Vivid thematic map of global oil and natural gas production, ca. 1962

Imp. Lafayette, LE PÉTROLE ET LE GAZ NATUREL DANS LE MONDE. Paris: Union des chambres syndicales de l’industrie du pétrole, 1962.
Poster printed in colors, 39”h x 46”w at sheet edge. Very hard folds as issued and a couple of additional creases, else excellent.

An interesting and eminently displayable poster with thematic maps and charts depicting the global production, transport and refining of crude oil and natural gas as of 1962.

On the main map, regions shaded in light green represent areas susceptible to containing natural resource deposits; those shaded dark green and dark red have exploitable deposits of oil and natural gas, respectively. Orange circles with pie charts illustrate the proportion of crude oil to natural gas produced in each area and also the magnitude of total production in proportion to other countries. Lines indicate both existing natural gas and oil pipelines as well as those under construction, with some of the longest being in the then-Soviet Union and the United States.

Below the main map four insets provide detailed depictions of key oil and natural gas-producing regions, including Europe and North Africa, Venezuela, North America, and the Middle East (Another significant region, the Soviet Union, is not so treated, perhaps because at the time it was minimally integrated with the global economy. However, some of its pipelines are depicted on the main map.) As on the main map, green and red shading indicates active oil and natural gas fields, and orange circles indicate volume and proportion of production in different regions. Small black and white circles indicate active and planned refineries, respectively, while red and green lines delineate the routes of active and future pipelines.

A chart at lower right indicates the more than six-fold growth of production of coal, oil, natural gas, and hydroelectric power from 1900 to 1960, while a smaller map on the left labels proven oil reserves across the world (Naturally, “renewables” are nowhere in the chart of energy sources.)

A present-day map of crude oil production would look broadly similar: The United States, the Mideast and Russia remain the top oil producers, though Venezuela’s near-total collapse has greatly reduced its role in the market. Conversely, Brazil, China and Norway, among others, which have no presence on this 1962 map, have in recent decades become significant producers of crude oil, while of course Japan, China and the countries of Southeast Asia have all become major consumers. In terms of natural gas, the United States, Russia, Canada, and the Middle East remain the top producers today.

The map was published by the Union des Chambres syndicales de l’industrie du pétrole, an association of trade unions in the French petroleum sector established in 1944. Not named, but I assume integral to the workings and funding of the Union, was the French multinational Total (formerly CFP), founded in 1924 and today considered one of the seven “supermajor” oil companies. The Union published a number of similar maps, including for example Le pétrole dans le monde in 1958.

OCLC 370487022 gives but two institutional holdings, at the Universities of Kansas and Minnesota (May 2021). Not in Catalogue collectif de France.