Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc known as Shell, is a British-Dutch oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom. It is one of the six oil and gas "supermajors" and the fifth-largest company in the world measured by 2018 revenues. Shell was first in the 2013 Fortune Global 500 list of the world's largest companies. Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, transport and marketing, power generation and trading, it has renewable energy activities, including in biofuels, energy-kite systems, hydrogen. Shell has operations in over 70 countries, produces around 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and has 44,000 service stations worldwide. As of 31 December 2014, Shell had total proved reserves of 13.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Shell Oil Company, its principal subsidiary in the United States, is one of its largest businesses. Shell holds 50% of Raízen, a joint venture with Cosan, the third-largest Brazil-based energy company by revenues and a major producer of ethanol.
Shell was formed in 1907 through the amalgamation of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands and the "Shell" Transport and Trading Company of the United Kingdom. Until its unification in 2005 the firm operated as a dual-listed company, whereby the British and Dutch companies maintained their legal existence but operated as a single-unit partnership for business purposes. Shell first entered the chemicals industry in 1929. In 1970 Shell acquired the mining company Billiton, which it subsequently sold in 1994 and now forms part of BHP Billiton. In recent decades gas exploration and production has become an important part of Shell's business. Shell acquired BG Group in 2016. Shell is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, it had a market capitalisation of £185 billion at the close of trading on 30 December 2016, by far the largest of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange and among the highest of any company in the world. It has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange.
As of January 2013, Shell's largest shareholder was Capital Research Global Investors with 9.85% ahead of BlackRock in second with 6.89%. The Royal Dutch Shell Group was created in April 1907 through the amalgamation of two rival companies: the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands and the Shell Transport and Trading Company Limited of the United Kingdom, it was a move driven by the need to compete globally with Standard Oil. The Royal Dutch Petroleum Company was a Dutch company founded in 1890 to develop an oilfield in Pangkalan Brandan, North Sumatra, led by August Kessler, Hugo Loudon, Henri Deterding; the "Shell" Transport and Trading Company was a British company, founded in 1897 by Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted, his brother Samuel Samuel. Their father had owned an antique company in Houndsditch, which expanded in 1833 to import and sell seashells, after which the company "Shell" took its name. For various reasons, the new firm operated as a dual-listed company, whereby the merging companies maintained their legal existence, but operated as a single-unit partnership for business purposes.
The terms of the merger gave 60 percent ownership of the new group to the Dutch arm and 40 percent to the British. National patriotic sensibilities would not permit a full-scale merger or takeover of either of the two companies; the Dutch company, Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij at The Hague, was in charge of production and manufacture. The British Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company was based in London, to direct the transport and storage of the products. During the First World War, Shell was the main supplier of fuel to the British Expeditionary Force, it was the sole supplier of aviation fuel and supplied 80 percent of the British Army's TNT. It volunteered all of its shipping to the British Admiralty; the German invasion of Romania in 1916 saw. In 1919, Shell took control of the Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company and in 1921 formed Shell-Mex Limited which marketed products under the "Shell" and "Eagle" brands in the United Kingdom. In 1929, Shell Chemicals was founded. By the end of the 1920s, Shell was the world's leading oil company, producing 11 percent of the world's crude oil supply and owning 10 percent of its tanker tonnage.
Shell Mex House was completed in 1931, was the head office for Shell's marketing activity worldwide. In 1932 in response to the difficult economic conditions of the times, Shell-Mex merged its UK marketing operations with those of British Petroleum to create Shell-Mex and BP, a company that traded until the brands separated in 1975. Royal Dutch Company ranked 79th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts; the 1930s saw. After the invasion of the Netherlands by Germany in 1940, the head office of the Dutch companies was moved to Curacao. In 1945 Shell's Danish headquarters in Copenhagen, at the time being used by the Gestapo, was bombed by Royal Air Force Mosquitoes in Operation Carthage. Around 1952, Shell was the first company to use a computer in the Netherlands; the computer, a Ferranti Mark 1*, was assembled and used at the Shell laboratory in Amste
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a
Union Oil Company of California, dba Unocal is a company, a major petroleum explorer and marketer in the late 19th century, through the 20th century, into the early 21st century. It was headquartered in El Segundo, United States. Unocal was involved in global energy projects. Unocal was one of the key players in the CentGas consortium, which attempted to build the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline to run from the Caspian area, through Afghanistan, to the Indian Ocean, at a time after the recent Taliban siege of Kabul in 1996. On August 10, 2005, Unocal merged its entire upstream petroleum business with Chevron Corporation and became a wholly owned subsidiary. Unocal has now ceased operations as an independent company, but continues to conduct many operations as Union Oil Company of California, a Chevron company. Since 1990, Unocal continues to have strong presence in the downstream petroleum business with their technical collaborators M/s Raaj Unocal Lubricants Ltd for manufacture and marketing of their lubricating products in Asia.
