The Petroleum Philatelic Society International

The History of the Petroleum Philatelic Society International

The Petroleum Philatelic Society International (PPSI) was organized late in 1974 for the purpose of advancing the philately of the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries. Since that time more than 600 members from approximately 40 countries all around the globe have joined our organization. Even though our membership has aged over time we are still a very viable group. The far-flung global operations of the petroleum industry, plus its diversity and complexity, make it an ideal and extraordinary subject for the collector. Political and economic events in the late 1970's brought a new awareness of the industry to all the people of the world.

From the beginning we were associated with Les Amis du Pétrole (The Friends of Petroleum), an international organization headquartered in Paris, France which was interested in collecting memorabilia of the petroleum industry besides stamps and other postal material, although that organisation has since ceased to exist. We are also a study unit of the American Topical Association, and are Affiliate 170 of the American Philatelic Society.

As long ago as 1960, although more than 36 countries were known to have issued petro-stamps, only about 400 varieties of stamps had been recognized as having a relationship to the industry. Today almost all nations have produced at least one of the more than 7,000 petroleum related stamps, and the number is growing rapidly. All phases of the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries are represented on world postage and revenue issues: exploration, production, refining, transportation, research, marketing and end-use. The last few year's issues have stressed environmental concerns and energy conservation. In addition, we concern ourselves with the stamps honoring people who have made key contributions to the petroleum industry. The petro-stamp certainly does not have to display a derrick or a refinery in order to qualify.

You need not be connected with the petroleum industry to enjoy and profit from petro-philately. Experience in stamp collecting is not a factor either; our present worldwide membership comprises persons with very diverse backgrounds, and it includes many of the pioneers in our field as well as a number of people just starting.

Petro-philately differs from other forms of philately in that it is more complex, more varied in its representations, offers greater challenges, has greater depth and more by-ways and branches of interest than any we have knowledge of. But, it is fun!

Our President, Tony Curiale, recently produced an award winning exhibit of oil related stamps. This presents an excellent introduction to the oil industry, and illustrates the extent of our branch of the hobby of philately. You can view the presentation here. Note that this is a PDF file so you'll need to have Adobe Acrobat installed on the computer to view the file.

We welcome you to PPSI and a philatelic adventure. Why not complete a membership form now?

The Society Board of Directors and Editors presently comprise:

President: Tony Curiale (New Jersey)
Vice-President: Steve Fraser (England)
Editor "The Petro-Philatelist": Steve Fraser
Treasurer: Hugo Vargas (California)
Editor PSW catalog and website: Steve Fraser

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