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Exxon Mobil Corporation (International: Esso) is an oil corporation, formed
on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil.
Exxon and Mobil were both formed on August 5, 1882 as components of one
company, John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust. Two refining and
marketing organizations -- Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey (commonly known as
"Jersey Standard") and Standard Oil Co. of New York (known as "Socony") were
the chief predecessor companies of Exxon (originally known as ESSO) and
In 1911, the United States Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of the
Standard Oil Trust, resulting in the spin-off of Jersey Standard and Socony
(along with 32 other companies). In the same year, the nation's kerosene
output was eclipsed for the first time by gasoline. The growing automotive
market inspired the product trademark Mobiloil, registered by Socony in 1920.
Over the next decade, both companies grew significantly. Jersey Standard
acquired a 50 percent interest in Humble Oil & Refining Co., a Texas oil
producer. Socony purchased a 45 percent interest in Magnolia Petroleum Co.,
a major refiner, marketer and pipeline transporter. In 1931, Socony merged
with Vacuum Oil Co., an industry pioneer dating back to 1866 and a growing
Standard Oil spin-off in its own right.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Jersey Standard had oil production and
refineries in Indonesia but no marketing network. Socony-Vacuum had Asian
marketing outlets supplied remotely from California. In 1933, Jersey
Standard and Socony-Vacuum merged their interests in the region into a 50-50
joint venture. Standard-Vacuum Oil Co., or "Stanvac," operated in 50
countries, from East Africa to New Zealand, before it was dissolved in 1962.
Mobil Chemical Company was established in 1960. As of 1999 its principal
products included basic olefins and aromatics, ethylene glycol and
polyethylene. The company produced synthetic lubricant base stocks as well
as lubricant additives, propylene packaging films and catalysts. Exxon
Chemical Company became a worldwide organization in 1965 and in 1999 was a
major producer and marketer of olefins, aromatics, polyethylene and
polypropylene along with specialty lines such as elastomers, plasticizers,
solvents, process fluids, oxo alcohols and adhesive resins. The company was
an industry leader in metallocene catalyst technology to make unique
polymers with improved performance.
In 1955 Socony-Vacuum became Socony Mobil Oil Co. and in 1966 simply Mobil
Oil Corp. A decade later, the newly incorporated Mobil Corporation absorbed
Mobil Oil as a wholly owned subsidiary. Jersey Standard changed its name to
Exxon Corporation in 1972 and established Exxon as a trademark throughout
the United States. In other parts of the world, Exxon and its affiliated
companies continued to use its Esso trademark.
On March 24 1989, shortly after midnight, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck
Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling more than 11 million
gallons of crude oil. The spill was the largest in U.S. history, and in the
aftermath of the Exxon Valdez incident Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act
In 1998, Exxon and Mobil signed a definitive agreement to merge and form a
new company called Exxon Mobil Corporation. After shareholder and regulatory
approvals, the merger was completed November 30, 1999.
The current CEO of ExxonMobil is Lee Raymond.
ExxonMobil controls concessions covering 12 million acres off the coast of
Angola that hold an estimated 7.5 billion barrels of crude. To secure the
concessions, ExxonMobil paid Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos
millions of dollars in the late 1990s, which the regime used to help prolong
Angola's ruinous civil war.
In 2000, ExxonMobil sold a California refinery and 340 Exxon-branded
stations to Valero Energy Corporation, as part of a divestiture of
California assets. They continue to operate over 700 Mobil-branded outlets
in the state.
In 2003, the Office of Foreign Assets Control reported that ExxonMobil
engaged in illegal trade with Sudan and had to settle with the United States
government for US$50,000.