Raaj Unocal Lubricants Ltd continues the legacy of Unocal 76 in the downstream petroleum business and has intellectual property rights of the brand since 1994. The Union Oil Company of California was founded on October 17, 1890, in Santa Paula, California, by Lyman Stewart, Thomas Bard, Wallace Hardison, it was a merger of three Southern Californian oil companies: the Sespe Oil Company and the Torrey Canyon Oil Company and the Hardison and Stewart Oil Company. All three were notable as being unaffiliated with Standard Oil. Union Oil moved its headquarters to Los Angeles, in 1901; the original headquarters in Santa Paula is a California Historical Landmark. About 1910, Union Oil made a strategic alliance with the Independent Producers Agency, a group of small oil producers, to build pipelines from the Kern County oil fields to Union Oil facilities on the Pacific coast; this gave the independent producers an alternative to what they perceived as the low prices paid by Standard Oil and the high freight rates charged by the railroads to move crude oil.
It gave Union access to a large volume of crude oil. The situation was fictionalized in the 2007 film There Will Be Blood. In 1919, the Union Oil Company of Delaware was incorporated as a holding company for the Union Oil Company of California. In 1920, Union Oil purchased the Central Petroleum Company from the Texas Company. In 1922, the Union Oil Associates, Inc. was incorporated in California as a holding company to prevent control of the Union Oil Company of California passing to foreign interests after the merger of the Union Oil Company of Delaware with Royal Dutch Company. In 1961 Union entered into the Indonesian oil market. Henry L. Brandon, Union's Vice President of International Development wrote a "contract of work" arrangement, a first for Indonesia. In a speech on Indonesian Independence Day in August, 1961 President Sukarno talked at some length about "production sharing", which included language written into the contract by Union executives; the company expanded to national status in 1965, when Union Oil merged with the Pure Oil Company, headquartered in what was Palatine and now Schaumburg, Illinois.
Over the next two decades, Union became the major oil producer in southern Alaska and a major natural gas producer in the Gulf of Mexico. The company was reorganized in 1983, Union Oil Company of California became an operating subsidiary of a new Delaware-based holding company, Unocal Corporation. In 1985, Mesa Petroleum, controlled by billionaire T. Boone Pickens, attempted a takeover of Unocal Corp. that resulted in the Delaware Supreme Court landmark decision Unocal v. Mesa Petroleum, which upheld Unocal's takeover defense. All operations are conducted by Union Oil Company of California. In 1977, Unocal acquired The Molybdenum Corporation of America. Among the assets acquired was Mountain Pass rare earth mine, a world's largest producer of rare earth elements. In 1989, Unocal placed its midwest refining and marketing assets, including Union's 150,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Lemont, into a 50/50 joint venture with Petróleos de Venezuela, S. A.. The joint venture, known as the Uno-Ven Company, was headquartered in Arlington Heights and comprising employees from Union Oil's Schaumburg, division headquarters and Lemont, refinery.
The joint venture was dissolved in 1997, with P. D. V. S. A. Receiving full ownership. During the life of the joint venture, the familiar Union 76 brand name continued in full force. At the termination of the joint venture, most stations were converted to Citgo, controlled by P. D. V. S. A. In 1990, Unocal entered into a technical collaboration with a multimillion-dollar business house of India M/s Raaj Unocal Lubricants Limited flagship company of Rajgarhia group of Industries via their chairman Late Shri K. L Rajgarhia to market Unocal range of Lubricants and greases in India. Unocal subsequently under the provisions of their collaboration agreement granted permission of transferring IP rights to the brand name "UNOCAL 76", "76", "UNOCAL" both collectively and separately to M/s Raaj Unocal Lubricants Limited for Asia to protect their IP rights due to non existence of a bilateral agreement between USA and INDIA on IP rights. In 1997, Unocal sold its western United States refining and marketing operations to Tosco Corporation, including the rights to the Union 76 brand for refining and marketing.
