Mobil Oil Corporation, now Exxon Mobil, is a multinational company engaged in the mining, production, and sale of crude oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products. Employees of Mobil Oil Corporation may run a higher-than-average risk of developing asbestos-related pulmonary diseases. Mobil Oil Corporation was created a century ago as part of an anti-trust judgment by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1911, the court ordered the division of J.D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company into 34 companies. These became known as “Baby Standard Oils” and the baby name changes continued as companies merged: Socony, Vacuum, and Exxon have all served as part of the Mobil moniker.
First, in 1931, two of the Baby Standard Oils – Socony (or Standard Oil of New York) and Vacuum Oil – merged to become Socony Vacuum. Socony’s Pegasus icon and Vacuum’s signature product, Mobilgas, became identified with Mobil Oil after later name changes: in 1955 the company was renamed Socony Mobil Oil and in 1966 it became Mobil Oil. Mobil Oil then operated as an independent corporation until its 1999 merger with Exxon Corporation.
By the mid-1950s, Socony Mobil Oil was enjoying a visible presence in Europe. It owned refineries, lubricant plants, petrochemical installations, and petrol stations. The company’s presence faded in the 1980s when Mobil Europe teamed with British Petroleum (BP), but the joint venture paid off for Mobil later on: when Mobil Oil and Exxon merged, Mobil Oil retained the lucrative lubrication business that it had developed with BP. Exxon Mobil presently operates more than 35 refineries in approximately 20 countries. Corporate records indicate that its daily refining capacity exceeds six million barrels.
The oil refining industry, like other industries engaged with highly flammable materials, requires powerful insulation materials to protect its employees from heat-producing equipment. Oil refineries were among the many using toxic asbestos to insulate their pipes, furnaces, generators, ovens, and other equipment housing flammable materials. Many employees of Mobil Oil Corporation may have regularly encountered asbestos on the job, yet they weren’t given the benefit of protective gear. The inhalation of asbestos fibers by such employees and by those who encountered the employees’ clothing (e.g., laundry workers) is associated with the development of serious pulmonary diseases such as mesothelioma.