OIL History

OIL History

Oil Insurance Limited (OIL) was formed in 1972 by 16 energy companies in response to two large-scale industry accidents that occurred in the late 1960s. The combination of an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California and a refinery explosion in Lake Charles, Louisiana resulted in inadequate coverage and pricing provided by the commercial markets, which triggered the formation of OIL.

At the time of its formation, there was little confidence in the insurance industry that the organization would even survive. In an article in the London times from February 23rd of that year entitled ‘Concern as oil firms bypass London insurance market,’ the outlook for OIL was bleak. The London market’s view at the time was that OIL would not be able to cope indefinitely with its insurance load.

Over forty-five years later, OIL is still in business. It is a world leader in global energy insurance and has achieved many milestones and seen significant growth since its inception:

  • Membership has grown from 16 members in 1972 to 60+ members in 2022.
  • Globally insured assets have grown from $48 billion in 1972 to over $3 trillion in 2022.
  • Shareholder’s equity has grown from $160,000 in 1972 to over $3 billion in 2022.
  • Total assets have grown from $160,000 in 1972 to close to $7 billion in 2022.

OIL is rated A (stable) by Standard & Poor’s and A2 by Moody’s.