Oil Spaces : Exploring the Global Petroleumscape book cover
1st Edition

Oil Spaces
Exploring the Global Petroleumscape

Edited By

Carola Hein

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after August 23, 2021
ISBN 9780367417499
August 23, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
320 Pages 129 B/W Illustrations

SAVE ~ $8.99
was $44.95
USD $35.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Oil Spaces traces petroleum’s impact through a range of territories from across the world, showing how industrially drilled petroleum and its refined products have played a major role in transforming the built environment in ways that are often not visible or recognized. Over the past century and a half, industrially drilled petroleum has powered factories, built cities, and sustained nation-states. It has fueled ways of life and visions of progress, modernity, and disaster.

In detailed international case studies, the contributors consider petroleum’s role in the built environment and the imagination. They study how petroleum and its infrastructure have served as a source of military conflict and political and economic power, inspiring efforts to create territories and reshape geographies and national boundaries. The authors trace ruptures and continuities between colonial and post-colonial frameworks, in locations as diverse as Sumatra, northeast China, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kuwait, as well as heritage sites including former power stations in Italy and the port of Dunkirk, once a prime gateway through which petroleum entered Europe.

By revealing petroleum’s role in organizing and imagining space globally, this book takes up a key task in imagining the possibilities of a post-oil future. It will be invaluable reading to scholars and students of architectural and urban history, planning, and geography of sustainable urban environments.

Table of Contents




  1. Space, Time, and Oil: The Global Petroleumscape
  2. Carola Hein

    Part I

    Oil, Agency, and Territoriality


  3. The Original North American Petroleumscape: Oil-and-Gas Empire, Petrochemical Nation
  4. Carola Hein and Alan Lessoff

  5. Petroleumscape as Battleground: Pladjoe, Pearl in the Crown of the Bataafsche Petroleum Maatschappij (BPM/Shell) in the Dutch East Indies
  6. Ben de Vries

  7. Mapping the Petroleumscape of the Persian Gulf: The Production of Territory, Territoriality, and Sovereignty
  8. Stephen Ramos

  9. Between Visible and Invisible: ENI and the Building of the African Petroleumscape
  10. Giulia Scotto

  11. The Offshore Petroleumscape: Grids, Gods, and Giants of the North Sea
  12. Nancy Couling


    Part II

    Oil, Materiality, and Cultural Practices

  13. Arab Oil Towns as Petro-Histories
  14. Nelida Fuccaro

  15. Building Brazil’s Petroleumscape on Land and Sea: Infrastructure, Expertise, and Technology
  16. Drielli Peyerl

  17. Precious Property: Water and Oil in Twentieth-Century Kuwait
  18. Laura Hindelang

  19. Dimensions of the Petroleumscape in the Port and the City of Hamburg
  20. Christoph Strupp

  21. "Production First, Livelihood Second": The Life and Death of Worker-Peasant Model Villages in a Chinese Oil Field
  22. Hou Li


    Part III Oil Ecologies and Imaginaries

  23. Energy Humanities and the Petroleumscape
  24. Imre Szeman and Caleb Wellum

  25. Antwerp's Petroleumscape: Imagining the Carbon Age
  26. Pieter Uyttenhove

  27. Power Stations and Petroleum Heritage in Italy: The Case of Porto Tolle
  28. Chiara Geroldi and Gloria Pessina

  29. Petroleumscape as Heritage Landscape: The Case of the Dunkirk Port City Region

Carola Hein, Christine Stroobandt, and Stephan Hauser

Contributor Biographies


View More



Carola Hein is professor of history of architecture and urban planning at Delft University of Technology. Her authored and (co-) edited books include Adaptive Strategies for Water Heritage (2019), The Routledge Handbook of Planning History (2018), Port Cities (2011), Cities, Autonomy and Decentralisation in Japan (2006), The Capital of Europe (2004), and Rebuilding Urban Japan after 1945 (2003).