Todd, Bryan James

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Sir Bryan James Todd

Bryan Todd's first taste of the oil industry came when his father opened a service station in 1912. A brother established a national car dealership in 1923 and another brother set up a car-assembly plant in 1934.

But Todd's real success came when he entered the petroleum industry in 1929 after being cut off from supplies in a price war. A family company set up in 1933 became Europa Oil - an independent until its acquisition by BP in 1972.

Todd led oil exploration in New Zealand. A joint venture with Shell and BP struck oil at Kapuni, Taranaki, in 1959. A decade later, offshore drilling by the consortium discovered the huge Maui gas/condensate field.