Exxon Mobil Company History Timeline


Both Exxon and Mobil were descendants of the John D. Rockefeller corporation, Standard Oil which was established in 1870.


By the end of 1872, all 34 refiners in the area had agreed to sell--some freely and for profit, and some, competitors alleged, under coercion.


By 1873 Standard Oil was refining more oil--10,000 barrels per day--than any other region of the country, employing 1,600 workers, and netting around $500,000 per year.


By the end of 1874 he had absorbed the next three largest refiners in the nation, located in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.


Due to their considerable skills in political maneuvering and a ruthless business ethic, by 1878 Standard Oil controlled 95% of the US refining capacity.

1878: Standard controls $33 million of the country's $35 million annual refining capacity.


John D. Archbold, a longtime intimate of the elder Rockefeller and whose Standard service had begun in 1879, remained president of Standard Oil (New Jersey). Archbold's first problem was to secure sufficient supplies of crude oil for Jersey's extensive refining and marketing capacity.


Exxon Mobil was founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1882 and is headquartered in Irving, TX.“

In 1882, it together with its affiliated companies was incorporated as the Standard Oil Trust with Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and Standard Oil Company of New York as its largest companies.


In 1885, Vacuum Oil, a part of the Standard Oil Trust, opened a sales office in Liverpool, in the United Kingdom.


Jersey's Bayonne, New Jersey refinery was soon the third largest in the Standard family, putting out 10,000 to 12,000 barrels per day by 1886.


The Anglo-American Oil Company was established in the United Kingdom in 1888.


In 1890 the Sherman Antitrust Act was passed largely in response to Standard Oil’s monopoly.


In 1891, the American Petroleum Company, a joint venture between Standard Oil and five Belgian and Dutch trading companies, was created in the Netherlands, and the same year the Società Italo Americana pel Petrolio (SIAP) was established in Venice, Italy.


The Standard Oil Trust was dissolved under the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1892; however, it reemerged as the Standard Oil Interests.


In 1893, the Chinese and the whole Asian kerosene market was assigned to Standard Oil Company of New York in order to improve trade with the Asian counterparts.


Rockefeller had retired from daily participation in Standard Oil in 1896 at the age of 56.


In 1898, Standard Oil of New Jersey acquired controlling stake in Imperial Oil of Canada.


Vacuum Oil sold harness oil, steam cylinder oil, spindle oil and greases, and first used the trademark Mobiloil in 1899.

After 1899 Jersey Standard became the sole holding company for all of the Standard interests, but Socony continued much as before in its various key roles.

In 1899, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey became the holding company for the Standard Oil Interests.


1903 Predecessor companies supplied the Wright Brothers with oil and fuel for their early flights.

In 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright used Jersey Standard fuel and Mobiloil (Vacuum) lubricants for their historic first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.


The reputation of Standard Oil in the public eye suffered badly after publication of Ida M. Tarbell's classic exposé The History of the Standard Oil Co. in 1904, leading to a growing outcry for the government to take action against the company.


The commissioner of the Bureau of Corporations, James R. Garfield, decided to widen the investigation into a study of the national oil industry--in effect, Standard Oil. Therefore, it was not surprising that in 1905 a United States congressman from Kansas launched an investigation of Standard Oil's role in the falling price of crude in his state.


1906 Standard Oil's "Mei Foo" kerosene lamps introduced illumination across China and opened a vast new market.


Socony eventually built a network of subsidiaries from Japan to Turkey that by 1910 was handling nearly 50 percent of the kerosene sold in Asia.


The flying red horse was first used by Vacuum Oil in South Africa in 1911.

Company oils were made according to a secret formula, and by 1911 the Vacuum marketers had made the name Mobil oil known on five continents.

Regrouping Following Supreme Court Ruling in 1911

By the time of the dissolution of Standard in 1911, Socony had established its position in Europe and Africa and built a thriving business in Asia as well.

Independent Growth into a "Major": 1911-72

By 1911, with public outcry at a climax, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v.


In the Asia-Pacific region, Jersey Standard has established through its Dutch subsidiary an exploration and production company Nederlandsche Koloniale Petroleum Maatschappij in 1912.


Once Standard's consolidation was complete Rockefeller spent his time reversing the process of accumulation, seeing to it that his immense fortune--estimated at $900 million in 1913--was redistributed as efficiently as it had been made.


