Early milestones

ExxonMobil, through its predecessor companies Exxon and Mobil, has been participating in the region’s growth for more than 110 years. Early milestones for our Middle East and North Africa affiliates include:

1902: ExxonMobil in Egypt – Vacuum Oil, a predecessor of ExxonMobil, was officially established in Egypt, selling fuels and lubricants. In 1906 Vacuum opened its first fuels terminal in Alexandria and its second fuels terminal in Port Said in 1909. In 1952, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Jersey Standard), a predecessor of Exxon, launched its first retail outlet in Egypt under its trade name Esso.

1927: ExxonMobil in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Socony, which became Socony Vacuum and, later, Mobil, began marketing petroleum products in the Western Region. In 1948, Standard Oil of New Jersey (which became Exxon) and Socony Vacuum became part owners in the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco). That same year, Aramco began the construction of the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (Tapline) to connect the Kingdom's oil fields with the Mediterranean Sea at Sidon, Lebanon. Aramco discovered oil in Ain Dar, the first part of the giant Ghawar field in the Kingdom. Many great discoveries followed. In 1980, Aramco was completely nationalized and became Saudi Aramco. In the early eighties, Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (KEMYA) was established at Al-Jubail Industrial City as a joint venture between Exxon and SABIC, while Mobil and SABIC established Saudi Yanbu Petrochemical Co. (YANPET). In 1981, Petromin and Mobil established Petromin-Mobil Refinery Company Ltd. (PEMREF) which became Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company Ltd. (SAMREF).

1928: ExxonMobil in Iraq – Near East Development Corporation, in which Jersey Standard and the Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony) each had a 25 percent interest, acquired an interest in the Turkish Petroleum Company. In 1929, Turkish Petroleum became Iraq Petroleum Company, and in 1934, oil began to flow through a double pipeline from Kirkuk to Haifa and Tripoli. Now Near East Development Corporation is 100% ExxonMobil.

1939: ExxonMobil in Abu Dhabi – Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast), a predecessor of ExxonMobil, was granted its first concession interest in Abu Dhabi. In 1962, Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) became known as the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Company (ADPC) and began the construction of the Jebel Dhana export terminal. The shareholders of ADPC included: BP, Shell, CFP (Total), Partex and Near East Development Company (ExxonMobil)

1947: ExxonMobil in Libya – Geologists for Jersey Standard first surveyed Libya. After Libya enacted the 1955 Petroleum Law, international interest in exploring for oil grew rapidly, and the first licenses were awarded to Jersey Standard, which has also became known by its trade name Esso, and Nelson Bunker Hunt. In 1965, Esso Libya began building the Marsa el Brega LNG plant, one of the first LNG plants in the world, and operated it until 1981.

1955: ExxonMobil in Qatar – Affiliates of ExxonMobil enjoy an association with the State of Qatar dating back to 1955 when Mobil Oil Company of Qatar, a predecessor of ExxonMobil, was registered.

2000: ExxonMobil in Kuwait – ExxonMobil opened its office in Kuwait City.

For more than 110 years, ExxonMobil has proudly worked with countries in the Middle East and North Africa to unlock new energy sources, develop new technologies, and add value along the entire energy chain.

Today, ExxonMobil has interests in a number of petrochemical, refining and oil & gas development and production activities in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa and we market our products such as lubricants and petrochemicals throughout the region. Learn more about our current activities.