Superior Oil Company
Superior Oil Company was an independent American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 company that is now part of ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

. Superior Oil was founded in 1921 in Coalinga, California
Coalinga, California
Coalinga is a city in Fresno County, California. The population was 13,380 at the 2010 census, up from 11,668 at the 2000 census. It is the site of both Pleasant Valley State Prison and Coalinga State Hospital. Coalinga is located southwest of Fresno, at an elevation of 673 feet .-Early...

 by William Myron Keck
William Myron Keck
William Myron Keck was an American oil entrepreneur and philanthropist who is now best known for giving his name to the W. M. Keck Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. In 1921, Keck founded the Superior Oil Company in Coalinga, California. In 1954, he...

, also founder of the W. M. Keck Foundation
W. M. Keck Foundation
The W. M. Keck Foundation is an American charitable foundation supporting scientific, engineering, and medical research in the United States. It was founded in 1954 by William Myron Keck, founder and president of Superior Oil Company . The Foundation's trust fund currently has assets in excess of 1...


Superior Oil began as a drilling contracting firm and grew into other oil services including exploration and production of oil and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

. In 1938, the company constructed the first offshore oil platform
Oil platform
An oil platform, also referred to as an offshore platform or, somewhat incorrectly, oil rig, is a lаrge structure with facilities to drill wells, to extract and process oil and natural gas, and to temporarily store product until it can be brought to shore for refining and marketing...

 off the Gulf Coast
Gulf Coast of the United States
The Gulf Coast of the United States, sometimes referred to as the Gulf South, South Coast, or 3rd Coast, comprises the coasts of American states that are on the Gulf of Mexico, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and are known as the Gulf States...

 of Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 in cooperation with Pure Oil
Pure Oil
Pure Oil Company was an American petroleum company founded in 1914 and sold to what is now Union Oil Company of California in 1965. The Pure Oil name returned in 1993 as a cooperative which has grown to supply 350 members in 10 Southern states.-History:Three companies operating in the United...

, another independent producer.

From the company's founding in 1921 until 1963, Superior Oil was led by its founder, W. M. Keck. From 1963 until 1981, it was led by Keck's son, Howard B. Keck.

In 1970s, Superior Oil was involved in the oil shale industry
Oil shale industry
Oil shale industry is an industry of mining and processing of oil shale—a fine-grained sedimentary rock, containing significant amounts of kerogen , from which liquid hydrocarbons can be manufactured. The industry has developed in Brazil, China, Estonia and to some extent in Germany, Israel and...

 developing the Superior multimineral process
Superior multimineral process
The Superior multimineral process is an above ground shale oil extraction technology designed for production of shale oil, a type of synthetic crude oil. The process heats oil shale in a sealed horizontal segmented vessel causing its decomposition into shale oil, oil shale gas and spent residue...


In March 1984, Superior Oil was acquired by Mobil Corporation
Mobil, previously known as the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, was a major American oil company which merged with Exxon in 1999 to form ExxonMobil. Today Mobil continues as a major brand name within the combined company, as well as still being a gas station sometimes paired with their own store or On...

 (now part of ExxonMobil) for US$ 5.7 billion
1000000000 (number)
1,000,000,000 is the natural number following 999,999,999 and preceding 1,000,000,001.In scientific notation, it is written as 109....

. At that time the company was the nation's largest independent oil producer.
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