Scope and Contents
This collection documents the business history of the Roy M. Huffington, Inc., also known as Huffco. There are photos, correspondence files, videos, as well as awards and speeches that Roy M. Huffington gave while he served as CEO and president of the company. Most of the information highlights the Badak liquified natural gas plant, founded by Huffco Inc. in early 1972. Series I: Indonesia joint venture, Badak, and LNG includes photos and correspondence files detailing the establishment of the Badak plant. Subcommittee minutes include committee, the LNG expansion coordinating committee, and the exploration subcommittee. Series II: Audio-Visual showcases in photographs, audio, and video Roy Huffington as business man, friend, and colleague. Some of the files deal with: work anniversaries, professional photographs, and plant construction and design. Series III: LNG projects captures locations and projects that Huffco was interested in and or involved with. This series is mainly text files. Series IV:Correspondence is composed of correspondence that was discussed between the company and other entities/ parties. The correspondence files that are particularly interesting are the ones on Interferon Foundation. This Foundation was one that dealt with a trial drug on cancer. Series V:Addendum is rich in photographs. There are photos of Roy M. Huffington and some significant dignitaries including: George W. Bush senior and Colin Powell. In late 2019 additional collecting and processing produced an additional four series. In 2020 and 2021 a final round of collecting and processing produced a final addendum of materials largely focusing on research materials and highlighting RMHI's domestic start in the United States.
Conditions Governing Access
This material is open for research with the exception of items restricted by the Donor and the Woodson Research Center because dissemination of their content may constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or a libel of a living person, or because content relates to the personal, family, and confidential business affairs of the Donor or other persons referenced in the Records. Specific timeframes or other conditions for removal of restrictions will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Stored offsite at the Library Service Center and require 24-hour notice for retrieval. Please contact the Woodson Research Center at 713-348-2586 or email@example.com for more information.
Biographical / Historical
Roy M. Huffington, geologist, oilman, philanthropist, and U.S. ambassador, was born Oct. 4, 1917, in Tomball, Texas. His father was also an oilman but died in an accident when Roy was 16. Enrolling at Southern Methodist University, Roy earned a geology degree in three-and-a-half years and then went on to Harvard, where he graduated with a masters and a doctorate in geology.
From 1942 to 1945 he served in the U.S. Navy as first ensign and then lieutenant commander. Returning to Texas after the war, he worked as a field geologist for Humble Oil (now a part of ExxonMobil) until 1956, when Huffington struck out on his own. Eventually Roy M. Huffington, Inc. was established into an oil and gas exploration company. He had saved enough money to cover expenses for three years, and for the first 18 months he did not make “a red cent,” he said. Then, however, he hit oil in 17 of the first 18 wells he drilled.
Huffington’s company, subsequently known as Huffco, grew to be a major independent international oil company active around the world. Observing that the geology of Indonesia seemed to resemble that of the Gulf Coast, Huffington suspected that oil or natural gas might be found there. Thus, in 1966 Huffco signed a production sharing contract with Pertamina to explore in the Kutai Basin of the Mahakam River delta in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The initial exploration objective was oil, but in 1972 Huffco discovered a giant natural gas reserve at Badak Field. Huffco and Pertamina collaborated to build a liquefied natural gas plant in Bontang, and the first shipping took place in 1977.
Subsequently Huffco joined forces with Mobil Oil Indonesia to expand the size of the Indonesia natural gas project. After seven years of this field’s operation, Indonesia became the world’s largest liquid natural gas supplier. In 1989 Huffington sold his business to the Chinese Petroleum Corporation of Taiwan.
In 1990 Huffington accepted appointment by President George H. W. Bush to be ambassador to Austria. He served in that post for three years, working to improve business ties with the former Soviet bloc. After his ambassadorship, he returned to Houston and resumed his position as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Roy M. Huffington, Inc., the independent international oil company that remained after the sale of Huffco to the Chinese.
While serving as ambassador to Austria he joined the board of the Salzburg Global Seminar, an international policy center, and in 1994, he was elected its chairman, a position which he held until 2007. Huffington also served as the chairman of the Asia Society, a New York-based charity, for seven years in the 1980s. His philanthropic activities were wide ranging, related especially to education and medicine. To cite a few examples, he founded the Huffington Foundation, a Houston-based charity, and he and his wife, the former Phyllis Gough, who died in 2003, established the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor College of Medicine. Having been a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Southern Methodist University, he made a significant donation to the Alpha Tau Omega Educational Foundation, which provides scholarships for undergraduate members of the fraternity.
On July 11, 2008, while vacationing in Italy, Huffington died in Venice of natural causes. He was 90.