Desert terrain in a great power's territory in Imperialism is of no value at the start of a game (except as a place where a depot or port may be constructed or where one end of a rail link may be) but may be prospected for oil after you research Oil Drilling, probably in the late 1850s.

Desert in a minor nation may produce oil for sale with no apparent human intervention, but it can be purchased by a developer in the usual way.

In the Europe scenarios, most of the desert is spread over the three or four nations that are wholly or partly in Africa.

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