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IndustryOil and gas
PredecessorAustralian Motorists Petrol Company (1936–1949)
Ampol Petroleum Ltd (1949–1982)
Ampol Limited (1982–1997)
FoundedSydney, New South Wales, Australia (1936) as Australian Motorists Petrol Company Limited
HeadquartersCasino, New South Wales, Australia
Key people
Sir William Gaston Walkley, John Christian Watson
ProductsPetrochemical products and retail service stations
ParentPioneer International 1988-1997
Caltex 1997-present

Ampol was a petrol company in Australia. It was first incorporated in 1936 in New South Wales to market petrol in its chain of service stations. In 1995, Ampol merged with Caltex to make Australian Petroleum Pty Ltd, which in 1997 became Caltex Australia Ltd, registered and based in Singapore.

Early history[edit]

Ampol, the Australian Motorists Petrol Company, was incorporated by Sir William Gaston Walkley in 1936 in New South Wales. This was in response to Australians' concerns about perceived inequitable petrol pricing, and allegations of transfer pricing by foreign oil companies to limit their tax liabilities in Australia.

Walkley, along with William Arthur O'Callaghan and George Hutchison, approached the NRMA and offered to help it form a company to market petrol. Whilst deciding not to officially sponsor an oil company, members of the NRMA's board sought investors. In early 1936, an advertisement was printed in the NRMA's periodical publicising the float of Ampol. The first delivery of oil was received at White Bay in December 1937 and, by 1939, Walkley had joined the board of Ampol as managing director.[1]

This rural store sold Caltex petrol but retained the familiar Ampol branding

During World War II, Walkley served on the Oil Advisory Committee and the board of Pool Petroleum Pty Ltd, both of which supervised the distribution of petrol. This brought him into contact with Sir George Wales, who owned Alba Petroleum Co. of Australia Ltd, which had a small market in South Australia and Tasmania. In 1945, Ampol purchased Alba Petroleum in an amicable takeover.

Ampol Petroleum (1949–1981)[edit]

The company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1948 and, in 1949, it changed its name to Ampol Petroleum Ltd.[2][3]

In 1965, Ampol's Lytton oil refinery in Brisbane, Queensland came on stream. Pioneer International purchased a 20% stake in Ampol in 1979.

Ampol Limited (1982–1995)[edit]

In 1982, Ampol purchased the marketing and refining assets of Total Australia Limited and changed its name to Ampol Limited. In 1988, Pioneer International acquired full ownership of Ampol.[4] The following year, Pioneer purchased Solo Oil Limited, the largest independent retailer and distributor in Australia at that time.

In May 1995, Caltex and Ampol merged petroleum refining and marketing assets to form Australian Petroleum Pty Ltd which, in 1997, became Caltex Australia Ltd. The Ampol brand remained in use for a number of years at some service stations, primarily in country areas where customer loyalty and strong brand-recognition are factors.[5]

Ampol Singapore[edit]

Caltex Australia wanted to establish an overseas trading arm to enable the importation of gasoline into Australia. As Chevron Corporation already operate the Caltex brand overseas in areas like Singapore, Caltex Australia opted to name their Singaporean business after their former Australian business, Ampol.[6]


  1. ^ Dyster, Barrie. "Walkley, Sir William Gaston (1896–1976)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  2. ^ Guide to Australian Business Records
  3. ^ Simpson, Colin; Simpson, Colin; Ampol Petroleum Limited (1961), Show me a mountain : the rise of an Australian company, Ampol, Angus and Robertson, retrieved 20 June 2015
  4. ^ Pioneer International Limited company history
  5. ^ Caltex Annual Review 1999 Archived 6 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine (PDF) Page 10
  6. ^ "Ampol Singapore". Ampol International Holdings. Retrieved 6 March 2017.

External links[edit]