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Industry Oil and gas
Predecessor Australian Motorists Petrol Company (1936-1949)
Ampol Petroleum Ltd (1949-1982)
Ampol Limited (1982-1997)
Founded Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (1936) as Australian Motorists Petrol Company Limited
Headquarters Casino, New South Wales, Australia
Key people
Sir William Gaston Walkley, John Christian Waston
Products Petrochemical products and retail service stations
Parent Pioneer International Limited 1988-1997, Caltex Australia Ltd 1997-Present

Ampol was a petrol company in Australia.

It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caltex Australia, registered and based in Singapore. It was first incorporated in 1936 in NSW 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.

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 National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) and offered to help them 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 sells Caltex petrol but retains 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 Stock Exchange in 1948 and, in 1949, the company changed its name to Ampol Petroleum Ltd.[2][3]

1965 saw the Lytton oil refinery in Brisbane, Queensland come on stream. Pioneer International Limited 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 Limited (which had since 1980 held a 65% controlling stake) 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 remains in use to this day, 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.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Sir William Gaston Walkley in the Online Australian Dictionary of Biography
  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 (PDF) Page 10

External links[edit]