In 1915, Ralph De Palma, winner of the Indianapolis 500, was the first of many Indy winners to use Mobil products.


Archbold was followed by Walter C. Teagle in 1917, who made it the largest oil company in the world.


For this reason, Socony purchased a 45% interest in Magnolia Petroleum Co., a major refiner, marketer and pipeline transporter, in 1918.


In 1919, however, Jersey made a domestic purchase that would prove to be of great long-term value.

In 1919, Jersey Standard acquired a 50% share in Humble Oil & Refining Co., a Texas oil producer.


The growing automotive market inspired the product trademark Mobiloil, registered by Socony in 1920.

In 1920, for example, the Atlantic Gulf & West Indies Oil Company built a small refinery at Fawley, UK – the forerunner of the Esso refinery.

The price of oil quadrupled overnight, and a new era of energy awareness began, as the international oil companies lost the comfortable positions they had held in the Middle East since the 1920s.

In 1920, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


Henry Clay Folger was head of Socony until 1923, when he was succeeded by Herbert L. Pratt.


In 1924, Jersey Standard and General Motors pooled its tetraethyllead-related patents and established the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation.


In 1925, Magnolia became wholly owned by Socony.


1926: The Esso brand is used for the first time on the company's refined products.

In 1926, Socony purchased General Petroleum Corporation of California.


1927 Charles Lindbergh uses Mobiloil as a lubricant in the Spirit of St Louis, on the first solo flight across the Atlantic.

In 1927, Jersey Standard signed a 25-years cooperation agreement with IG Farben for the coal hydrogenation research in the United States.


ExxonMobil has been in some form part of the Dow 30 since 1928.


Then it entered the Midwest for the first time with a 1930 purchase of White Eagle Oil & Refining Company, with gas stations in 11 states.

In 1930, the joint company established Hydro Patents Company to license the hydrogenation process in the United States.


In 1931, when Vacuum merged with Socony, the red Pegasus – a symbol of speed and power – was adopted as its United States trademark.


In 1932, Jersey Standard acquired foreign assets of the Pan American Petroleum and Transport Company.


In 1933, Jersey Standard and Socony-Vacuum merged their interests in the region into a 50–50 joint venture.


In 1935, Socony Vacuum Oil opened the huge Mammoth Oil Port on Staten Island, which had a capacity of handling a quarter of a billion gallons of petroleum products a year and could transship oil from ocean-going tankers and river barges.


The agreement with IG Farben gave to Jersey Standard access to patents related to polyisobutylene which assist Jersey Standard to advance in isobutolene polymerization and to produce the first butyl rubber in 1937.


Octane In 1938, the world’s first commercial production of Alkylate at a Humble Oil plant in Texas made possible the manufacturing of iso-octane as a blending agent.


In 1941, it opened the first commercial synthetic toluene plant.


1946: A 30 percent interest in Arabian American Oil Company, and its vast Saudi Arabian oil concessions, is acquired.


In 1947, Jersey Standard and Royal Dutch Shell formed the joint venture Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV for oil and gas exploration and production in the Netherlands.


In 1948, Jersey Standard and Socony-Vacuum acquired interests in the Arab-American Oil Company (Aramco).


Mobil Chemical Co. was established in 1950.

Also in 1950, Jersey's British affiliates showed sales of $283 million but a bottom line of about $2 million.

In 1950 that proportion was about the same, indicating that regardless of the end products into which oil was refined, it was the production of crude that yielded the big profits.

Even as late as 1950, however, gasoline had not yet become the leading seller among Jersey products.


Motor oil In 1952, Jersey Standard introduced Uniflo motor oil, the first multigrade motor oil for both summer and winter use.


In 1955, Socony-Vacuum became Socony Mobil Oil Company.


In 1958, Jersey Standard offered free road maps to customers as part of its Happy Motoring campaign.

In 1958, Pan American Airways used Mobil aviation fuel in its first transatlantic Boeing 707 flight from New York to London.

First trans-Atlantic commercial flightIn 1958, Pan American Airways used Mobil aviation fuel in its first transatlantic Boeing 707 flight from New York to London.


