In 1863, John D. Rockefeller entered the refinery business in Cleveland, Ohio, with partners Maurice Clark and Samuel Adams. In 1865, Rockefeller bought out Clark and later brought in Henry Flagler. By 1870, their firm was running the largest refineries in Cleveland and it became incorporated as The Standard Oil Company, and by 1880, it controlled the refining of 90 to 95 percent of all oil produced in the United States.

In 1899, Standard Oil Company was incorporated in New Jersey as a holding company. In 1906, The U. S. Government sued Standard Oil under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and in 1911, Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) was ordered to divest itself of its major holdings--33 companies in all.

In 1911, after the breakup of Standard Oil, eight companies retained "Standard Oil" in their name. In 1931, through another merger, Standard Oil of New York became Mobil Oil. In 1939 Standard Oil (Indiana) absorbed Standard Oil of Nebraska and Standard Oil of Kansas in 1948 and became Amoco Corporation. In 1961 Standard oil of California acquired Standard Oil of Kentucky and became Chevron in 1984. In 1972 Standard Oil Company of New Jersey changed its name to Exxon. Standard Oil of Ohio became British Petroleum in 1987. And the list goes on.