Historian Stan Walker writes: John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Co. actually paid $761,000 in cash — not $1 million as a headline indicates — for all of the capital stock of the Pacific Oil Co., which started in the Pico field and
was incorporated in 1879 by D.G. Scofield. After the sale, PCO operated independently and retained its name until 1906, when it was combined with other Standard Oil companies in the Western United States to form a new company, Standard Oil Co. (California).
In May 1911, Standard Oil (California) was separated from its parent Standard Oil and became an independent entity after the federal government won an antitrust lawsuit.
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Standard's Big Deal in Oil.
Absorbs the Pacific Coast Company.
One Million is Paid.
All the Interests of the Concern are Acquired.
Greatest Oil Company on Earth Will Embark in the Industry in This State on an Extensive Scale.
Los Angeles Herald | December 11, 1900.
The expected has happened. The Standard Oil company has become one of the largest producers of oil in California. A deal has just been consummated whereby the Standard Oil company acquires all the interest of the Pacific Coast Oil company. The purchase price is said to be in the neighborhood of one million dollars.
For several months it has been known that the Standard had a desire to get into the oil business in this state and had several representatives here looking over the field and "getting a line" on good propositions. The entrance of the great corporation into the Kern river field caused considerable comment among some of the producers there, who thought they could see all sorts of dire happenings as a result. The Oil Storage and Transportation company was organized and "means of defense" provided and it gradually became noised about that the latter organization had captured all the production and had the Standard "on the hip," so to speak, although the work of erecting large storage tanks by the big company continued, and people began to wonder where the Standard would get its oil to fill these (tanks).
As is well known, however, the managers of this concern are no novices in the oil business and generally have their plans well matured before taking any definite steps. The Herald has held to the position that the Standard would secure the oil if that was its purpose, and has shown on various occasions that it has never been the policy of this company to develop oil territory. The men at the head of this concern are too well posted in the business to take chances. All the producing property owned by the Standard Oil company has to be acquired by purchase, after the land has been demonstrated to be productive.
Although it appears that Kern river field was the first one in which the Standard became interested it was also apparent that there were other sections of the state, almost as tempting, and it did not take the representatives of the S.O.C. a great while to discover the fact.
From different sections of the state have come at different times reports that Standard agents were "looking over matters."
The result has been the purchase as mentioned above.
The Pacific Coast Oil company is one of the oldest, largest and most substantial oil companies in the state. It has been doing business in the state for a quarter of a century and has been reaching out during that period, until its interests include valuable oil property in various sections, the most important being the Newhall field, where the company is credited with about one hundred producing wells. This property is fitted up with machine shops, blacksmith shops and all the other adjuncts to a well regulated oil farm, and is connected by a pipe line with Ventura on the coast, where the company has erected immense storage tanks. From this point the oil is transported in the steamer Loomis, owned by the company, to the refining plant at Alameda Point, which has a monthly capacity of 25,000 barrels. The company also has large interests in Santa Clara and San Benito counties, where a considerable portion of its production is obtained.
The entire holdings, including lands, wells, pipe lines, steamer and refinery are embraced in the transfer. It is understood that D.G. Scofield will be retained as general superintendent under the new management.
This is one of the most important events in the history of the oil industry in California, and will, without doubt, lead to a more substantial recognition among oil men throughout the country.
News story courtesy of Stan Walker.