For over 35 years, the Petroleum Museum has shared the petroleum and energy story and its impact on our daily lives. The Museum offers an amazing journey through millions of years of history, including the vast sea that covered the Permian Basin 230 million years ago.
The 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits cover all aspects of the petroleum industry. The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum celebrated the opening of their new petroleum exhibits on April 2, 2016. This opening marked the conclusion of an $18 million renovation.
From interactives to immersive environments to game-based learning experiences, the 15,000 square feet of exhibit space will be sure to entertain guests of all ages. In addition to telling the petroleum and energy story of the Permian Basin, the Museum hopes to inspire young visitors to pursue careers in the petroleum and energy sciences.
“This is a project that has been several years in the making and it has certainly exceeded all our expectations. The amount of information, dispersed in so many creative ways will fascinate visitors of all ages.” said Kathy Shannon, Executive Director. “The Museum has become a showcase for innovative and creative thinking and definitely a strong science-based museum for our community and beyond.”
Highlights of the new exhibits include:
- Mythcrackers: An introductory film welcomes visitors by examining and dispelling common petroleum myths via a Family Feud-style game show, because “it’s what you think you know that just ain’t so.”
- Permian Reef: Upon exiting the theater, guests are fully immersed into a dramatic recreation of a 250 million-year-old Permian reef, featuring the Museum’s original 1975 reef diorama, beautifully restored.
- Birth of an Industry: Midland comes to life via a re-creation of a 1930s Boom Town, complete with a general store, land office and an array of early Midland artifacts.
- The Voyage of the PetroTrekker – As the tactical engineers of a petroleum exploration vessel, guests journey across land, through space and under the sea to find new sources of petroleum. This immersive theater features interactive touch screens, dramatic lighting and special effects to place guests in the heart of the action.
- Risk and Reward – In this game-based exhibit, guests run into various obstacles as they drill for oil and must determine whether to forge ahead or walk away.
- Supplemental Energies – This area explains the supplemental energies, from solar to hydro to nuclear, that are being used to power our cars, homes and cities.
- Chevron Energy City – This brightly colored “city”, geared towards visitors ages 6-9, teaches children about various forms of energy and the steps they can take to conserve energy in their everyday lives.