In 1959, Magnolia Petroleum Company, General Petroleum Corporation, and Mobil Producing Company were merged to form the Mobil Oil Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Socony Mobil.

In Libya, Jersey Standard made its first major oil discovery in 1959.


1960 Mobil Chemical Company was established.

1960: Mobil Chemical Company is formed.


Standard Vacuum Oil Company, or "Stanvac," operated in 50 countries, from East Africa to New Zealand, before it was dissolved in 1962.


1963 Esso Chemical Company was established.


In 1966, Socony Mobil Oil Company became the Mobil Oil Corporation.

In 1966, it started to develop the coal liquefaction process called the Exxon Donor Solvent Process.


In 1967, Mobil acquired a 28% strategic stake in the German fuel chain Aral.


In 1968, Mobil adopted new-look Pegasus service stations.

Detergent gasolines In 1968, Mobil was the first to develop detergent gasolines.


At the same time, the company changed its corporate name from Standard Oil of New Jersey to Exxon Corporation, and Humble Oil became Exxon Company, United StatesA. The rebranding came after successful test-marketing of the Exxon name, under two experimental logos, in the fall and winter of 1971–72.


Jersey Standard changed its name to Exxon Corp. in 1972 and established Exxon as a trademark throughout the United States.

Uranium ore processing started in 1972.

In 1926 the New Jersey company introduced the trade name Esso (representing the abbreviation for Standard Oil, “S.O.”) and applied it to many of its products and companies. Thus, in 1972, Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) became Exxon Corporation, and many subsidiaries and affiliates, such as Humble, also switched to the Exxon name.


Exxon replaced the Esso, Enco, and Humble brands in the United States on January 1, 1973.

In April 1973, Exxon founded Solar Power Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary for manufacturing of terrestrial photovoltaic cells.

In 1973, Exxon acquired the Ray Point uranium ore processing facility which was shortly afterwards decommissioned.

Due to the oil embargo of 1973, Exxon and Mobil began to expand their exploration and production into the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Africa, and Asia.


In 1974, Mobil introduced the first synthetic motor oil – Mobil 1™. Today, Mobil 1 is the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand


In 1975, Mobil participated in the completion of Beryl A, the world's first concrete production platform; this 50-story-high structure was the prototype for other concrete deepwater facilities operating in the North Sea.

Industry observers were expecting Raymond to retire at some point midway through the decade, and the consensus on his replacement was Rex Tillerson, who joined Exxon in 1975.


He created the first lithium-ion battery in 1976 with metallic lithium at the anode and titanium disulfide intercalated with lithium ions at the cathode.

In 1976 Mobil Oil Corporation again changed its name, to Mobil Corporation.

In 1976, Exxon, through its subsidiary Intercor, entered into partnership with Colombian state owned company Carbocol to start coal mining in Cerrejón.


In April 1980, Exxon opened a 250-ton-per-day pilot plant in Baytown, Texas.

1980: Exxon's revenues exceed $100 billion because of the rapid increase in oil prices.


With the price of oil peaking around 1981 and then tumbling for most of the decade, Exxon's sales dropped sharply.


On May 2, 1982, Exxon announced the termination of the Colony Shale Oil Project because of low oil-prices and increased expenses.


In 1984 Whittingham became director of physical sciences at Schlumberger-Doll Research in Ridgefield, Connecticut, a company focused on developing technology for the petroleum industry.

Although these efforts succeeded, in large part, in replacing Mobil's reserves as fast as they were used up, the company bought Superior Oil Company in 1984.

Consequently, Exxon sold Solar Power Corporation in 1984.


Pay at the pump In 1986, Mobil became the first gas retailer in the United States to introduce pay at the pump.

To make ends meet, Chairman Rawleigh Warner, Jr., and his 1986 successor, Allen E. Murray, made substantial cuts in refineries and service stations, upgrading Mobil's holdings of both to a smaller number of more modern, efficient units.

In 1986, Exxon Nuclear was sold to Kraftwerk Union, a nuclear arm of Siemens.


He then joined Binghamton University in New York in 1988 as a professor of chemistry and materials sciences and engineering.

By 1988 Mobil had pulled out of the retail gasoline business in 20 states and derived 88 percent of its retail revenue from just 14 states, mostly in the Northeast.


On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska and spilled more than 11 million US gallons (42,000 m) of crude oil.

