Chevron Company History Timeline


In September 1879, Charles N. Felton, Lloyd Tevis, George Loomis and others created the "Pacific Coast Oil Company", which acquired the assets of Star Oil with $1 million in funding.


By 1885, it consolidated its Western interests under its subsidiary, the Standard Oil Co. (Iowa), which controlled distribution stations throughout the West Coast.


In 1895, the company initiated its enduring marine history when it launched California’s first steel tanker, the George Loomis, which could ship 6,500 barrels of crude between Ventura and San Francisco.


Pacific Coast Oil became the largest oil interest in California by the time it was acquired by Standard Oil for $761,000 in 1900.


Another predecessor, Texas Fuel Company, was founded in 1901, in Beaumont, Texas as an oil equipment vendor by "Buckskin Joe". The founder's nickname came from being harsh and aggressive.


Texaco Inc., original name (1902–59) Texas Company, former United States-based petroleum corporation that was, during the late 20th century, one of the world’s largest oil companies in terms of sales.


Chevron was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in San Ramon, CA.“

Pacific Coast operated independently and retained its name until 1906, when it was merged with a Standard Oil subsidiary and it became "Standard Oil Company (California)" or "California Standard".


By 1911 it had established its first refinery outside Texas, in Illinois.

Fortunately, Standard had the right person for the job in Fred Hillman, who became director of the Producing Department in 1911.

Indeed, even in 1911 Pacific Coast was producing a mere 2.3 percent of the state's crude, forcing partner Iowa Standard to buy most of its crude from outside suppliers like Union Oil and Puente Oil.

From 1911 to World War II: Growth as an Independent Company

In 1911, the federal government broke Standard Oil into several pieces under the Sherman Antitrust Act.


Standard Oil Co. (California) scored big in December 1913 when it purchased the Murphy Oil Co. holdings in West Coyote and East Whittier.


In addition, the opening of the Panama Canal in August 1914 gave the company greater access to Eastern United States and European markets.


In this 1915 photo, a horse-drawn wagon loaded up at a Standard Oil Co. (California) station in Sausalito, Calif., for delivery of Red Crown Gasoline and Pearl Oil to customers in the San Francisco Bay area.


In 1916, Standard became the first company in the industry to adopt an eight-hour day for all salaried and contract employees.


By 1917, Standard had added two other great Southern California discoveries in the Montebello and Baldwin No.


Following upon the success of Red Crown automobile gasoline, Standard introduced Red Crown aviation fuel in 1918, promoting the product through advertisements and through wider commitment to the growth of the aviation industry.


In January 1919, the company had the first of several discoveries in Elk Hills in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

And by 1919, Standard’s production had grown to more than one-quarter of the state’s total.

From a base of about 3 percent of the state's production in the early part of the century, Socal rode a series of successful oil strikes to a remarkable 26 percent of nationwide crude production in 1919.


The search began in December 1920, when a 25-person exploratory team sailed from San Francisco to Bondoc Peninsula in the Philippines, followed by a freighter carrying 1,000 tons of equipment.


In 1925 alone, the company’s three refineries at Richmond, El Segundo and Bakersfield produced more than 56 million barrels of petroleum products as well as 13.6 million pounds of greases and 340,000 tons of asphalt.


In 1926 it acquired the properties of Pacific Oil Company (previously owned by Southern Pacific Railroad) and became the Standard Oil Company of California, or Socal.

By 1926, the fleet grew to 40 vessels, including 22 ocean-going tankers as well as stern-wheelers, launches, barges and tugs.


The company gained its first foothold in the region in 1928 when Gulf Oil Corporation offered its Bahrain concession to Socal (in a move that unknowingly foreshadowed the merger with Gulf by more than half a century).


In 1930 Socal geologists struck oil in Bahrain, and within a few years, the California company had joined the ranks of international marketers of oil.


The long, intrepid quest would take more than 10 years before the company made its first international discovery in June 1932.

In June 1932, Socal began a year-long series of negotiations with the Saudi government before the two sides signed a concession agreement providing the company with exploration rights for the next 60 years over an area of about 360,000 square miles.

In November 1932, the company assigned the concession to its newly formed subsidiary, California Arabian Standard Oil Co. (Casoc), later to become Arabian American Oil Co., or Aramco.


In 1933 Socal signed a concession with the Saudi state, forming the California Arabian Standard Oil Company, or Casoc.


The joint-venture partners also agreed to share exploration rights in Central Sumatra, Java and Dutch New Guinea, which had been granted to Socal in 1935.

The company entered the Canadian market in 1935 when Standard Oil Co. of British Columbia was launched in a two-room suite of the Hotel Vancouver.

During the 1930s, Socal expanded its operations in Central America, building upon its leadership position in Mexico. It added a road-surfacing plant and constructed a bulk plant in El Salvador in 1935 before expanding into Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica.


In 1936, it formed a joint venture with California Standard named Caltex, to drill and produce oil in Saudi Arabia.


