In Ängelsberg, on Barrön in the year 1875, something happened that contributed to a revolution in the everyday lives of people at that time. Pehr August Ålund built one of Sweden’s first oil refineries and started producing, among other things, kerosene, which provided even, smoke-free lighting in cottages and industries!
Ålund’s products had significant importance for the entire Sweden, especially for the mines, ironworks, and other industries in Bergslagen, which became the primary customers. It is the oldest oil refinery preserved in the world today.
The island became popularly known as Oil Island, and a small community grew here, simultaneously with the development of the town of Ängelsberg on the mainland, when the railway from Stockholm was completed. Engelsbergs Bruk existed long before and, like Strömsholm’s canal, was one of the reasons why the refinery was established here.
The refinery on the island is open to visitors during the summer. Oil Island is a part of the Ekomuseum Bergslagen and is owned by Preem. In 1999, Oil Island was named the Industrial Heritage of the Year by the Swedish Industrial Heritage Association, read more here.
Welcome to the website – and to Oil Island, the world’s oldest preserved oil refinery!
The book about the Oil Island was created by Kersti Kollberg and photographer Björn Ullhagen and is unfortunately sold out from the publisher. However, it can be found in antiquarian bookstores. The book was published by Balkong Förlag, Stockholm. The book is written in Swedish.