1956 to 1960 American Petrofina, Inc. - The Beginning of an American Success Story
By Charlotte Wilkinson, published on January 2nd, 2019, modified on January 4th, 2019
American Petrofina, Inc. began its operations in mid-1956 when Brussels, Belgium based Petrofina S.A. made a $10 million investment of Petrofina S.A. in the United States.
Harry A. Jackson, Jr. was the president and CEO of American Petrofina, Inc.(APF) and he worked closely with Walter C. Teagle, Jr., the director of the company.
Together, Jackson and Teagle oversaw the crucial early steps of American Petrofina, Inc. that would be transformed it into a multi-billion dollar petroleum company.
In 1956, American Petrofina, Inc. purchased the Panhandle Oil Company, which manufactured and marketed petroleum and natural gas. Panhandle, a minor oil company based in Texas, had diverse holdings in oil wells and natural gas reserves.
With ample cash flow, Jackson and Teagle negotiated the acquisition of the American Liberty Company of Dallas in January 1957. The American Liberty Company was also a small but diverse petroleum company that held significant natural gas reserves.
American Petrofina, Inc. thereupon expanded continuously. Throughout the 1950s, the company had an annual growth rate of 4 percent, with earnings in 1960 alone up 21 percent over the previous year. APF's profits derived not only from the manufacture and sale of petroleum from its 1,174 oil wells (by 1960, its refineries processed 36,207 barrels of crude oil daily), but also increasingly from natural gas.
The company's assets had grown in four years' time to nearly $94 million.