Tosco was acquired by Phillips Petroleum, which merged with Conoco to form ConocoPhillips. In April 2005, the United States oil company Chevron made an offer to acquire Unocal, which
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, the 38th most densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively. Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes, it is known for its rocky coastline. There is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state, including in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland; the capital is Augusta. For thousands of years, indigenous peoples were the only inhabitants of the territory, now Maine. At the time of European arrival in what is now Maine, several Algonquian-speaking peoples inhabited the area; the first European settlement in the area was by the French in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons.
The first English settlement was the short-lived Popham Colony, established by the Plymouth Company in 1607. A number of English settlements were established along the coast of Maine in the 1620s, although the rugged climate and conflict with the local peoples caused many to fail over the years; as Maine entered the 18th century, only a half dozen European settlements had survived. Loyalist and Patriot forces contended for Maine's territory during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. During the War of 1812, the largely-undefended eastern region of Maine was occupied by British forces, but returned to the United States after the war following major defeats in New York and Louisiana, as part of a peace treaty, to include dedicated land on the Michigan peninsula for Native American peoples. Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820, when it voted to secede from Massachusetts to become a separate state. On March 15, 1820, under the Missouri Compromise, it was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state.
There is no definitive explanation for the origin of the name "Maine", but the most origin is that the name was given by early explorers after the former province of Maine in France. Whatever the origin, the name was fixed for English settlers in 1665 when the English King's Commissioners ordered that the "Province of Maine" be entered from on in official records; the state legislature in 2001 adopted a resolution establishing Franco-American Day, which stated that the state was named after the former French province of Maine. Other theories mention earlier places with similar names, or claim it is a nautical reference to the mainland. Attempts to uncover the history of the name of Maine began with James Sullivan's 1795 "History of the District of Maine", he made the unsubstantiated claim that the Province of Maine was a compliment to the queen of Charles I, Henrietta Maria, who once "owned" the Province of Maine in France. This was quoted by Maine historians until the 1845 biography of that queen by Agnes Strickland established that she had no connection to the province.
A new theory, put forward by Carol B. Smith Fisher in 2002, is that Sir Ferdinando Gorges chose the name in 1622 to honor the village where his ancestors first lived in England, rather than the province in France. "MAINE" appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 in reference to the county of Dorset, today Broadmayne, just southeast of Dorchester. The view held among British place name scholars is that Mayne in Dorset is Brythonic, corresponding to modern Welsh "maen", plural "main" or "meini"; some early spellings are: MAINE 1086, MEINE 1200, MEINES 1204, MAYNE 1236. Today the village is known as Broadmayne, primitive Welsh or Brythonic, "main" meaning rock or stone, considered a reference to the many large sarsen stones still present around Little Mayne farm, half a mile northeast of Broadmayne village; the first known record of the name appears in an August 10, 1622 land charter to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, English Royal Navy veterans, who were granted a large tract in present-day Maine that Mason and Gorges "intend to name the Province of Maine".
Mason had served with the Royal Navy in the Orkney Islands, where the chief island is called Mainland, a possible name derivation for these English sailors. In 1623, the English naval captain Christopher Levett, exploring the New England coast, wrote: "The first place I set my foote upon in New England was the Isle of Shoals, being Ilands in the sea, above two Leagues from the Mayne." Several tracts along the coast of New England were referred to as Main or Maine. A reconfirmed and enhanced April 3, 1639, from England's King Charles I, gave Sir Ferdinando Gorges increased powers over his new province and stated that it "shall forever hereafter, be called and named the PROVINCE OR COUNTIE OF MAINE, not by any other name or names whatsoever..." Maine is the only U. S. state whose name has one syllable. The original inhabitants of the territory, now Maine were Algonquian-speaking Wabanaki peoples, including the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot and Kennebec. During the King Philip's War, many of these peoples would merge in one form or another to become the Wabanaki Confederacy, aiding the Wampanoag of Massachusetts & the Mahican of New York.
Afterwards, many of these people were driven from their natural territories, but most of the tribes of Maine continued, until the American Revolution
Thomas A. O'Donnell
Thomas Arthur O'Donnell, was an Irish American pioneer in the California oil industry along with Edward L. Doheny, Charles A. Canfield and Max H. Whittier who became known as the "big four." O'Donnell was born in McKean, Erie County, Pennsylvania to Thomas O'Donnell and Myra Parsons, where he worked for some time as a newsboy until the age 12 when he left Pennsylvania and arrived in Florence, Colorado. He remained there for two years working in an all-around capacity as a grocery store clerk. With his ambitions extending beyond the grocery store, O'Donnell went to work in a gold mine and for the next five years, with pick and shovel, became a experienced miner by the age of 19. In 1889 he gave up mining and headed to California where he obtained a position at the Union Oil Company in Ventura County remaining there for four years where he mastered the oil business. Leaving Union Oil in 1893, O'Donnell went to Los Angeles where he met Edward L. Doheny, a wealthy pioneer in the development of oil in California.
