Some of the most visited gas stations in the U.S. are Shell, ExxonMobil, and BP. You may visit them all the time, but do you know the history behind any of them? We dove in to find out how these stations became so popular.
Shell began as two separate companies – Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the Shell Transport and Trading Company in the U.K. They merged in 1907 and became the Royal Dutch Shell Group to compete with John D. Rockefeller’s booming Standard Oil company in the U.S.
In 1912, Shell created the Shell Oil Company subsidiary in the U.S. and set off an oil boom in 1921 with its discovery of the Signal Hill Field in California. After World War II, the company expanded to Louisiana and Texas after it discovered oil and gas reservoirs there. Throughout the next several decades, Shell continued to expand worldwide. Today, there are over 40,000 gas stations in the U.S.
ExxonMobil was created in 1999 when the companies Exxon and Mobil merged. Both companies can trace their history back to the Standard Oil company begun by John D. Rockefeller. The Standard Oil became the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and when it was split into 33 different companies in 1911, Standard Oil of New York was also created. SOCNJ became Mobil and SOCNY became Exxon.
Today, there are over 40,000 gas stations under ExxonMobil. The company also offers a wide array of industrial, aviation, marine, and automotive lubricants.
BP began in 1909 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, a subsidiary of the Burmah Oil Company. After World War I, the company expanded to European countries and in 1954, it became the British Petroleum company. BP expanded to France, Germany, and Italy after World War II and by 1959, had a presence in Canada and Alaska.
In 1968, BP was about to cease their drilling operations along Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, when ARCO and Exxon made an offer for BP’s acreage. Instead, BP went back to searching and found the largest oil reservoirs every found in North America. Today, there are over 21,000 BP gas stations nationwide.
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