From The Mobil Book of Ships
The abnormal demands of the years immediately following WWI brought out forcibly Socony's deficiencies in not owning or controlling a reliable source of crude oil supply.
Socony not only had to purchase all of its crude, but also a large part of its refined products from oil companies which were, because of the enforced fission of the Standard Oil group, now its competitors.
This hard situation was improved somewhat in 1918 when Socony acquired a 79% interest in Magnolia Petroleum Company of Dallas, Texas. Magnolia controlled large crude oil stocks - producing and in reserve - as well as a large refinery in Beaumont and a thriving consumers market in Texas and surrounding states.
Socony's circumstances were further improved in 1925 when Magnolia became a wholly-owned subsidiary. A year later, in May 1926, the situation took a broad turn for the better when Socony acquired a second company, General Petroleum Corporation of California.
General Petroleum had established a well-integrated oil business west of the Rockies, comprising the three essentials of full and independent operation. It had oil wells, refineries and a market for its products.
To feed its market, General Petroleum had a fleet of eight deep-water ships pacing the US west coast. With Socony's acquisition of General, these eight ships joined the US-flag fleet.
The ships acquired through General Petroleum Company were: TEJON, LIEBRE, YORBA LINDA, EMIDIO, LEBEC, MOJAVE, LIO and LOS ALAMOS.
In 1926 and 1927, Socony also bought three more vessels independently. They were: AURORA, ALTAIR and ATLAS.
In the late 1920s, the company became interested in replacing steam with diesel as a power source for its vessels. It commissioned three diesel-powered ships from the Sun yard in Chester, Pennsylvania. They were: BRILLIANT, COMET and DAYLIGHT.
From : The New York Times, November 15, 1913, Saturday.
BIG BRITISH DEAL IN CALIFORNIA OIL
General Petroleum Company, Passes to English Syndicate Headed by Andrew Weir.
PLANS NEW TANK FLEET
New Step in Admiralty's Policy of Getting Supply for its Oil-Burning Vessels.
By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph to The New York Times.
LONDON, Nov. 14. - The General Petroleum Company of California, a concern with an authorized capital of $50.000,000, of which nearly $35.000,000 has been issued. The Oil News says, has passed to the control of a British syndicate headed by Andrew Weir of Messrs. Weir & Co., London, a well-known firm of shipowners, Messrs. Weir & Co. already were largely interested, both as a whole and through individuals, in the operations of the General Petroleum Company.
Some time ago the firm became the shipping agents for fuel oil produced by the General Petroleum Company. In April last it was announced that another fleet of large tank steamers sailing under the British flag was to be formed and was to consist of ten vessels of 10,000 tons deadweight capacity each. Now four more modern tankers are to be chartered and six other new tank steamers contingently built for Messrs. Weir & Co. in handling the General Petroleum Company oil.
The acquisition by English interests of the General Petroleum Company, so far as its Mexican oil fields are concerned, is in line with other recent moves having: in view the desire of the British Admiralty for a source of supply for its oil-burning vessels outside the domains of any large power. With regard to the company's wells in California. Its pipe lines and its docks at L-oa Angeles, it closely follows several acquisitions in the same State by the Royal Dutch-Shell group, which is dominated by the Rothschilds.
The General Petroleum Company is a California corporation, which succeeded last year the JSsperanza Consolidated
Oil Company. It owns, operates, or controls about 23,000 acres in various California oil fields, on which are.100 producing wells, yielding 3,450,000 barrels per annum, and about 23.000 acres in uiffercnt parts of Mexico. It has four refineries at Midway, Vernon. MoJave, and Sunset.
It has contracts with other producers aggregating about 3.000.000 - barrels a vear. and with the Santa Fe Railroad, by which it receives 9.000,000 barrels in the field. It has stock outstanding of $ 34.814,000, a funded debt of $12,305,000, and $ 3.000,000 6 per cent notes. It has an option for the control of the United Petroleum and Union Provident Companies, which control the Union Oil Company.
R. R. Colgate of this city is a Director, and the General Pipe Line Company, which it controls, has affiliations with James B. Colgate & Co.. C. D. Barney & Co., and Tucker, Anthony & Co. of Boston.
The General Pipe Line Company, also incorporated last year, has built from the Midway oil fields to the Pacific Ocean at San Pedro. near Los Angeles, and has a line under construction to Mojave, a railroad junction. At the terminus of the line, under a twenty-one-year franchise from the City of Los Angeles. It has two complete berths for steamers up to 15.000 tons capacity.