In 1939 Socal began operations in Louisiana and later offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

Once the oil started flowing in 1939, King Saud was so pleased with his partners and the profits they generated for his impoverished country that he increased the size of their concession to 440,000 square miles, an area the size of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico combined.


With the entry of the United States into the war in December 1941, Socal became a key supplier of crude oil and refined products for the Allies in the Pacific.

Canadian production began in 1941.

1, using a rig left behind by Caltex Pacific Indonesia when crews vacated the area in 1941.


California Standard's subsidiary, California-Arabian Standard Oil Company, grew over the years and became the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in 1944.


After the United States government gave Socal special priority to build the nation's first synthetic detergent plant in 1945, the company had a solid footing to produce a wide array of industrial chemicals such as detergents, plastics and synthetic fabrics.

After acquiring the Perth Amboy Refinery in 1945, the company used it as a manufacturing base a couple of years later when it launched an expanded marketing network in 12 Eastern states through its subsidiary, California Oil Co.


And in Saudi Arabia, when drilling resumed in 1947, the company learned that its concession area in the Enala Anticline contained the largest oil pool in the world—105 miles of productive sands.


In 1948, California Standard discovered the world's largest oil field in Saudi Arabia, Ghawar Field.


On the domestic scene, Socal by 1949 had grown into one of the few American companies with $1 billion in assets.


Reflecting Socal’s growth in these postwar years, revenues surpassed $1 billion for the first time in 1951.


The protracted legal and financial complications over the Getty acquisition were a drain on Texaco, and it went through more than a decade of reorganization and strategic refocusing before it was finally acquired by Chevron. It came under the control of J. Paul Getty, and the name Getty Oil Company was adopted in 1956.


By 1957, for example, Socal was selling $1.7 billion worth of oil products annually and ranked as the world's seventh-largest oil concern.


A Standard Oil geologist examined a rock specimen in the Venezuelan Andes in 1958, where there was an effort to build on the discovery of oil at the country’s Boscan Field a decade earlier.


The name Texaco was officially adopted in 1959.


In 1961 the company purchased Standard Oil Company (Kentucky) in order to extend its United States market area into the southeastern states.


At the Richmond Refinery in 1965, the company launched the world’s largest Isomax hydrocracking complex, which converted heavy petroleum oils to light stocks used to make gasoline and other products.


To manage a share of the divided operations, the company created Chevron Oil Europe in 1967.

The firm's European gas stations, owned jointly with Texaco until 1967, numbered 8,000.


In 1969, Standard completed a 150,000-barrel-a-day expansion of its refinery at Pernis in the Netherlands, and a year later brought onstream a new 250,000-barrel-a-day refinery at Freeport in the Bahamas.


Standard expanded its fleet in 1970 by adding six new very large crude carriers (VLCCs), supertankers of 250,000 or more tons.

By 1970, 20 percent of Socal's $4 billion in sales was generated in the Far East, with Japan again providing the lion's share of that figure.

The world oil picture had changed fundamentally by 1970, however.


But the added domestic production only masked Socal's increasing reliance on Saudi Arabian oil, which by 1971 provided more than three-quarters of Socal's proven reserves.


With these discoveries, Socal achieved a production record of more than 3.5 million barrels of oil equivalent in 1976, a year in which the world rebounded from an economic recession.


In 1977, the company made a major organizational change when it formed Chevron United StatesA. Inc., merging six domestic oil and gas operations into one.


In 1981 the company made a $4 billion bid for AMAX Inc., a leader in coal and metal mining but had to settle for a 20 percent stake.


On March 5, 1984, Keller made a bid of $80 per share, roughly $13.3 billion, and hours later received a phone call from Gulf Chairman James Lee, telling him that Socal had won the bidding.

In 1984 Texaco purchased the Getty Oil Company but was sued for contract interference by the Pennzoil Company, whose own imminent acquisition of Getty had been derailed by Texaco’s successful bid.

Also in 1984, after a decade of sporadic attempts to lessen its dependence on the volatile Middle East, Chevron Corporation met its short-term oil needs in a more direct fashion: it bought Gulf Corporation.

Standard Oil of California and Gulf Oil merged in 1984, which was the largest merger in history at that time.


By late 1985, the merger was complete.


Chevron’s revised environmental policy added an important new mandate: risk management, which involved identifying potential problems and solving them before they became real problems. It also expanded a far-sighted program, Save Money and Reduce Toxics, which had already cut hazardous waste disposal by 60 percent since 1986.


Signifying the integration of the two companies, some 3,000 Gulf stations in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas adopted Chevron’s name and products beginning in 1988.

By 1988, when the company acquired $2.5 billion in properties from Tenneco, Chevron became the leading oil and gas producer in the United States Gulf of Mexico.


In 1993, Chevron became the first major Western oil company to enter the newly independent Kazakhstan.

As United States exploration opportunities shrank, Chevron shifted its emphasis increasingly toward international projects, such as the development of the huge Tengiz Field in Kazakhstan after forming a partnership with that country’s government in 1993.

In 1993, while transporting nearly 625 million barrels of crude oil, Chevron Shipping spilled an amount equaling less than four barrels.


