns - sister cities

Ploieşti is twinned with:


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


See also

Petrochemical industry in Romania

Notes and references

^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.[17]
  • 1944: "Ploiești, thirty-five miles (8.0 km) from Bucharest, supplied one-third of all the oil fuel Germany required for war purposes."[18]
  • 1999: The fragile, concentrated Bucharest facilities provided "60% of Germany's crude oil supply"[19]

External links

  • Website of the town hall of Ploieşti
  • RepublicaPloieş is a site specializing in architectural history of the City of Ploieşti. It contains numerous photographs of the city taken between the beginning of the twentieth and 1945.
  • Tramway in Ploieşti
  • Map of Ploiești with route planning, points of interest, public transport

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