For over 130 years, Imperial Oil dominated Canada’s oil industry. Their 1947 discovery of crude oil in Leduc, Alberta transformed the industry and the country. But from 1899 onwards, two-thirds of the company was owned by an American giant, making Imperial Oil one of the largest foreign-controlled multinationals in Canada.
Imperial Standard is the first full-scale history of Imperial Oil. It illuminates Imperial’s longstanding connections to Standard Oil of New Jersey, also known as Exxon Mobil. Although this relationship was often beneficial to Imperial, allowing them access to technology and capital, it also came at a cost, causing Imperial to be assailed as the embodiment of foreign control of Canada’s natural resources.
Graham D. Taylor draws on an extensive collection of primary sources to explore the complex relationship between the two companies. This groundbreaking history provides unprecedented insight into one of Canada’s most influential oil companies as it has grown and evolved with the industry itself.
This is not a simple case study that narrowly analyzes how yet another Canadian firm was swallowed by a U.S. colossus. Imperial Standard reveals a legacy of complicated dynamics-between subsidiary and parent, between corporation and state-and helps us understand the inception of fossil-¬fuelled industrial capitalism in this country.
- Dimitry Anastakis, Literary Review of Canada