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Vacuum's parent company, Vacuum Oil Inc, merged with the Standard Oil Company of New York to become Socony Vacuum, then Socony Mobil that ultimately became Mobil Corporation. Socony Mobil introduced the Flying Red Horse (Pegasus) logo. It appeared in Australia in 1939 and became one of Australia's best recognised corporate symbols. In October 1946, Mobil began constructing the Altona oil refinery.

The refinery commenced operations in June 1949, initially making lubricating oil and bitumen from imported crude oil. A multi-million dollar expansion program that came on stream in December 1954, extended the refinery's product range into motor vehicle fuels and, in 1956, it produced Australia's first locally made aviation gasoline. In 1958, Mobil unveiled plans to build an oil refinery at Port Stanvac, south of Adelaide, which came on stream in 1963. At the same time, Mobil announced the construction of a major petrochemical plant next to the Altona Refinery in Melbourne that produced its first products for sale in June 1961.

The discovery of vast reserves of crude oil and gas in Bass Strait in the early 1960's changed the Australian refining industry dramatically, as all companies changed to processing the locally produced oil instead of importing their raw materials. In 1970 further expansion and modification of the Altona Refinery near Melbourne was completed, making it possible for Bass Strait crude to be processed in the plant. In 1973 MOA announced its return to the production of lubricating oils in Australia and commenced construction of a lubricating oil refinery alongside the existing Adelaide fuels product refinery.

The lubricating oil refinery, the most modern one in Australia, opened in 1976. In 1985, Mobil Oil Australia negotiated a major asset swap with BP Australia in which Mobil vacated the Perth retail market in exchange for acquiring a large portion of BP's South Australian, Victorian and New South Wales retail market.
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