We’ve all probably heard the term “the more things change, the more they remain the same”. Well, as far as the oil industry goes, that statement is probably true. When the United States determined that The Standard Oil Company, owned by one John D. Rockefeller, held a monopoly over the oil industry here in the States, they ordered them to be “broken up”.(For a while at least.)
What came out of the break up was several new oil companies who, along with some other non U.S owned companies became to be known as “The Seven Sisters.” I don’t know who might have survived to this date but here are the companies (with a little background) that were originally known as “The Seven Sisters.” See if you can follow this, I know I had a hard time…
First of all, you had Standard Oil of New Jersey who later became Exxon who later became Exxon Mobil. (You’d think they could have come up a more original name but then again, we are talking about the oil industry.)
Next you had Standard Oil of New York who later changed their name to Mobil who today is lovingly known as Exxon Mobil. See above…
Thirdly, you had Standard Oil of California or Socal. They later became known as Chevron and in keeping with spirit of naming conventions within the oil industry is now known as Chevron Texaco.
Then you had Texaco America who merged with our good buddies at Chevron and today are known as Chevron Texaco. See above…
Following them; you had your Gulf Oil. Most of their operations were swallowed up by Chevron who later merged with Texaco who later became the ever popular Chevron Texaco.
Not to be outdone, our foreign counterparts in the oil industry had some interesting names and mergers. First of all you had something called the British Anglo-Persian Oil Company. I guess that sounded like a mouthful and they shortened their name to British Petroleum. The general public took that a little further and started calling them BP for short. That lasted until BP merged with a company called Amoco (who was once Standard Oil of Indiana). Naturally, the new company was called BPAmoco. Guess what they're known as today?. How about good ol’ British Petroleum.
Last but not least (and probably the easiest to follow) you had Royal Dutch Shell –Anglo Dutch. I think today they go by the name of Royal Dutch/Shell since the term “Anglo” might be outdated and “Dutch” part might have seemed redundant.
Is anybody else as confused as I am?