Since there is a large amount of oil deposits in my city, I chose to go into oil specialization.. I've plopped several oil wells and I make a fair amount of profit selling crude oil on the global market.

Now I want to go to the next level by making my oil into fuel or plastic. I already built a Petroleum HQ. However, I can't build the Refining Division (which is needing for the oil refinery which in turn makes plastic out of crude oil), it shows "Not Approved" without explicitly stating which requirement I'm missing. It also might be that I have to upgrade my HQ first, because it's showing a progress bar indicating that I must make a certain amount of profit. I tried selling more curde oil, but I have come to the point where I'm making more oil than the trade depot can sell. I've added more trade depots, but that doesn't seem to make any difference because only one depot is selling as far as I can tell. The others just get their storage filled up.

So, any ideas? What am I missing here?

  • I am making 309k a day from crude oil alone, have upgrading my petrolium HQ once, and still am not allowed to place down my refining division. The next upgrade for my HQ is 800k in sales... That is impossible to do without refining my oil. I think it is just a bug or something. It's extremely aggravating though.
    – user43689
    Mar 11, 2013 at 4:08

2 Answers 2


You are correct that you need an unlock in your Petrolium HQ (http://ca.ign.com/wikis/simcity/Petroleum_HQ)

Requirements to unlock: Extract 9,600 barrels of oil in a single day

Some tips:

  • make sure that export is enabled for every trade depot -- it won't be enabled by default.

  • the oil well is 2,400 barrels/day and each pumpjack is an extra 1,200 barrels/day. So you are going to have to get 6 extra pumps in somehow.

  • 1
    Thanks for your info, but I think the game was just buggy. After restarting the game, all trade depots were selling their crude oil, so I easily could made the next level on my petroleum HQ.
    – Drakkat
    Mar 9, 2013 at 21:04

The refining division has a separate requirement of making 160,000 simolians in oil export profit each day. I have two wells one maxed other w 4 jacks and two trade depots i'm still only up to 90k/day and almost out of oil. It seems it's incredibly hard to do but once you do you can import oil, refine that, and sell it to make profits.

  • It does seem absurdly hard to get to 160k exports, max'd out 3 wells (4 trading posts, but they aren't 100% utilized) and got to around 140k. Placement wasn't perfect (first whack at oil I'd ever taken), so I think you may have to squeeze a 4th well in. Mar 10, 2013 at 2:58
  • Do both depots sell their oil? That was my problem, I've plopped four of them, none of them were at 100%. After relogging, they suddenly worked. From what I've read everywhere, there are still problem with region/global market trading.
    – Drakkat
    Mar 10, 2013 at 11:21

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