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20 Things You Didn't Know About Chevron


Chevron Corporation is a multinational energy corporation that is one of the successor companies of Standard Oil. This American company is involved in all aspects of the geothermal energy, natural gas, and oil industries. It is one of the largest energy industries in the world as they manufacture and sell a range of products including petrochemicals, fuels, additives, and lubricants. While this is a well-known multinational company, there are plenty of things that people do not know about them. Here are 20 interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Chevron Corporation.

1. They Were Founded in 1879

Chevron Corporation was originally founded in 1879, but under a different name. One of its predecessors was Star Oil which was based in the Pico Canyon Oilfield in the Santa Susana Mountains. Near Los Angeles. The assets of Star Oil were acquired in 1879 by the Pacific Coast Oil Company. It had been established that year by George Loomis, Lloyd Trevis, and Charles N. Felton. This was the company that later became Chevron.

2. The Chevron Name Has Been Used Since the 1930s

This energy company was known by several other names before it became Chevron Corporation. Initially called the Pacific Coast Oil Company, it then became Standard Oil. In 1911, this company was broken into several pieces by the federal government. One of the new companies was Standard Oil Co. (California). They Changed the name again in 1926 to the Standard Oil Company of California. They could only use this name in that geographical area, so they began to trade under the name of Chevron during the 1930s. However, the name was not legally changed until much later.

3. They Are Based in San Ramon, California

Since the company was founded, it has always been based in California. Even as it has developed into a multinational company, this is where the headquarters have always been located. Originally, the company was based at 555 Market Street in San Francisco. The company’s headquarters are currently in San Ramon. The headquarters comprises of a 92-acre campus. Chevron also has bases in Houston, Texas, which include one on 1600 Louisiana Street and a new office tower in downtown Houston. On completion, the tower became the fourth tallest tower in the city.

4. They Sell Over 3 Million Barrels of Refined Products Daily

To put into perspective the size of this company, they sell 3.1 million barrels of their refined products every single day. This includes gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The original oil well discovered in the Pico Canyon Oilfield by Star Oil in 1876 produced just 25 barrels of oil each day. This gives some indication of the level to which this company has expanded since it was first founded.

5. They Are Ranked in Two Fortune 500 Lists

This company is recognized as one of the largest and most commercially successful in the world. This is evident as they are included on two Fortune 100 lists. On the Fortune Global 500 list of the top 500 corporations worldwide, it was ranked as sixteenth. On a similar Fortune 500 list of the top US closely held and public corporations, Chevron was ranked in nineteenth position.

6. They Are One of the Seven Sisters Companies

From the mid-1940s to the 1970s, the global petroleum industry was dominated by a group of companies that became known as the Seven Sisters. Chevron was one of these companies. The other six companies that were part of the Seven Sisters were Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Gulf Oil, Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, Standard Oil Company of New York, and Texaco. Most of these companies are now known by different names. Both the Gulf Oil and Texaco later became part of Chevron, while the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company is now BP. The Standard Oil Company of New Jersey later became Esso, then Exxon, and is now called ExxonMobil. The Standard Oil Company of New York was renamed Socony, then Mobil and is now part of ExxonMobil.

7. They Offer a Range of Alternative Energies

In line with current trends, new technologies, and the environmental necessity to look for alternatives to fossil fuels, Chevron offer a range of alternate technologies. These include wind power, fuel cells, geothermal energy, hydrogen, and solar power. This company is aiming to expand its renewable power ventures further and they planned to spend approximately $2 billion on research and acquisition in this area between 2011 and 2013. Chevron has since claimed that they are now the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy. To produce steam for their enhanced oil recovery program as part of their focus on alternative energies, they built a thermal solar-to-steam facility in Coalinga Field in 2011. This is the largest facility of its kind in the world.

8. It is One of Two Fuel Brands to be Top Tier Certified

There are only two fuel brands in the world that are Top Tier certified. One of them is Chevron and the other is QuikTrip, which is a company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To become certified as Top Tier, a company has to meet a range of performance specifications so that they can become supported by major automakers. The fuel must pass a range of tests in relation to their use on different parts of an engine, such as the intake valves, the fuel injectors, and the combustion chambers. They must also be able to prevent sticking of the intake valves.

9. Chevron Corporation Had a World War II Military Production Contract

During World War II, Chevron had a military production contract. This means that they manufactured fuels specifically for the use of military vehicles and operations. The standards of the products and services delivered by Chevron were very high, so the company was well regarded at that time. Of all the companies with World War II military production contracts, Chevron ranked in 75th position.

10. Standard Oil of California and Gulf Oil Merged in 1984

Chevron, or Standard Oil of California as it was known at that time, merged with Gulf Oil in 1984. At that time, it was the biggest corporate merger in history in the world. Following the merger, they had to comply with United States antitrust laws and this involved California Standard diversifying many of the operating subsidiaries of Gulf Oil. They sold one refinery and several Gulf stations that were located in the eastern United States. This included the sale of several retail outlets in Pittsburgh, which was Gulf Oil’s home market. The merger took place in the same year that Standard Oil of California legally changed its name to Chevron.