Working as a field superintendent for Doheny for about a year, O'Donnell too saw the promise that the oil fields held and decided to go into business for himself forming a partnership drilling oil wells with Max H. Whittier; the partnership with Whittier lasted for five years, at the end of which, O'Donnell decided to continue alone becoming an independent driller and oil land speculator. In 1902, O'Donnell entered the oil fields in Coalinga and his success there was one of the most remarkable on record, he financed many of them himself. As well as holding other positions in other companies, O'Donnell held presidencies in the Whittier Consolidated Oil Company, Midland Oil Fields Company, Four Oil Company, Section One Oil Company, Circle Oil Company, Maricopa Star Oil Company, California Star Oil Company, Buena Fe Petroleum and Salvia Oil Company; when Doheny became interested in Mexican oil holdings in 1907, O'Donnell handled his interests in California and helped form the American Petroleum Company, followed by the American Oil Fields Company, holding the positions of vice-president and field manager of both companies.
At the time, the two companies were among the largest independent concerns in the United States controlling wide areas of the best oil lands in the most productive districts of California. In 1912, the two companies merged into the California Petroleum Corporation, known as CALPET. O'Donnell served as board chairman of CALPET until it was sold to the Texas Company. O'Donnell became a director in the Texas Company retiring from that position. During World War I, O'Donnell served with the Fuel Conservation Board and became national director of oil production for the United States Federal Fuel Administration. Upon his departure, O'Donnell received a letter and check for one dollar from Harry A. Garfield, United States Fuel Administrator, as a token of appreciation in recognition of his service as a volunteer. O'Donnell became the first president of the American Petroleum Institute, the largest national trade association representing the industry, serving from 1919 – 1924, he was influential in forming the Independent Oil Producers Association and served as a member of the executive board.
O'Donnell held directorships at the Farmers and Merchants National Bank, Mexican Petroleum Company and a number of other Doheny oil companies. He headed several committees including one to U. S. President Woodrow Wilson regarding the protection of interests in Tampico, Mexico during the Tampico Affair. O'Donnell met Lillian Constance Wood, a native of California, married her in 1897, they had Ruth O'Donnell Davis and Doris O'Donnell Connolly. Lillian and O'Donnell divorced in 1924 and a property settlement of $750,000 in cash and security was approved by the court. A year he married Dr. Winifred Willis, a Long Beach osteopath, in the Willard Hotel in Washington, D. C.. Willis was considered to be one of the most prominent osteopaths in Southern California and a leader in that profession in all the country. Willis was born in New York and married William E. Jenney, a successful dentist, in 1900 and moving to California in 1916. Winifred and William were divorced in 1924. O'Donnell went to Palm Springs, California in the early 1920s seeking relief from a respiratory condition.
On 14.96 acres of leased land from Nellie Coffman, owner of the Desert Inn, he constructed the 4,100-square-foot home which would become the O'Donnell House – known as "Ojo del Desierto", or Eye of the Desert. The "California Spanish"-style O'Donnell House was designed by W. C. Tanner and remained the highest mountainside home in Palm Springs for more than forty years. For fifteen years, O'Donnell and his wife, spent their winters at the O'Donnell House. O'Donnell's heart condition prevented him from using the stairs, so he decided to build a smaller, one story house on the nearby golf course which O'Donnell built with Captain J. F. Lucey; this house would become the clubhouse for the O'Donnell Golf Club. The O'Donnell Golf Club was built in Palm Springs in the mid-1920s, he purchased the land in 1925 upon which the O'Donnell Course is now built, as well as seven hundred fifty shares of Whitewater Mutual Water Company and helped it bring fresh water through a pipeline fourteen miles from Whitewater Canyon to the desert before anyone knew there was water under Palm Springs.
