Torkild Rieber

Mar 13, 1882 - Aug 10, 1968

Torkild Rieber was a Norwegian immigrant to the United States who became chairman of the Texas Company.
Born in a small town in Norway, Rieber became a seaman at the age of 15. By 1904 he was the master of an oil tanker, which was bought the next year by the newly founded Texas Company, or Texaco. He rose steadily through the ranks to become chairman in 1935. The next year he arranged for Texaco to buy the Barco oil concession in Colombia. Over the next three years he oversaw the major engineering feat of opening the remote oilfield and building a pipeline through rugged and jungle-covered terrain to the Caribbean coast.
Rieber was sympathetic to the Fascist regimes in Europe in the 1930s, and illegally supplied oil on credit to Franco's forces during the Spanish Civil War. He also purchased tankers from Germany in exchange for oil. The last tanker was delivered from Hamburg after the outbreak of World War II. For a while Texaco continued to ship oil to Germany via South America. When Rieber's ties to the Nazis were revealed in August 1940 there was a scandal and he was forced to resign. Rieber continued in the oil industry.
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