Texaco Inc.

Texaco Inc.

▪ American corporation
original name (1901–59)  Texas Fuel Company 

      former U.S.-based oil and petrochemical corporation. Founded in 1901, by the late 20th century it was one of the world's largest petroleum companies in terms of sales. The name Texaco was adopted in 1959. Although the company originally conducted its business ventures wholly within Texas, it expanded to all states of the United States and eventually established operations in many parts of the world, including Latin America, Indonesia, and the Middle East. It was primarily engaged in the production, refining, marketing, and shipping of petroleum and natural gas. Texaco was acquired by Chevron (Chevron Corporation) in 2001 and became part of ChevronTexaco Corporation.

      The Texas Fuel Company was founded in Beaumont, Texas, by Joseph S. Cullinan (1860–1937), a former Standard Oil field-worker, and Arnold Schlaet (1859–1946), a New York investment manager. Their original design was to buy and refine oil in Texas and sell it to Standard Oil Company interests in the north at a profit, but very soon they expanded into oil production in the giant Spindletop field. By 1910 the company was operating tankers out of New York and by 1911 had established its first refinery outside Texas, in Illinois. In 1928 it became the first company to market in the contiguous 48 states, and in the 1930s it began operations in Canada, Colombia, and Venezuela. It joined with Standard Oil of California (Chevron Corporation) (Socal) in half ownership of ventures in the Middle East and Indonesia—such as the Caltex group of companies in Bahrain, the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) in Saudi Arabia, and holding companies in Sumatra and Java.

      In 1984 Texaco purchased the Getty Oil Company but was sued for contract interference by the Pennzoil Company, whose own imminent acquisition of Getty had been derailed by Texaco's successful bid. Texaco retained control of Getty, but Pennzoil won punitive damages after a five-year court battle, being awarded the sum of $10.5 billion (of which Texaco eventually paid $3 billion).

      The Getty Oil Company, formerly headquartered in Los Angeles, had been incorporated in 1928 as the Pacific Western Oil Corporation, holding properties owned by Edward L. Doherty and family. It came under the control of J. Paul Getty (Getty, J. Paul), and the name Getty Oil Company was adopted in 1956.

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Universalium. 2010.

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