The Role of the Independent: Ralph B. Lloyd and the Development of California’s Coastal Oil Region, 1900-1940

Posted: 30 Jul 2010

Date Written: July 28, 2010

Abstract

Independents, or nonintegrated companies, played a significant role in finding and producing crude oil in California, just as had in Texas. They were able to do so because the resources of majors, or integrated firms, were not decisive in the search for oil. As both majors and independents increased in number, the factors of risk and uncertainty persuaded independents and majors to cooperate with each other. The case of Ralph B. Lloyd demonstrates the argument. Lloyd was a forceful individual who used his preeminent leasing position to shape the development of the Ventura Avenue field - the largest in the coastal region - through symbiotic relations with Shell and Associated. Lloyd’s role is not captured in the data that scholars often use to demonstrate the dominance of majors in the California oil industry.

Keywords: Raplh Lloyd, independents, California, petroleum, Vertura Avenue oil field, Shell

JEL Classification: L71, N52, N82

Suggested Citation

Adamson, Michael R., The Role of the Independent: Ralph B. Lloyd and the Development of California’s Coastal Oil Region, 1900-1940 (July 28, 2010). Business History Review, Vol. 84, No. 2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1650166

Michael R. Adamson (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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