Exxon Mobil has its roots in the Standard Oil company, which was split up in the early 1900s in an antitrust battle.

Mobil came into being after a merger between Vacuum and Socony (Standard Oil Company Of New York), two former SO companies who took up the Mobil name 23 years after the merger in 1954, when they became Socony Mobil Oil-they did not fully drop the Socony name until 1966. They became large through the acquisition of smaller oil companies, such as Magnolia Petroleum. The petrochemical part of their operations started in 1960, with the launch of the Mobil Chemical Company.

Exxon started out as Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, or "Jersey Standard". Like Mobil, they purchased large shareholdings in other oil companies and launched their petrochemical operations in the 1960s as Exxon Chemical Company. In 1972, Jersey Standard trademarked Exxon and became Exxon Corporation. The name was selected by computer to match certain criteria, the details of which are under the node Exxon.

In 1998, the two companies agreed to merge and form ExxonMobil Corporation, and the merger was completed in 1999. The $82billion merger was waved through by the US government, on the condition that the company sell 2,431 petrol stations, some pipeline interests and a refinery. The merger took place during a period of many oil industry mergers, such as the Chevron/Texaco merger, the TotalFina/Elf merger and the BP/Amoco merger. Despite this tightening up of the industry, ExxonMobil is still the world's biggest company, even outside the petroleum industry.


In late March 1989 the oil tanker Exxon Valdez, the captain of which was drunk at the time, ran aground. The drunk captain then tried to wiggle the boat back out to sea, a bad move which if successful would probably have capsized the boat.

More than 100 million gallons of oil leaked out, but according to scientists it was moving slowly because of its viscosity and would have been easy to contain. Exxon utimately failed to contain the resulting slick and it spread across hundreds of miles of ocean, delivering a blow to the local salmon fisheries. ExxonMobil has fiercely contested any attempts by the fishermen to get compensation, and most of them have yet to receive any despite numerous court battles.


In 2000, ExxonMobil Corporation were the biggest oil industry contributors to President Bush's election fund, and this aroused suspicion within environmental groups. Indeed, merely days after his election, President Bush abandoned the Kyoto Treaty, calling it "fatally flawed in fundamental ways". Mere months beforehand, ExxonMobil had taken out ads calling the Kyoto Treaty "fatally politicised" and "fundamentally flawed". Also, ExxonMobil seems to follow a path contrary to other companies such as BP or Shell in that they refuse to invest in clean, renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power.

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If anyone has any idea where the name Esso comes from and when it was first used, please /msg me :)