Oil Generation

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There are two basic ways Oil generates in GT:NH; as spouts visible from the surface, and as an Underground Fluid oil field below Bedrock. Spouts and fields are placed during chunk generation. Surface oil can be collected by hand or with single-block Pumps, while underground fluids require a Drilling Rig to extract. Oil is used as a fuel and for refining into various byproducts, including Polyethylene Processing.


BuildCraft Oil Spout

Spouts are a great source of oil in early tiers. For a sample set-up, see this page.

  • They are very dangerous. If the player falls in, death is virtually guaranteed.
  • They can catch on fire from mobs or lightning. Put a cobble or dirt cover above any nearby oil spouts. Gravel is not recommended as it will prevent pumping later.
  • The higher the spout, the larger the amount of oil available. Large ones can have 4000+ buckets of oil
  • Spouts lead down to underground oil pools. Even after pumping there will be a large dark cavern, potentially with dangerous oil puddles left.

Underground Fluids

Underground Fluids require multi-block Oil/Gas/Fluid Drilling Rigs. There are currently 5 types of underground fossil fuels:

  • Natural Gas
  • Light Oil
  • Oil
  • Medium Oil
  • Heavy Oil

Use the Seismic Prospector to locate chunks with large amounts of oil. The spawning is done in an 8x8 chunk grid with no offset. For example, chunks 15,15; 15,16; 16,15; 16,16 are all in different 8x8 oil spawns - a smart player can use this to their advantage when prospecting. Within the 8x8 chunks, the oil can be +- 25% the designated value reported. Any oil amount above ~200 L/t is a good place to begin drilling. The algorithm is heavily skewed to generate lower quantities of oil, but theoretically the max is ~781 L/t. Higher tier Drilling Rigs will harvest bigger areas, gathering oil from multiple chunks.

Image Description
Three by three grid labelled Oil Field 1 to 9, each square subdivided into 8 by 8 chunks. The middle square Oil Field 5, has one red chunk marked "P". Every small square is one chunk (16x16 blocks). Seismic Prospector scans 3x3 (nine total) fields of 8x8 chunks, starting with the field it's in and the eight surrounding. Every chunk in a field has the same fluid, but amounts will vary. "P" shows where the prospector was placed in the field - exact placement doesn't matter, every chunk in Oil Field 5 would work the same.
Histogram of 1250 oil area spawning values. The 8x8 chunks within would be +-25% of these values. Most chunks will be 50L or less, it's rare to find ones that are over 100L.

Natural Gas

Converts to Refinery Gas with H in a Chemical Reactor. Refinery Gas distillation products result in butane, propane, ethane, methane and helium. Additional products are available via steam and hydro cracking.

Distilliation Results Butane Propanel Ethane Methane Helium
1000L Natural Gas 60L 70L 100L 750L 20L


Oil is considered an important resource since it can be used to produce a number of fuels. In addition to that many distillates are commonly used for polyethylene, TNT, rubber and much more.

  • Oil is commonly used as it provides a good distribution of Light Fuel and Heavy Fuel, as well as Naphta. Oil sprouts have this type.
  • Medium Oil (Raw Oil) is half as efficient as standard oil with the same distribution of distillates.
  • Light Oil produces a high portion of Sulfuric Gas which makes this fluid less useful in most cases. Can be useful in large quantities for Refinery Gas.
  • Heavy Oil distills to a lot of Sulfuric Heavy Fuel. Perfect for getting Heavy Fuel for your Diesel mixing needs.

All Oils also have an additional recipe in the Distillation Tower, producing Naphthenic Acid. Check NEI for specifics.

Distilliation Results Sulfuric Heavy Fuel Sulfuric Light Fuel Sulfuric Naptha Sulfuric Gas
50L Oil 15L 50L 20L 60L
100L Raw Oil 15L 50L 20L 60L
150L Light Oil 10L 20L 30L 240L
100L Heavy Oil 250L 45L 15L 60L

Drilling Rig

Drilling Rig harvesting range

Drilling Rigs are used to extract fluids from below the bedrock, including Oil. They come in five tiers, four which harvest from ever increasing ranges and the Infinite Gas/Oil/Fluid Drilling Rig which doesn't deplete oil fields. Oil Drilling Rigs always work on a fixed chunk grid inside their oil field. Infinite Oil is also possible from the Space Elevator.