Related question that leads to this one. Around the time of WW2, what was the oil production of each US State?

The reason it's important is for logistics, for example, to see if the east coast has enough oil for the Western Front and the west coast has enough oil for the Pacific. And then there's that pesky thing known as Paukenschalg (still mad at wikipedia for not letting it be its own article).

Basically, in the first half of 1942, a few German U-Boats wrought havoc on the US East Coast, including a lot of oil tankers sunk. You see, America did not have any major crude oil pipelines at this time. Therefore, most Gulf Coast oil was shipped around to big harbors like Boston or New York, and that's how the industrial heartland got much of its oil. Earnest King actually suspended tanker shipments after losses were too heavy, and the railroads had to suddenly increase oil shipments from places like Texas to places like Chicago.

1 Answer 1


I wanted to post this question and the answer I found, because I stumbled across a gold mine for this sort of data, The Minerals Yearbooks.

Edit: I've since found an alternate website for the same yearbooks, which lets you download the chapters in pdf form, but for some reason you cannot get the whole report as one giant pdf.

For example, the 1941 yearbook, page 1031:

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Sadly, the smallest producers are all agglomerated into "Other States", but you can see their total is so tiny, it's hard to imagine they could matter in the war.

More sadly, the website does not let you download it as a PDF unless you have some university login. So I had to use the built-in viewer, but that's better than total paywalling.

I took the liberty of tabulating the 1940 entries myself and arranging them by rough geographic area. I also converted from Millions of Barrels per year to Millions of Metric Tons per year, using the density figure of 870 kg/cubic meter.

California      225 M bbl/year      31.1 Mt/year
Montana         007 M bbl/year      01.0 Mt/year
Wyoming         026 M bbl/year      03.6 Mt/year
Colorado        002 M bbl/year      00.3 Mt/year
New Mexico      039 M bbl/year      05.4 Mt/year

Texas           487 M bbl/year      67.4 Mt/year
Oklahoma        156 M bbl/year      21.6 Mt/year
Kansas          066 M bbl/year      09.1 Mt/year
Nebraska        0.3 M bbl/year      00.04 Mt/year
Arkansas        026 M bbl/year      03.6 Mt/year
Louisiana       100 M bbl/year      13.8 Mt/year
Mississippi     004 M bbl/year      00.6 Mt/year

Michigan        020 M bbl/year      02.8 Mt/year
Ohio            003 M bbl/year      00.4 Mt/year
Pennsylvania    017 M bbl/year      02.4 Mt/year
Illinois        148 M bbl/year      20.4 Mt/year
Indiana         007 M bbl/year      01.0 Mt/year

New York        005 M bbl/year      00.7 Mt/year
West Virginia   003 M bbl/year      00.4 Mt/year
Kentucky        005 M bbl/year      00.7 Mt/year

Other States    071 K bbl/year      00.01 Mt/year

Just for comparison, California alone was producing a little more oil than the entire Soviet Union, and New Mexico was producing a little less than Romania. Source (Mineral and Industrial Production, page 147)

I haven't looked in detail at other parts of the yearbook yet, but it appears it has many other industrial production listed state-by-state. I saw copper, zinc, and iron, for example. That's why I think this may be the goldmine I've been looking for for so long, and that's why I wanted to share this.

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