7 Days to Die: How to Get and Use Oil Shale

Learn how to get Oil Shale and what it can be used for

Between fueling vehicles, running generators, and crafting Molotov Cocktails, mid-to-late game players will find themselves going through a ton of fuel. With the gas stations out of business and fuel at a premium, there has to be a better way that doesn’t break the bank. The solution is to make your own fuel with Oil Shale!

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to get and mine oil shale in 7 Days to Die and explain how it can be used to make your life easier.

How to find Oil Shale in 7 Days to Die

It’s extremely rare to find shale in loot containers and scavenging locations, so it’s typically best to mine it. Oil deposits can be found exclusively in the Desert Biome, where they spawn at a very high rate.

1. Gas Stations

If you only need a little bit of shale, it can sometimes be found at gas stations and garages. Checking fuel pumps, jerry cans, and barrels is your best bet for finding this resource at these locations.

2. Chemical Barrels

Chemistry Stations, lab tables, and chemical barrels can sometimes contain Oil Shale. Containers like these are not common and are typically located in particularly dangerous locations like secret labs, toxic dumps, and the hospital.

3. Mining

By far the most efficient route for farming Oil Shale and producing fuel. Mining deposits with a pickaxe or auger will net you much more of the resource and is much less dangerous than trying to find it in barrels underneath a sketchy lab.

Building an Oil Shale Mine

You will need to dig a mine to collect shale in any quantity. Mining for Oil is especially dangerous since you’ll be digging out in the desert underneath the sand, so be extremely careful how you build your mine. The iridescent chunk of colorful rock visible on the surface can identify these Oil deposits.

Oil Shale deposits spawn close to the surface underneath the desert sand, so there is almost no point in trying to build mine supports. Instead, we recommend constructing what we refer to as an Oil well. Once drilled to the same level as the deposit, dig out one column at a time and let the sand fall behind it before continuing.

You must scoop out the sand with a shovel or auger to clear your path. Doing this will open up the mine to the surface like a well, exposing you to the elements and being vulnerable to zombie attacks. To prevent this, we usually cap our wells with wooden or metal trusses that allow the player to see and shoot through while preventing zombies from climbing down.

Tips and tricks for using Oil Shale in 7 Days to Die

Oil Shale has three primary uses: Engine Oil, Gasoline, and Asphalt.

1. Oil

Shale can be refined at a chemistry station if you need Oil for mods, Molotovs, traps, or other advanced creations. Each unit will require around 24 Shale and a tin can to hold it.

2. Gas Cans

The most common use for shale is in the production of gas cans. These cans are used to fuel vehicles and generators and are, therefore, vital for survival in later game stages. Gas cans can be produced at a chemistry station with quite an impressive conversion rate that can be improved further with science skills.

3. Asphalt

Asphalt is a sturdy terrain material used for building and repairing roads. We often use asphalt to replace the ground around our base, making it more durable and easier to repair. Asphalt can be mixed in a Cement Mixer in combination with sand and Small Stones.


Can Oil Shale be burned as fuel?

Yes. However, it’s hardly worth it to do so, as each unit only produces 5 seconds of heat.

Can vehicles be fueled with shale?

No. Oil Shale has to be refined into gas cans before it can be used as fuel for vehicles or generators.

How much Oil Shale can be stacked together?

Oil Shale can be collected into stacks of up to 6000 units.

Final thoughts on getting Oil Shale in 7 Days to Die

Once you have a set of motorized wheels in 7 Days to Die, you’ll never walk anywhere again. The freedom of movement and mobile storage space that comes with a proper vehicle just can’t be beaten; The Fun Pimps ensured that. Even homebodies will recognize the necessity of fuel production to maintain their electrical grid.

With a few stacks of shale in the bag, you’ll never have to worry about finding a gas station out in the wasteland again. If you’re looking for more tips to make your life in the apocalypse easier, check out our 10 Tips for Getting Started.

Aaron Van Dyck's avatar

About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

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