11. It is One of the Six Largest Oil Companies in the World

Chevron has merged with other companies and expanded to such an extent that it is now one of the six largest companies in the world. Around the globe, this company now employs in excess of 60,000 people. It is also worth noting that Chevron is an active business in over 180 countries across the globe.

12. America is Their Main Operation

Although this is a multinational company, they still have areas that remain their main focus of operations. Chevron’s main area of operation is America, specifically North America and the United States Gulf Coast. Other important areas of operations for Chevron are South Africa, Australia, South Korea, and Southeast Asia.

13. Chevron Corporation Acquired Texaco in 2001

Chevron has made many acquisitions in its history and one of these is Texaco. They acquired the company for $45 billion on October 15, 2000. When the companies merged, they became the second largest oil company in the United States and the fourth largest in the world. Initially, the merged company was called ChevronTexaco but they later reverted to using Chevron with Texaco remaining as a brand name under Chevron.

14. John S. Watson is the Current Chairman and CEO of Chevron

The current chairman and CEO of Chevron is John S. Watson. He originally joined the Chevron Corporation in 1980 after completing his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2001, he became the Chief Financial Officer of Chevron and held this position until 2005. Between 2009 and 2010, Watson was the Vice-Chairman of the Board. He landed the roles of Chairman and CEO in 2010.

15. They Established the Niger Delta Partnership in 2010

Chevron established the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative in 2010. This is a non-profit organization that aims to promote economic growth by working alongside local organizations. Other aims of the initiative are to empower women and to reduce the rates of HIV transmission. The initiative was originally funded with a grant of $50 million and in 2013, an additional $40 million was donated.

16. Chevron Has Made Political Contributions

Chevron has political affiliations as they are known to make political contributions. They first started contributing money to Washington lobbying in January 2011 and have since contributed more than $15 million. In October 2012, they made a significant donation of $2.5 million to the Republican Congressional Leadership Fund. This is closely associated with John Boehner, the former House Speaker.

17. They Were Involved in an Ecuadorian Controversy

Like most energy companies, Chevron has been involved in several controversies relating to environmental damage. One of the controversies related to environmental damage in Ecuador. The problems began when Gulf Oil and Texaco began operating in Ecuador’s Oriente region in 1964. When Texaco left, the Ecuador state oil company continued to operate in the same fields. However, Texaco was found guilty of dumping toxic waste and spent $40 million cleaning it up. They then signed an agreement with the Ecuadorian government agreeing that they had cleaned up the site. After Chevron acquired Texaco, they had a lawsuit filed against them in 2003 relating to the environmental damage allegedly left by Texaco. Chevron argued that Texaco had cleaned up the mess and that any resulting damage was due to Ecuadorian oil interests. They also argued that the agreement signed meant they were exempt from responsibility of any further clean-ups. Although the Ecuadorian government initially won the case, it was later overturned as they were accused of using corrupt means of obtaining evidence.

18. They Were Fined $2 Million by Angola

The first time that Angola had ever fined a multinational company that was operating in their waters was in 2002 when they demanded $2 million in compensation from Chevron in relation to oil spills. In 2006, approximately 130 Nigerian activists, journalists, and researchers criticized the Chevron Corporation for their environmentally unsound operations in Africa.

19. Cobasys LLC Was One of Chevron’s Joint Ventures

Between 2001 and 2009, Chevron Corporation was involved in an eight-year joint venture with Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., a Michigan-based company. This was called Cobasys LLC and they were a supplier of nickel metal hydride batteries, and battery control systems, They also supplied uninterruptable power supplies, automotive applications, distributed power generation, and telecommunications applications. Chevron’s half of the venture was controlled by their subsidiary Chevron Technology Ventures LLC. The Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. half of the business was controlled by their subsidiary Ovonic Battery Company. Initially, Chevron provided $180 million in funding for the joint venture. The two owners of Cobasys LLC were then unable to reach an agreement about further funding for the venture. This led to them selling the venture to SB LiMotive Co. Ltd. In 2009. This company was a joint venture between Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. And Robert Bosch GmbH that sold electric vehicle batteries.

20. One of Their Rigs Exploded in 2012

Chevron Corporation has had its ups and downs throughout its history and one of the lowest points was when two of their workers were killed in an explosion at one of their rigs. The explosion occurred on January 16, 2012, at their KS Endeavour jackup rig in the Funiwa oilfield in Nigeria. There were 154 workers on board at the time and sadly, two of these workers were killed. The explosion led to a fir that burned for 46 days. Eventually, the well was sealed on June 18, 2012. Workers claimed that they had requested an evacuation as they were concerned about billowing smoke and said that their evacuation was denied by Chevron. These claims were denied by Chevron who said that they had not received such a request and that workers had the right to cease operations at any time if they believed there was a health and safety risk.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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