If not for Captain John Barneson, the ExxonMobil oil refinery would possibly by no means have come to Torrance.
Born in Scotland on Jan. 1, 1862, Barneson spent his early years piloting transport ships before establishing his own transport firm in San Francisco in the 1890s.
Barneson firm was known as upon to function troop ships during the Spanish-American Battle in 1898. He became convinced that oil-powered ships would soon turn out to be normal within the business, and his profession focus started to turn from delivery to oil transport.
Barneson noticed that California had no solution to convey oil from its fields within the central valley to the ports where ships increasingly were relying upon the gas for operation.
He formed a pipeline company, and began to construct oil pipelines from central California oilfields to coastal ports. After building one such pipeline to Monterey, he turned his attention to theLos Angeles space, the place San Pedro had been recently designated as the city official port.
Barneson was fast to recognize the necessity for an oil transportation community connecting the burgeoning new port to oil sources.
After working with Esperanza Consolidated Oil Firm, he determined to kind his own firm in 1912, the overall Petroleum Firm of Southern California.
He set about constructing another pipeline, this one from the Bakersfield oilfields down through Tehachapi and from there to Los Angeles, where it delivered crude oil to Common Petroleum refinery in Vernon, simply south of downtown. From there, the fuel would be transported to ready ships in Los Angeles Harbor.
Enterprise boomed, and Basic Petroleum started to see that its Vernon facilities have been changing into too small to handle the demand. A bigger facility closer to the port seemed to be the logical reply.
In January 1927, the company purchased about 900 acres in central Torrance for about $2.5 million from the Dominguez family for the needs of constructing a brand new refinery there.
The plan was to build a refinery with a lot larger capacity utilizing parts from the Vernon plant because it was being dismantled.
Building is in full swing at the final Petroleum plant in central Torrance on this Daily Breeze file photo taken in early 1929.
Floor was broken for the new plant in late 1928, and it turned operational in April 1929.
By this time, Common Petroleum had become a subsidiary of the standard Oil Company of recent York. Referred to as 鈥淪oconyfor short, it was one of the 鈥渂abycompanies ensuing the breakup of Commonplace Oil monopoly within the early 1900s.
The accomplished Normal Petroleum plant in Torrance in 1929, bottom center. (Daily Breeze file photo)
The new plant had a refining capability of 30,000 barrels a day and was one and a half instances bigger than the Vernon refinery had been. (Its fashionable-day incarnation can course of 149,500 barrels each day.)
Soon after its opening, although, enlargement turned obligatory, and the refinery started the first of many enlargements, this one going down throughout the primary years of the Depression.
It might function one of many city largest employers, using as many as 3,000 during its early years, and currently employing round 800.
Throughout World Struggle II, the refinery was completely retooled in order to produce aviation gasoline for the war effort.
The refinery could be identified for decades as the overall Petroleum refinery, or just Pfor brief.
In actuality, it had that name officially for less than a few years, from 1929-1931.
From 1931-1955, its official name was Socony-Vacuum Oil Co, following Socony merger in 1931 with Vacuum Oil Company. In 1955, it grew to become the Socony-Mobil Oil Co.., and in 1966, Socony-Mobil became merely the Mobil Oil Company.
For the subsequent three many years, the Torrance facility was recognized as the Mobil Oil Refinery.
The merger of Exxon and Mobil in 1999 resulted in the renaming of the company Torrance refinery as the ExxonMobil refinery in 2000, the identify it currently has.
The ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance is reportedly on the market. The refinery is one among the biggest employers in town. October 2014 photograph. (Robert Casillas, Daily Breeze staff photographer)
As for Captain Barneson, he worked for General Petroleum in addition to serving as an government vice president of Socony before retiring in 1928 on account of unwell health.
He spent a superb deal of his spare time competitively racing his yacht, Edris, in the Bay Space throughout the 1920s and thirties. He died in San Mateo on Feb.