62) Oil and Blood : Exxon & Total - from today, backward to the roots

In tombs of gold and lapis lazuli
Bodies of holy men and women exude
Miraculous oil, odour of violet.

But under heavy loads of trampled clay
Lie bodies of the vampires full of blood;
Their shrouds are bloody and their lips are wet.

“Oil and Blood” by William Butler Yeats (1928)


2017, November 15 : US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson makes unexpected 24h-visit to Romania: the first visit an official of President Donald Trump’s administration makes in Romania. US troops are stationed in Romania at the Mihail Kogalniceanu - near Black Sea, and Deveselu military bases, the later hosting the US anti-missile defense system Aegis Ashore.
Exxon (former "Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey") and OMV Petrom (Romanian subsidiary of "Österreichische MineralölVerwaltung") will start the extractions of natural gas from the Black Sea in 2020.

2017, February : Rex Tillerson sworn in as Trump's Secretary of State.
It is no secret in Washington DC that Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump have had a difficult working relationship.
Tillerson joined Exxon in 1975 and rose to serve as its chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) from 2006 to 2016.


2013 : Vladimir Putin awarded ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens. Tillerson was responsible for the development of a partnership between Exxon and state-owned oil company Rosneft and the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to acquire a stake in Yukos, owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, before the firm was nationalized after Khodorkovsky's arrest.

2012 : ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom announced the Domino-1 exploration well encountered natural gas in the deep water sector of the Neptun Block.

2008 : ExxonMobil has been present in Romania's upstream sector when it acquired an interest in the deepwater Neptun Deep block in the Black Sea. The Neptun Block deepwater sector covers an area of approximately 7,500 square kilometres in water depths ranging from 100 to 1700 meters.

2005 : TOTAL Romania was founded in 2005 as a joint venture between TOTAL (France) and LUSTIC (Romania).

1998 : TOTAL takes over "Petrofina", its Belgian rival, creating the world's sixth largest oil company.

1945 to 1971 : Victor de Metz (1902-1982) was President of "Compagnie Française des Pétroles" (today TOTAL).

1939 : The French ministry of public works assigned Léon Wenger (1879-1962, President of "Petrofina France") the task of preparing for the destruction of the Romanian petroleum industry should the oil fields be in danger of falling into enemy hands.

1931 : Kinley, Myron Macy (1898–1978) traveled to Moreni to observe the two-year-old "Standard Oil" number 160RA oil well fire, considered impossible to extinguish. It had created a crater 250 feet across and 65 feet deep. Kinley's team tried various techniques, killed the fire, capped the well, and captured world headlines, and Kinley became a celebrity. Myron Macy Kinley died on May 12, 1978, and was buried at Chickasha. He was almost totally deaf, his back was scarred with burn tissue, and he was partially paralyzed from a lifetime in one of the world's most dangerous jobs.

1928 : Marie Victor Raoul de Metz was recruited in 1924 by Ernest Mercier at "Compagnie Française des Pétroles" - CFP (today TOTAL), at the initiative of the French Government - and he was given the opportunity to join "Steaua Română" French team.

1922 : Ernest Mercier - an illustrious french engineer (future TOTAL first president, from 1924 to 1940), along with the Anglo-Persian group, took control of the "Steaua Română", the largest oil company in Romania; the same year, he had created the "Steaua Française", of which he had become president. Ernest Mercier is one of the most influential business managers in interwar France. His different industrial activities led him to oversee large areas of the French economy, notably in the energy sector. Certain banks decided to approach oil business by allying themselves with the different international trusts. This was the case for the French bank Paribas, whose Romanian holdings Mercier managed.

With Pure Oil of Delaware, Petrofina founded Purfina, a distribution company in Belgium and Holland that became a wholly own subsidiary of Petrofina in 1923
1920 : "PetroFina" - a company that will play a key role in the economy and society of 20th century Belgium, was established by a group of Antwerp investors and bankers. The foundation of the company comes from the acquisition of German companies' assets in Romanian companies. "La Compagnie Financière Belge des Pétroles" brings together the assets of Romanian companies: "Rumeensche Petroleummaatschappij" (The Romanian Oil Company, better known as "Internaţionala" or "Interum"), "Concordia" (Romanian Public Limited Company for Oil Industry), Sirius, Creditul Petrolifer and Vega (a subsidiary of Concordia).

1917, June 12th : The Moreni 354' armed "Standard Oil of New York" tanker (loaded with 4,500 tons of benzine) was the first armed American ship lost in a surface battle with a submarine, in World War I. Over 250 shells were fired over a period of two hours. The sub was identified as U-64. Out of a total crew of 47 on board the tanker, four were lost. Moreni oil field was the largest producing one in Romania, covering an area of about two thousand acres.

1916, November 29 : Completing the preparations for firing Moreni oil field: large gangs of men were employed with sledge hammers and other tools demolishing every conceivable piece of machinery and even the breakable spares in the central stores. The wells were again visited and further plugging was carried on. A small British staff commence the firing of the Moreni derricks and their adjoining machine houses. The greater work of firing the oil reservoirs, store houses, power plants, workshops, gas and water installations, casting furnaces, and other plant necessary to a big industry commenced November 30. The quantity of oil burnt in this district was 42,000 tons.

1916-1917 :  Ernest Mercier (1878-1955), was injured while in command of Romanian troops on the Danube.

1911 : The Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in "Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey" v. United States, that the Standard Oil Trust must be dissolved under the Sherman Antitrust Act and split into 34 companies. Two of these companies were Jersey Standard ("Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey"), which eventually became Exxon, and Socony ("Standard Oil Co. of New York"), which eventually became Mobil; those two companies later merged into ExxonMobil.

1905 :  “Colombia”- a French-Romanian oil company, one of the oldest oil company in Romania, with a capital 1.200.000 lei was established by a group of bankers and industrialists (Leon Ruzicka, A. Taubes, Lazare I. Elias). “Colombia” represented the largest investment of French capital on Romanian oil market. After the fussion with “Alpha" oil company, it became one of the most important oil company from Romania.

1903 : "Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey" was the first American oil and gas company to work in Romania, operating from 1903 to 1948 as The "Romanian-American Company Standard Oil". "Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey" acquired 150,000 shares of "Creditul Minier" which owns oil-bearing properties in Moreni.

1870 : Established in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), "Standard Oil Co. Inc." was an American oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company.


Dans des tombes d'or et de lapis lazuli
Des corps de saints hommes et femmes exsudent
Huile miraculeuse et parfum de violette.

Mais sous de lourds tomberaux de terre glaise piétinée
Gisent les corps des vampires gorgés de sang
leurs suaires sont sanglants et leurs lèvres moites.

"Huile et Sang" poésie de William Butler Yeats (1928)

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