In 1901 a group of investors started a refinery in Port Arthur, after the discovery of oil at Spindletop in Texas. They chose to name their company Gulf Oil, after the nearby “Gulf of Mexico”.
The flow of oil from Spindletop didnt last, and a pipeline from Oklahoma to Port Arthur in Texas was built to supply more oil to Gulf Oils refinery. The 640 km long Glenn Pool Pipeline was opened in 1907.
Kuwait Oil Company
Gulf Oil and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later BP) founded the Kuwait Oil Company in 1934. The two companies each owned 50% of the new company.
The Kuwait Oil Company was a good source of income for it’s owners until 1975, where the ownership was transfered to the Kuwait government.
Ironically the Kuwait Oil Company’s owner Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (also known as Q8) later would take over a large piece of Gulf Oil.
After the second world war, Gulf Oil grew into a global corporation, with oilfields, refineries and fuel stations world wide.
Gulf Oil invested a lot in motor sports, and the bright lightblue/orange cars were everywhere in ads, newspapers and TV.
To this day the colour combination is seen on tribute cars
The End of a giant
In the 1980s Gulf Oil came into serious difficulties. The price of it’s stock fell and ended below the break-up value, where the value of it’s assets were more worth than it’s stock prices, and therefore it was in danger of being taken over by competitors.
Gulf Oils assets ended up being broken up, and companies like BP, Chevron, Cumberland Farms and Gulfs prior company Q8 continued using the Gulf name on some products for almost a decade.