O'Donnell bought property at the corner of Stevens Road and North Palm Canyon Drive and built a reservoir, which acted as a desalting basin, through which Whitewater Mutual routed its pipeline to the area, to become
Santa Paula, California
Santa Paula is a city in Ventura County, United States. Situated amidst the orchards of the fertile Santa Clara River Valley, the city advertises itself to tourists as the "Citrus Capital of the World". Santa Paula was one of the early centers of California's petroleum industry; the Union Oil Company Building, the founding headquarters of the Union Oil Company of California in 1890, now houses the California Oil Museum. The population was 29,321 at the 2010 census, up from 28,598 at the 2000 census; the area of what today is Santa Paula was inhabited by the Chumash, a Native American people. In 1769, the Spanish Portola expedition, first Europeans to see inland areas of California, came down the Santa Clara River Valley from the previous night's encampment near Fillmore and camped in the vicinity of Santa Paula on August 12, near one of the creeks coming into the valley from the north. Fray Juan Crespi, a Franciscan missionary travelling with the expedition, had named the valley Cañada de Santa Clara.
He noted that the party traveled about 9 to 10 miles that day and camped near a large native village, which he named San Pedro Amoliano. The site of the expedition's arrival has been designated California Historical Landmark No. 727. Franciscan missionaries, led by Father Junipero Serra, became active in the area after the founding of the San Buenaventura Mission and established an Asistencia. Santa Paula is located on the 1843 Rancho Santa Paula y Saticoy Mexican land grant. In 1872 Nathan Weston Blanchard laid out the townsite. Considered the founder of the community, he planted seedling orange trees in 1874. Several small oil companies owned by Wallace Hardison, Lyman Stewart and Thomas R. Bard were combined and became the Union Oil Company in 1890. In April 1911, Gaston Méliès moved his Star Film Company from San Antonio, Texas to a site just north of Santa Paula; the large South Mountain Oil Field southeast of town, just across the Santa Clara River, was discovered by the Oak Ridge Oil Company in 1916, developed methodically through the 1920s, bringing further economic diversification and growth to the area.
While the field peaked in production in the 1950s, Occidental Petroleum continues to extract oil through its Vintage Production subsidiary and remains a significant local employer. A major expansion began in 2016 when construction started on a 500-acre master-planned community of 1,500 homes; the town has been devastated twice by floods and was affected by a nearby truck explosion that resulted in an industrial disaster. Most notable, the town faced an out of control wildfire that took well over a month to put out; the Great Flood of 1862 began on December 24, 1861 when it rained for four weeks, reaching a total of 35 inches at Los Angeles. The failure and near complete collapse of the St. Francis Dam took place in the middle of the night on March 12, 1928; the dam was holding a full reservoir of 12.4 billion gallons of water that surged down San Francisquito Canyon and emptied into the Santa Clara River. The town was first hit by the waters at 3:00 a.m. Though hundreds of homes and structures were destroyed, the loss of life would have been greater if it were not for two motorcycle police officers that noisily warned as many people as possible.
A sculpture called "The Watchers" in downtown Santa Paula depicts this act of heroism. A vacuum truck exploded at the Santa Clara Waste Water plant in the early morning hours of November 18, 2014. Two workers were injured in the initial explosion, three responding fire-fighters were injured by the fumes from the spill of a volatile chemical mixture, 50 others were exposed to fumes and required treatment at local hospitals; the driver was transporting waste from a temporary storage drum to a processing center when he stopped to take a meal break. The rear of the truck exploded, spreading a white liquid over a 300-by-400-foot area that spontaneously combusted as it dried and was sensitive to shock and the application of water or oxygen; the tires of the first fire truck on the scene and the boots of three firefighters sparked small explosions when they drove and walked over the substance as they went to help the injured workers. The incident evolved into a disaster when in the morning additional materials began to burn and explode, which resulted in a three-mile-long plume of toxic smoke and the closing of Highway 126.
Chemical smoke drifted over the area and nearby residents and businesses were required to evacuate. CauseWhat was reported as sewage was found to be about 1,000 US gallons of a chemical mixture consisting of some sort of organic peroxide. In the first days of the investigation, officials speculated that two inert chemicals accidentally mixed in the truck and created an organic peroxide substance with sulfuric acid appearing to be part of the mix. Organic peroxide combines unstably bound oxygen together with hydrogen and carbon in the same molecule and ignites and burns and intensely. While field testing was performed on the reactive material for initial identification, the county hazardous materials manager found that laboratories would not test the chemicals over concerns that lab personnel could be injured or their equipment damaged. Three weeks after the incident, the substance was still susceptible to friction and seemed to react to something as slight as wind. Sodium chlorite was identified in an internal investigation by the firm in the months following the disaster.
They claimed that the chemical was being using as a water treatment agent for the first time and was stored in