In 1994, five years after Derr's announcement, Chevron had met its goal for stockholders, largely through restructuring and efforts to cut costs and improve efficiency.


The company helped reduce its refining capacity by selling its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery in February 1995.

In December 1995 the company announced a restructuring of its United States gasoline marketing.


In 1996, earnings hit an all-time high of $2.6 billion, and production of more than 1 million barrels a day was the highest in 11 years, driven by record volumes in Angola, Kazakhstan and Nigeria.


One example of the company's new efforts toward marketing was a joint initiative with McDonald's Corp.. In April 1997, as a response to "one-stop shopping" marketing trends, Chevron and McDonald's together opened a new gas station and food facility in Lakewood, California.

The deal did not include Unocal's former retail operations including the Union 76 trademark, as it had sold that off to Tosco Corporation in 1997.


After forming a corporate Mergers and Acquisitions group in January 1998, Chevron began evaluating other companies that might best complement its own.


In 1999, Chevron initiated a series of talks with Texaco, which proved unsuccessful.


On October 15, 2000, Chevron announced acquisition of Texaco in a deal valued at $45 billion, creating the second-largest oil company in the United States and the world's fourth-largest publicly traded oil company with a combined market value of approximately $95 billion.

16, 2000, the two companies announced that they had reached an agreement to merge.


The acquisition was completed on October 9, 2001.


The merged company was named "ChevronTexaco". On May 9, 2005, ChevronTexaco announced it would drop the Texaco moniker and return to the Chevron name.

In 2005, Chevron purchased Unocal Corporation for $18.4 billion, increasing the company's petroleum and natural gas reserves by about 15%. Because of Unocal's large South East Asian geothermal operations, Chevron became a large producer of geothermal energy.


Also in the United States Gulf of Mexico, Chevron achieved first oil from the Tahiti Field in May 2009.

The Tengiz expansion and the ramp-up of the deepwater Agbami Field offshore Nigeria were two projects that added significant production volumes in 2009.

In 2009, both Chevron and Energy Conservation Devices sold their stakes in Cobasys to SB LiMotive Co.


However, its status in Kentucky is unclear after Chevron withdrew its brand from retail sales from Kentucky in July 2010.

In July 2010, Chevron ended retail operations in the Mid-Atlantic United States by removing the Chevron and Texaco names from 1,100 stations.


In 2011, Chevron acquired Pennsylvania based Atlas Energy Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash and an additional $1.1 billion in existing debt owed by Atlas.


In September 2013, Total S.A. and its joint venture partner agreed to buy Chevron's retail distribution business in Pakistan for an undisclosed amount.


In October 2014, Chevron announced that it would sell a 30 percent holding in its Canadian oil shale holdings to Kuwait's state-owned oil company Kuwait Oil Company for a fee of $1.5 billion.


In 2015, Chevron continued progress on the company’s development projects to deliver future production growth.

In 2015, Chevron’s downstream segment reported its best year on record, with $7.6 billion in earnings.


The Gorgon project achieved key construction milestones – including the design and construction of one of the world’s largest CO² injection facilities – and delivered first gas to a foundation customer in Japan in April 2016.

By 2016, in addition to the Marcellus, the company was developing tight oil or liquids-rich gas shales in the Permian Basin of the southwestern United States, the Vaca Muerta Shale in Argentina, and the Duvernay Shale in Canada.

In 2016, Chevron announced it was planning to exit South Africa, where it had had a presence for over a century.


And the achievement of several commercial milestones added impetus to the Wheatstone project, due to start up in mid-2017.


In April 2019, Chevron announced their intention to acquire Anadarko Petroleum in a deal valued at $33 billion, but decided to focus on other acquisitions shortly afterwards when a deal could not be reached.


In February 2020, Chevron joins Marubeni Corporation and WAVE Equity Partners in investing in Carbon Clean Solutions, a company that provides portable carbon capture technology for the oil field and other industrial facilities.

On July 20, 2020, Chevron announced that it would acquire Noble Energy for $5 billion.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 Russia–Saudi Arabia oil price war, Chevron announced reductions of 10–15% of its workforce.

Chevron considered a merger with rival ExxonMobil in 2020 during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic that drove oil demand sharply down.


In August 2021, Chevron began requiring some employees, namely expatriate employees, those working overseas, and workers on United States-flagged ships, to receive COVID-19 vaccinations after having some key operations, the off-shore platforms off the Gulf of Mexico and Permian Basin for example.

2021 chevron annual report pdf opens in new window

2021 climate change resilience report


In January 5, 2022, Chevron temporarily decreased production in Kazakhstan's Tengiz Field due to the 2022 Kazakh protests, which were motivated by heavy oil price increases.

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Chevron may also be known as or be related to Chevron, Chevron Corp, Chevron Corporation, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, Pacific Coast Oil Co. [1] (1879–1906) Standard Oil of California (1906–1984) [2], chevron usa, chevron phillips chemical company, chevron refinery, chevron texaco, Unocal Corporation and Union Oil Company of California.