Thursday, 28 February 2013

Humble Oil

Humble Oil and Refining Co. was founded in 1911. The company would later consolidate with Standard Oil of New Jersey to become Exxon. Exxon U.S.A. traces its roots from the Humble Oil Company, in the town of Humble, Texas, which was chartered in Texas in February 1911 with a capital of $150,000 (raised to $300,000 in 1912). In order to develop a refinery adjacent to the Goose Creek Oil Field at Baytown, Texas, on which Humble was the primary operator, the company was reorganized in 1917 and incorporated on June 21 as the Humble Oil and Refining Company with a capitalization of $1 million based on 40,000 shares at $100 par value. The original company resulted from the collaboration of Ross S. Sterling and Walter Fondren, Sr. with Robert L. Blaffer, James Cooke Wilson, William Stamps Farish II, Harry Carothers Wiess, and others. In the new organization were merged the Paraffine Oil Company, Blaffer and Farish, Schulz Oil Company, Ardmore Oil Company, and Globe Refining Company. In February 1919, Humble doubled the number of shares authorized and sold 50 percent of its stock to Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. This initiated Humble's long-term connection with the company that eventually absorbed it as Exxon Company, U.S.A. Standard Oil of New Jersey was identified as the particular target of antitrust enforcers in Texas in the early decades of the twentieth century, and the corporation found it much easier to do business in the state through Humble, its partially owned but autonomously directed affiliate. In 1948 Humble had issued a total of eighteen million shares with a total capitalization of $475 million; Standard Oil Company of New Jersey owned 72 percent of the stock. In 1917 Humble had 217 wells and a daily crude oil production of about 9,000 barrels. The company's production was expanded steadily. It made large additions to its reserves in the 1930s and increased production during World War II in order to meet war needs. Humble became the largest domestic producer of crude oil during the war and continued in that position into the 1950s. In 1949 the company had a net production of 275,900 barrels (43,860 m3) daily of crude oil and 15,900 barrels (2,530 m3) daily of natural-gas liquids. At the end of 1949 the company was operating 9,928 wells.