Unfortunately, in 1989, Standard Oil's business ingenuity was questioned when company officials were indicted for violating state anti monopoly laws.

While ExxonMobil's predecessors were never without serious challenges, perhaps the biggest public scandal hit Exxon with the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

In 1989 it contributed 32 percent of Mobil's net operating income--generated on sales representing less than 7 percent of the corporate total.

The disaster cost Exxon $1.7 billion in 1989 alone, and the company and its subsidiaries were faced with more than 170 civil and criminal lawsuits brought by state and federal governments and individuals.

1989: The crash of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound off the port of Valdez, Alaska, releases about 260,000 barrels of crude oil.


The Exxon Valdez oil spill was the second largest in United States history, and in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez incident, the United States Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Of the annual list's top ten companies, Exxon was the only one to post a profit increase over 1990.

Meantime, Exxon in 1990 abandoned its fancy headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York City to reestablish its base in the heart of oil territory, in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas.


Asset sales of $570 million in 1991 included a Wyoming coal mine and hundreds of wells in western Texas.

The corporation marked its 125th anniversary in 1991, but there was little cause for celebration.

In 1991 the company established a new Houston-based division, Exxon Exploration Company, to handle the company's exploration operations everywhere in the world except for Canada.


Mobil also cut its domestic workforce by more than 2,000 in 1992 and slashed $800 million from that year's capital and exploration budget.

The recession deepened in 1992, and Mobil Chairman and CEO Allen E. Murray continued restructuring as earnings plunged precipitously across the industry.

Overall, the company had shaved nearly $2 billion from operating expenses since 1992.


At the end of 1993 Lee R. Raymond took over as CEO from the retiring Rawl.


In June 1994 a federal jury found that the huge oil spill had been caused by "recklessness" on the part of Exxon.

By 1994, Mobil's position had stabilized, as rising natural gas prices pushed up the company's profits, one-third of which were from natural gas.

Chairman Lucio Noto, who had succeeded Murray in 1994, set his sights on Ras Laffan, a natural gas field in the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Qatar.

1994: Federal jury finds company guilty of "recklessness" and orders it to pay $286.8 million in compensatory damages and $5 billion in punitive damages.

In 1994, Mobil established a subsidiary MEGAS (Mobil European Gas), which became responsible for Mobil's natural gas operations in Europe.


In 1995 profits jumped to an estimated $1.9 billion (in large part driven by Mobil's 30 percent stake in the rich Indonesian Arun field, which contributed one-quarter of that figure); as a result, Mobil ranked number one in the industry in terms of profitability.


Analysts predicted that the company's profits would increase by another 50 percent in 1996.

In 1996 the company reported net income of $7.51 billion, more than any other company on the Fortune 500.

In addition, Exxon and Royal Dutch/Shell joined forces in a worldwide petroleum additives joint venture in 1996.


In June 1997, in fact, Exxon formally appealed the $5 billion verdict.

In 1997, Mobil introduced the Speedpass™ key tag, the first mobile payment device.

In addition, in an unrelated but equally embarrassing development, Exxon in 1997 reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in which it agreed to run advertisements that refuted earlier ads claiming that its high-octane gasoline reduced automobile maintenance costs.


In 1998, Exxon and Mobil signed a US$73.7 billion merger agreement forming a new company called Exxon Mobil Corp. (ExxonMobil), the largest oil company and the third-largest company in the world.


With deliveries scheduled to begin in 1999, Mobil's 30 percent stake in the field was expected to add $300 million in annual operating earnings in its first decade, and as much as $700 million after Mobil's initial investment was paid down.


In 2000, ExxonMobil sold a refinery in Benicia, California and 340 Exxon-branded stations to Valero Energy Corp., as part of an FTC-mandated divestiture of California assets.

The Benicia Refinery and 340 Exxon-branded stations in California were bought by Valero Energy Corporation in 2000.


Noto, whose responsibilities and influence were diminished as vice-chairman, announced his retirement in January 2001, the same year the Exxon Mobil board of directors made an exception to the company's mandatory retirement age and asked Raymond to continue leading the company.

By 2001, cost savings from the merger reached $4.6 billion.


In 2002, the company sold its stake in the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, and copper-mining business in Chile.


