A century of exploration

The Company, headquartered in El Dorado, Arkansas, was originally incorporated in Louisiana in 1950 as Murphy Corporation. It was reincorporated in Delaware in 1964, at which time it adopted the name Murphy Oil Corporation. But, the Company’s roots go back to a lumber and banking business in South Arkansas and, more directly, to 1907, when the first oil production was established in the Caddo Field in North Louisiana.

    

Learn more about the history of Charles Murphy, Jr. & Murphy Oil Corporation.

Timeline

1904

Charles Haywood Murphy, Sr. arrives in El Dorado, Arkansas. He settles the estate of his deceased uncle, J.F. Sample. The estate involved the Citizens National Bank and a mercantile business. Murphy expands the enterprise, building up to 13 country banks.

1907

Murphy sells all but one bank and with the capital from the sale, invests in timberlands and a sawmill just south of El Dorado. Murphy begins buying tracks of land positioning himself for future oil discoveries.

1921

Oil is discovered at the Smackover-field. Production was in the name of Marine Oil Company, in which Murphy had a 22% interest.

1936

Charles H. Murphy Jr. graduates high school at 16. He inherits $5,000 from his grandfather and uses it to buy leases of his own.

1937

Murphy participates in the discovery of the Shuler Field.

1944

In a joint venture with Sun Oil Company in northeast Louisiana, Murphy discovers the Delhi field, helping the company emerge from the pack of independents.

1946

Charles H. Murphy, Jr. returns from serving in World War II to take responsibility for the family’s business.

1950

Charles H. Murphy and Company incorporates as Murphy Corporation in Louisiana.

1951

Murphy enters the exploration and production business in western Canada in a joint venture with Ashland Oil. The same year, Murphy discovers oil in the East Poplar field of Montana.

1953

Alden "Doc" Laborde, a former Marine Superintendent for an offshore oil company, comes up with the idea for a submersible drilling barge that would take offshore rigs out into deep waters. Charles H. Murphy, Jr., along with some investors from St. Louis, back Laborde’s project. The prototype is named “Mr. Charlie” after Charles H. Murphy, Sr. "Mr. Charlie" commences operating in June of 1954 for Shell Oil Company.

Mr. Charlie

1956

Murphy goes public and is listed on the American Stock Exchange, helping to fund the strategic vision to become an integrated global oil company.

Murphy purchases interests in Venezuela’s Block 575, the company’s first international exploration venture outside of North America.

American Stock Exchange

1958

The Company enters the refining business with the purchase of a refinery in Superior, Wisconsin.

1959

Murphy Oil acquires Spur Distributing Company, entering the retail gasoline industry with 328 stations.

The Story of the Murphy Logo

1960

Murphy expands its downstream business into the United Kingdom with the introduction of Murco brand retail stations.

1961

Murphy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MUR with 3.8 million shares outstanding and 5,700 stockholders.

Murphy Oil purchases the Ingram Oil refinery at Meraux, Louisiana, adding a second refinery to its downstream business.

NYSE

1962

Murphy’s first interests in the Gulf of Mexico, fields at Eugene Island and South Pelto, come onstream and are known as the “backbone of the company’s offshore production” for years to follow.

1964

The name is changed to Murphy Oil Corporation to depict its major focus of business.

1964–1974

Murphy expands its global exploration reach and participates in discoveries at Sassan in Iran; Magid in Libya; Amethyst in the North Sea; and culminating with Ninian in the North Sea.

1977

Construction begins on the LOOP (Louisiana Offshore Oil Port) in which Murphy holds a small interest.

1978

Murphy acquires a 30% interest in a refinery at Milford Haven, Wales in the United Kingdom, providing a market for North Sea and Middle East oil discoveries.

1987

Murphy Corporation buys the minority interest in the Canadian subsidiary Murphy Oil Company, Ltd. (MOCL).

1991–1994

The company purchases the minority interest in ODECO and then sells the contract drilling business while retaining the exploration and production assets. Murphy redeploys the proceeds from the sale to acquire the following key upstream assets: Hibernia, Terra Nova and Syncrude in Canada; Tahoe in the Gulf of Mexico; and Block T in the North Sea.

Murphy begins to sell off all of its company-owned Spur gasoline stations.

1995

The "Mr. Charlie" is decommissioned and transported to Morgan City, Louisiana, where it serves as a museum for the oil and gas industry.

Murphy shifts its focus in the Gulf of Mexico from the continental shelf into deepwater exploration.

1996

Murphy sets out on a new retail gasoline venture by partnering with Walmart to build Murphy USA stations in the parking lots of their supercenter stores and opens its first station in Chattanooga, TN.

The same year, Murphy spins off the timber and real estate portion of the company, Deltic Farm & Timber. 

1999

The company enters into Malaysia, acquiring three offshore blocks to set up future growth.

Malaysia

2001

The company makes its first Malaysian discovery, West Patricia, in shallow water off the coast of Sarawak state. This leads to further exploration in deep waters off the state of Sabah.

2002

The discovery of oil and natural gas at Kikeh, Malaysia’s first deep water project, is noted by former President and CEO Clairborne Deming as the “most meaningful discovery in the Company’s history.

2003

Medusa (Mississippi Canyon, Gulf of Mexico) commences production in 2003.

2007

In just five years from discovery, Kikeh commences oil production and solidifies Murphy's capabilities as a deepwater operator .

Murphy acquires the additional 70% interest in the refinery at Milford Haven to become full owner and operator.

Murphy acquires its Montney natural gas acreage in northeast British Columbia through the acquisition of Bear Ridge Resources.

Kikeh

2008

Natural gas production commences at Tupper in the Montney Shale Gas play.

Kikeh ramps up production to a peak rate near 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

2009

Murphy enters the prolific Eagle Ford Shale play in south Texas.

Thunder Hawk (Mississippi Canyon, Gulf of Mexico) begins producing.

2011

Murphy Oil Corporation begins a shift in the Company’s strategy and exits the US refinery business with the sale of the refineries at Meraux, Louisiana and Superior, Wisconsin.

2013

The Company completes the sale of its North Sea upstream assets in the UK and acquires additional heavy oil acreage at its operated Seal project in Alberta.

Continuing the repositioning to an independent exploration and production company, Murphy completes the spin-off of its best-in-class retail gasoline business, Murphy USA, Inc.

2014

Achieved first oil in deep water development projects at Siakap North-Petai and Kakap-Gumusut main project in Malaysia and at Dalmatian in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sold a 30% interest in the Malaysia business, marking the value of these high quality, long-term assets.  In other portfolio moves, the Company completed the sale of the U.K. retail gasoline network and divested its working interest in non-core Alaska and south Louisiana assets.