Imperial Oil

Imperial Oil Limited (French: Compagnie Pétrolière Impériale Ltée) is a Canadian petroleum company.[2] It is Canada's second-biggest integrated oil company.[3] Exxon Mobil Corp. has a 69.6 percent ownership stake in the company. It is a significant producer of crude oil, diluted bitumen and natural gas, Canada’s major petroleum refiner, a key petrochemical producer and a national marketer with coast-to-coast supply and retail networks.[2] Its retail operations include Esso-brand service stations and On the Run/Marché Express and Tiger Express-brand convenience stores.[2][6]

Imperial Oil Limited
Traded as
Founded1880 (1880)
HeadquartersCalgary, Alberta, Canada
Key people
Richard Kruger, Chairman, President & CEO[3][4]
ProductsPetrochemical[2] products
Revenue$26.888 billion CAD (2015)[2]
$1.122 billion CAD (2015)[2]
Total assets$43.170 billion CAD (2015)[2]
Total equity$23.425 billion CAD (2015)[2]
OwnerExxonMobil (69.6%) (2012)[2][5]
Number of employees
5,263 (2012)[2]

It is also known for its holdings in the Alberta Oil Sands.[3] Imperial owns 25 percent of Syncrude, which is one of the world’s largest oil sands operations.[2] Imperial is also in a joint venture oil sands mining operation with ExxonMobil Corp., called Kearl Oil Sands.[7]

Imperial Oil is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. It was based in Toronto, Ontario, until 2005.[8] Most of Imperial's production is from its vast natural resource holdings in the Alberta oil sands[9] and the Norman Wells oil field in the Northwest Territories.[10]


The company was incorporated in London, Ontario, in 1880 (Filey 1998:62).[11] The company's association with ExxonMobil dates back to 1898 when the then-Standard Oil of New Jersey acquired a controlling stake in Imperial Oil.[12]

Imperial Oil discovered the Leduc Woodbend Devonian oil reef in 1947, marking the beginning of the contemporary period in Canadian oil and gas development.[13] Drilling began on the landmark discovery well Leduc No. 1 on November 20, 1946.[13]

In 1989, Imperial Oil acquired Texaco's Canadian operations.[14]

Film and television

From the 1934-35 season through the 1975-76 season, Imperial Oil was a sponsor of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. program Hockey Night in Canada for both radio and television broadcasts.[15][16] Esso had three stars on their signs and leaveaged it by sponsoring Hockey Night in Canada's three stars of the game.

In the same era, the company was also involved in film production, frequently providing funding support for the production of independent documentary films. Calgary's Glenbow Museum holds a large collection of Imperial Oil's film inventory.[17]

Corporate governance

In February 2013, Richard Kruger, President of ExxonMobil Production Co. and a Vice President of Exxon Mobil Corp., was appointed to be Chief Executive of Imperial Oil.[3] His predecessor, Bruce March, left to become senior vice president of global operations for ExxonMobil Chemical Co.[3]

Besides Richard Kruger, other members of the board of directors of Imperial Oil are Krystyna Hoeg, Jack Mintz, David Sutherland, Darren Woods, Sheelagh Whittaker and Victor Young.[4]


Imperial Oil has 1,700 service stations. The majority are owned by third parties. It sold 497 stations in 2016 to retailers such as Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (mostly Ontario and Quebec), 7-Eleven Canada Inc. (mostly Alberta and British Columbia), Parkland Fuel Corp., Harnois Groupe pétrolier and Wilson Fuel Co. Ltd.[18] In the late early 1990s Imperial Oil acquired retail operations from Texaco's Canadian unit Texaco Canada Incorporated.

With ExxonMobil having majority ownership, Imperial Oil uses its parent company's brands, including the Esso and Mobil names for service stations, On the Run for convenience stores, and the Speedpass electronic payment system.

Until 2018, Imperial Oil was a member of the rewards program Aeroplan. On March 13, 2018, Loblaw Companies announced that it had reached a deal for the Esso-branded stations to join the PC Optimum rewards program, beginning on June 1, 2018.[19] Loblaw Companies had previously sold its network of 213 gas stations (all of which are attached to its various grocery store locations) to Brookfield Business Partners in 2017; Brookfield entered into an agreement with Imperial Oil to utilize the Mobil brand for these stations. As part of the sale agreement, these stations also continue to participate in PC Optimum.[20]

See also


  1. "S&P/TSX 60 Index". Standard & Poor's. June 28, 2013. Archived from the original (.xls) on December 12, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  2. "2012 Summary Annual Report" (PDF). Imperial Oil Ltd. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 31, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay (February 21, 2013). Sriraj Kalluvila (ed.). "Imperial Oil names Exxon veteran Kruger as CEO". Reuters. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  4. "Board of Directors". Imperial Oil Ltd. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  5. "Imperial Oil Limited". Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  6. "On The Run". Imperial Oil Ltd. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  7. "Imperial Oil - Kearl overview". Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  8. Stephen Ewart (October 2, 2012). "Ewart: Imperial Oil Faces Urban-Suburban Challenge". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on July 14, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  9. "Operations overview". Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  10. "Conventional oil". Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  11. Mike Filey (April 1, 1998). Discover and Explore Toronto's Waterfront. Dundurn, Ontario. p. 144.
  12. "Exxon Corporation". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  13. Frank Dabbs (Director Petroleum History Society) (March 2004). "Before Leduc and Some Musings on the Meaning of History" (PDF). Petroleum History Society Archives. Calgary, Alberta. XV (3). Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  14. "Texaco Canada Inc". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  15. J. Lyman Potts (January 2002). "Saturday Night Hockey / Hockey Night in Canada". Canadian Communications Foundation. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  16. Paul Patskou (August 2007). "Hockey Night in Canada - The Television Years". Canadian Communications Foundation. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  17. "Imperial Oil - Film Collection ". Glenbow Museum.
  18. "Imperial Oil sells Esso gas stations for $2.8-billion". The Globe and Mail. March 8, 2016.
  19. "Esso moves on from Aeroplan, switches loyalty program to PC Optimum". CBC News. March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  20. "Loblaw sells chain of 213 gas stations to Brookfield for $540M". CBC News. April 19, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
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