By 2004, the company was enjoying what Raymond, in a March 11, 2004 interview with the Oil Daily, referred to as "unprecedented developments" in Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, and the Caspian Sea.

2004: Rex Tillerson is appointed president of Exxon Mobil, leading observers to predict his appointment as chief executive officer upon Lee Raymond's retirement.


In 2005, ExxonMobil’s stock price surged in parallel with rising oil prices, surpassing General Electric as the largest corporation in the world in terms of market capitalization.


On June 12, 2008, ExxonMobil announced that it was transitioning out of the direct-served retail market, citing the increasing difficulty of running gas stations under rising crude oilcosts.

An initial award of US$5 billion punitive was reduced to $507.5 million by the US Supreme Court in June 2008, and distributions of this award have commenced.

In 2008, ExxonMobil started to phase-out from the United States direct-served retail market by selling its service stations.


In 2009, ExxonMobil phased-out coal mining by selling its last operational coal mine in the United States.


In 2010, ExxonMobil bought XTO Energy, the company focused on development and production of unconventional resources.


In 2011, ExxonMobil started a strategic cooperation with Russian oil company Rosneft to develop the East-Prinovozemelsky field in the Kara Sea and the Tuapse field in the Black Sea.


In 2012, ExxonMobil concluded an agreement with Rosneft to assess possibilities to produce tight oil from Bazhenov and Achimov formations in Western Siberia.


In November 2013, ExxonMobil agreed to sell its majority stakes in a Hong Kong-based utility and power storage firm, Castle Peak Co Ltd, for a total of $3.4 billion, to CLP Holdings.

In 2013, Exxon’s CEO Rex Tillerson was quoted “Exxon is starting work with Russia’s OAO Rosneft in assessing what could be massive reserves of shale oil in Western Siberia”, “There is huge shale potential in shale rocks in West Siberia…we just don’t know what the quality is”.


On October 9, 2014, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes awarded ExxonMobil $1.6 billion in the case the company had brought against the Venezuelan government.

In 2014, the Bureau of Land Management approved their research and development project in Rio Blanco County, Colorado.


However, in November 2015 the company relinquished its federal research, development and demonstration lease.


In September 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission contacted ExxonMobil, questioning why (unlike some other companies) they had not yet started writing down the value of their oil reserves, given that much may have to remain in the ground to comply with future climate change legislation.

Also in September 2016, ExxonMobil successfully asked a United States federal court to lift the trademark injunction that banned it from using the Esso brand in various United States states.

On December 13, 2016, the CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, was nominated as Secretary of State by President-elect Donald Trump.

Gasoline for better gas mileage** In 2016, released Fuel Technology Synergy™ gasolines.


In January 2017, Federal climate investigations of ExxonMobil were considered less likely under the new Trump administration.

On January 9, 2017, it was revealed that Infineum, a joint venture of ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell headquartered in England, conducted business with Iran, Syria, and Sudan while those states were under US sanctions.

In 2017, these efforts will yield a breakthrough involving modification of an algae strain that more than doubles its oil content without significantly inhibiting the strain’s growth.

ExxonMobil is waiting for an appropriate project to launch its FLNG development, and the only FLNG facility currently in development is being built by Shell, due for completion in around 2017.


In 2018, ExxonMobil created Exxchange, an online site where the company posts content in support of "smarter regulations" with regard to the oil and gas business and in defense of oil and gas jobs.


In October 2020, ExxonMobil announced that it will cut over 1,600 jobs in Europe as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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


The company released its 2021 Q4 Earnings early the next day on February 1, recording a 3-month profit of $8.9 Billion USD, jumping over 80%. ExxonMobil that day additionally announced that both its total debt was now around pre-pandemic levels, and it would begin buying back some of its shares.


In January 2022, ExxonMobil stated that it was consolidating and restructuring certain elements of its business, the most prominent being the consolidation of its chemical and refinery sectors.

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How Old Is Exxon Mobil?

Exxon Mobil is 153 years old.

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John Rockefeller founded Exxon Mobil.

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Exxon Mobil may also be known as or be related to Exxon Mobil, Exxon Mobil Corporation, ExxonMobil, ExxonMobil Foundation, exxon, exxonmobil upstream research company, exxon mobile, exxon company usa, Saudi Aramco and Arabian American Oil Company.