Oil Stones: A Soviet City in the Middle of the Sea

Russian city on the sea

In 1940s and 1950s, right after the World War 2 Russia had to recover from the consequences of the Nazi invasion. Lots had to be done and as we know to complete something you need to have enough energy. And energy at that times as well as it is much likely now meant oil.

At that times the known oil reserves differed from what people in Russia know about it now. The main places to drill for oil was Southern Russia on contrary to frozen Northern Siberian regions as it’s for now. And the gemstone of the Soviet Oil production was Caspian sea region, mainly the territories that are an independent state of Aizerbajan now.

So after a massive attack of oil thirsty state the lands of this previously oil-saturated region little by little got exhausted of the black mineral treasure and the need for new sources of it arouse. Now it’s not clear who was that this genius who first came up with an idea of getting the oil right from the sea bottom where it was still plenty of it and for this purpose to build a real city 42 km (25 miles) off the coast right in the middle of the sea, but what we know is that this idea came into play and by some crazy chance it got support from that times Soviet leaders who leveraged it with the all support the biggest (by the territory) state could offer at that time. What this meant is that in a matter of just a few month a real town was built right in the middle of the nowhere on giant steel blocks coming from the sea bottom, from as deep as hundreds of feet down. And they called it “Oil Stones”.



Russian city on the sea 2

And that was really a city! Just one fact: the length of the streets of this one-of-a-kind town was exceeding 350 km (200 miles) if combined. There were nine stored buildings, schools, industry complexes and fountains. Lawns with green grass and children playing ball. And all that is forty two kilometeres from the nearest Earth surface close!

Russian city on the sea 3

Russian city on the sea 4

Russian city on the sea 5

As Soviet Union was keeping its achievements behind the iron curtain less was known to the rest of the world about such engineering wonder being built. Later, the new Northern reserves of oil were discovered which exceeded hundred times the ones they had in Caspian Sea region so the Soviet oil production industry giant moved away from that place, making it semi abandoned. But even now this place according to what has been said has more than the 2,000 inhabitants. A true example of what human is capable of achieving, maybe one of the biggest man made structures on Earth and how small we sometimes know on such places around the world.

Russian city on the sea 6

Russian city on the sea 7

Also there is a good old Soviet documentary footage from this place, made on its rise, where you still

can see the fountains working, people are happy and no shadow of coming times can be guessed looking

at the place itself and at the faces of its inhabitants.

42 thoughts on “Oil Stones: A Soviet City in the Middle of the Sea”

  1. Azerbaijan! I like the fact that there’s more articles about Caucasus and Central Asia!

    But once again you got the tags wrong! You need to put Azerbaijani history as well, as the town is in Azerbaijan!

  2. Privit!

    Do you know if it’s possible to go Neftaniye Kamni from Baku simply by bus, marshrut or taxi to see it and take photos or is it a closed area for foreigners?

  3. Look at a pre ww2 Russian maps and that is a small island about 20 miles offshore . nice propaganda you should do better next time yes .

  4. Finnish… What the Hell is problem with you now? Maybe you need a good slap, yes! Maybe you also need someone to… !
    What was this post about… Oh yeah, are they just gonna leave that oil stone there to fall into disrepair?

  5. Well, something I’d never seen before. Amazing. It’s a shame that things like that go into decay. The old USSR had some wonders worth preservation. Nice post.

  6. Ahhhhh….. Azerbaijan is nothing without the Russians.” Well they still do use the old Soviet infrastructure from the 70’s, falling apart now.

    Musa, I don’t know. Maybe it’s my demand for precision as myself try to be as accurate as possible. 🙁

    I need someone to do what?

    • >>>Musa, I don’t know. Maybe it’s my demand for precision as myself try to be as accurate as possible.<<>>Finnish… What the Hell is problem with you now? Maybe you need a good slap, yes! Maybe you also need someone to… !<<<

      You know exactly what I was commenting about when I wrote that.

      Yes Finnish, you definitely need a good slap and you also need someome to…!

  7. Here are wikipedia articles with more info about the city:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_Rocks
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_industry_in_Azerbaijan
    (search neft dashlari)

    and from that, several ways to see the island on a map:
    http://toolserver.org/~geohack/geohack.php?pagename=Neft_Da%C5%9Flar%C4%B1&params=40_19_N_50_35_E_type:city(933)_region:AZ

    If you have flash on your computer, try this one first:
    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=40.31689&lon=50.577119&z=12.9&r=0&src=msl
    You may have to zoom out a little bit first, but you get a decent look at the island!

  8. That’s amazing, I had no idea this place existed! It’s not what you’d expect from an “oil rig” somwhere off the coast either… Those blocks actually look like proper apartment buildings that you’d find in any city!

  9. the worst ‘documentary’ i ever saw. and it was made post 2001, you might want to erase the dates on the footage if your actually trying to convince people it was made pre soviet collapse.

  10. http://azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/52_folder/52_articles/52_oily.html

    FYI 🙂
    It seems like the story IS true!
    A passer-by 😉

  11. that good artikel, and i like this thing abaut cty in the sea, i thing our us this work, city in the sea.. once again i like this artikel and this picture,,
    ohhh it was incredible tool … I was frankly very surprised and awesome .. taste in my country there? … I wanted to follow up on the job … ((once again good and I’m proud of such a tool maker) OCTOBER FALL Ι LOMBOK &BALI ISLAND

  12. lol, that video at the end is hardly “good old Soviet documentary footage from this place, made on its rise” as claimed. it was made in 2001 for goodness sake.

  13. ash and weebo: Hey Geniuses! Just because the video is dated 2001 does not mean the footage is from that time.

  14. I’m agog at this place. In fact, that would be a good name for it , besides ” Oil Stones”. Agog….the Atlantis of the Caspian.

    If this place is still standing, it is a movie set made to order for an Apocalypse film of the first order. Or maybe a James Bond setting. Iron Man III. It’s loaded with possibilties.

    Otherwise, a luxury resort for tourists debarking from their Carnival Cruise ekranoplanes.

  15. Sorry man your English is rubbish.

    Really really bad e.g.

    “The main places to drill for oil was Southern Russia on contrary to frozen Northern Siberian regions as it’s for now.”

    WTF?

  16. I found this while hunting for the city – do you suppose this could be the place??

    39 deg. 42′ 53.09″ N
    49 deg. 38′ 46.17″ E

    (Sorry, I don’t know how to make the degrees symbol)

    If it is, looks like the water level has risen quite a bit…

  17. actually i dream to have a Carnival Cruise in the next few years, i am still trying to earn more money to afford it-,`

  18. My wife and I are considering enjoying a Carnival Cruise to Progresso, Mexico, along with Cozumel. It is actually a five Day excursion parting out of Mobile. Anyone have knowledge about this cruise? We can’t ascertain much information with reference to Progresso

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