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OIL COMPANIES HISTORIES IN SHORT
PURE OIL CO., - History in short
Pure Oil Company

The Oil Regionís independent producers and refiners met in January 1895 in Butler to discuss consolidation of  their interests. As a result of those Butler meetings, the Pure Oil Co. was formed in the autumn of 1895 as a  marketing company to serve the business interests of the independent refiners, producers and pipeline operators of the Pennsylvania Oil Region.
The independent refiners and producers completed a gathering pipeline in early 1893 from Coraopolis north  through Allegheny County and Butler County to the refineries in the Oil Creek Valley from Oil City to Titusville.
This pipeline was called the Producersí & Refinersí Oil Co. Pipe Line. In 1893, the Oil Creek refiners received  2,500 to 3,000 barrels a day of crude from this line. The Producersí & Refinersí Oil Co. Pipe Line was connected to independent producers in the McDonald Field and in Butler County. This line was built so that the independent refiners could pay a lower gathering pipeline fee, 15 cents, rather than the prevailing 20 cents per barrel charged by Standard Oilís National Transit Co. The Producersí and Refinersí Pipe Line pumped crude from  the McDonald Field that was piped to the firmís Coraopolis terminal by a second independent pipeline, the Producersí Oil Co. Pipe Line.
To connect the independent Bradford and Warren refineries with the Producersí & Refinersí system, a third independent pipeline was built by Bradford and other Oil Region investors in 1892 southwest from Bradford  through Warren and Titusville terminating in Oil City. This line was called the United States Pipe Line. Bradfordís  Lewis Emery was the leader of the effort. Emery announced his intention of extending the United States Pipe  Line east to the seaboard, thus giving the Oil Region independent oil interests a trunk line that would be cost  competitive with Standard Oilís trunk pipelines out of the Region. The United States Pipe Line actually consisted of two parallel lines, a four inch crude line and a separate five inch refined product line.
Pure Oil was formed to market a consortium of independent refinersí oil to East Coast markets and to Europe.
The firmís first President was David Kirk, elected in 1895. He was replaced in 1896 by James W. Lee. The firm  was incorporated as a New Jersey corporation. To fulfill the requirements of New Jersey corporate law, Pure  Oil met once a year in Taylorís Hotel in Jersey City for the corporationís required annual meeting. The actual  executive headquarters were established in Pittsburgh with operational headquarters in Oil City.
Beginning in March 1896, Pure Oil marketed illuminating oil by tank wagon on the streets of Philadelphia and  New York in direct competition with Standard Oil. The firm also competed vigorously with Standardís South  Penn Oil for available crude in the Appalachian Field. The organizers of the firm were politically savvy and connected. They used a committee of the Congress, the Industrial Commission, to advance their competitive position. The firm built in April 1896 bulk terminals in Amsterdam and Hamburg and established extensive  marketing networks in the Netherlands and Germany. In the Netherlands and Germany, Pure Oil competed  with Standard Oil, the Nobels, the Rothchilds and the Deutchbanke for market share.
Pure Oil by way of a 1900 consolidation became the holding company for the three independent pipelines: the  Producersí & Refinersí Co. Pipe Line, the Producersí Oil Co. Pipe Line and the United States Pipe Line. In addition to originally marketing the unbranded refined output of fifteen or so existing independent refineries in the  Oil Region, Pure Oil operated a refinery, the former Foggan Refinery, under the Pure Oil name in Titusville.
These Oil Region refineries by 1900 had a combined capacity of 12,000 barrels a day. Pure Oil completed a refinery at Marcus Hook on the Delaware River in 1904. The United States Pipe Line delivered its first crude,  600 barrels a day, to the site in 1904. By 1906, the pipeline was delivering 1,800 barrels a day. Pure Oil operated their own tanker, the Pennoil, between Marcus Hook and Europe and expanded its marketing along the Rhine  and in Holland.
To ensure a supply of crude, Pure Oil incorporated the Pure Oil Producing Co. in 1902. The firm drilled a good  number of wells in Southeastern Ohio and in West Virginia. Pureís producing company added 1,900 barrels a  day to the total of 6,000 collected at the time by Pure Oilís gathering system.
Pure Oil enjoyed notable success in the United States and Europe for over two decades. The firm withdrew  completely from Europe by 1917. New York investors perceived the Pure Oil owners might be in a mind to sell.
These New York investors asked a Columbus, Ohio firm, Ohio Cities Gas, to evaluate the Pure Oil property.
The New York investors backed out of pursuing Pure Oil. Beman Dawes of Marietta, Ohio and his brothers, who owned Ohio Cities Gas, instead made an offer of $24.50 a share for Pure Oil. Beman Dawes believed  Pure Oilís existing gathering pipelines and producing properties complimented his own growing oil production  and marketing very well. Additionally, Dawes was building a refinery in Oklahoma that could use the crude  production of Pure Oil property in that state. The Pure Oil investors accepted, realized a net gain of $22,000,000,  and the Pennsylvania Pure Oil firm in 1917 passed into history.
Aware of a pressing need to establish a brand and corporate identity more competitive in the marketplace, Dawes renamed Ohio Cities Gas in 1920. The Ohio firm adopted the old Pennsylvania name, Pure Oil.
From their offices in the Pure Oil building, company executives oversaw oil wells and refineries located in Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas. A new research laboratory opened
in 1950 in suburban Crystal Lake; eventually, Pure Oil operated a refinery at Lemont, Illinois. The company's annual sales grew from about $80 million in the late 1920s to over $700 million by the early 1960s, when it ranked among the 100 largest industrial corporations in the United States and employed more than 1,000 people in the Chicago area. In 1965, Pure Oil was purchased by the Union Oil Co. of California. As late as the mid-1970s, about 2,200 Chicago-area residents were employed by Union Oil.

In 1939 the fleet of Pure Oil consist of the follwing vessels :

Tankers
Name
Build
Builder
GRT
DWT
LOA
Breath
Draught
Speed
W.C. Fairbanks ex. Harold Walker
1917
Cramp
6353
11150
446-4
58-2
27-0
9.5
W.E. Hutton ex. Portola Plumas
1920
Bethlehem
7076
10078
453-9
56-0
27-3
10.0
W.F. Burdell ex. City of Alameda
1920
Bethlehem
7044
10100
453-9
56-0
27-3
10.0
W.W. Mills ex. Puente
1921
Merchant SB
6817
10184
424-4
58-2
26-6
10.0