Conoco Inc.
Formerly
  • Continental Oil and Transportation Company (1875–1911)
  • Continental Oil Company (1911-1999)
  • Conoco, Inc. (1999–2002)
Company type
NYSE: COC (1998–2002)[1]
IndustryPetroleum
FoundedNovember 25, 1875; 148 years ago (1875-11-25) in Ogden, Utah
FounderIsaac Elder Blake
FateMerged with Phillips Petroleum, remaining as a brand
Successors
HeadquartersWestchase,
Area served
Worldwide
Products
OwnerPhillips 66 Company
Websiteconoco.com

Conoco (/ˈkɒnək/ CON-uh-koh)[2] (formerly known as Continental Oil) is an American petroleum brand that is operating under the ownership of the Phillips 66 Company since 2012 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. One of the several successors of Standard Oil, Conoco was a subsidiary of that company from 1884 until its 1911 divestiture when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to decouple the monopolized entity.

Alongside Phillips 66 and 76, it operates as one of the major fuel brands of the Phillips 66 Company.[3] Of those two brands, Conoco has a more dominant presence of gas stations in the markets of Colorado, Texas, Montana, Missouri, and Oklahoma, while having a complete absence in states such as California and Florida.[4]

Continental Oil, originally based in Ogden, Utah was founded by Isaac Elder Blake in 1875 and was acquired by the Standard Oil Company in 1884. Eighteen years after Standard Oil’s dissolution, Marland Oil would acquire Continental, moving its headquarters to Ponca City, Oklahoma, in 1929. As the acquisition took effect, Marland favorably phased out its own name and rebranded into the more nationally known Continental and Conoco nameplates. As it became one of the largest oil companies in the United States, Conoco further expanded its operations globally during the 1970s decade.[5]

Similar to other oil companies during the 1970s energy crisis, Conoco’s operations were negatively impacted, and so in 1981 Conoco, the ninth-largest oil company at the time, was embroiled in one of the most expensive corporate takeovers in history when the Mobil Corporation and Seagram attempted to acquire the company. DuPont, who was conjured by Ralph Bailey (the CEO of Conoco at the time) was hired as a white knight[6] and would eventually emerge triumphant defending Conoco from the two vendors.[7] DuPont’s acquisition of Conoco at US$1.5 billion made it the largest merger in U.S. history at the time, surpassing that of Shell Oil’s acquisition of the Belridge Oil Company at USD$3.5 billion in 1979.[8] In 1998, DuPont and Conoco announced their intentions to split which was commenced when DuPont sold 30% that year and the remaining 70% in July 1999, officiating their separation.

For many years, the company would operate its own refineries until 2002 when it was merged with the Phillips Petroleum Company to form ConocoPhillips. A decade later, ConocoPhillips would divest its downstream operations that consisted of its gas stations operations under the brands of Conoco, Phillips 66, and 76. The divestiture would eventually commence and the spin off that contained the downstream operations of ConocoPhillips went under a separate company known as the Phillips 66 Company.[3]

History

The "Continental Oil and Transportation Company" was founded by Isaac Elder Blake in 1875.[9][10] Based in Ogden, Utah, the company distributed oil, kerosene, benzene, and other products in the western United States.[11] Continental Oil Company was acquired by Standard Oil Company in 1884, and was subsequently spun off during the Standard Oil divestiture in 1911.

Conoco logo of 1930, after its acquisition by Marland Oil Co.

The main office was later moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma, when in 1929, Marland Oil Company (founded by exploration pioneer E. W. Marland) acquired the Continental Oil Company.[10][12] Marland Oil acquired the assets (subject to liabilities) of Continental Oil Company for a consideration of 2,317,266 shares of stock. The merged company took the more recognizable Continental name along with the Conoco brand. However, it adopted Marland's red triangle logo, which it retained until 1970 the now-familiar capsule logo was adopted.[13][14]

Conoco offshore oil well drilling platform, Gulf of Mexico, 1955

Dan Moran, who succeeded Marland founder E. W. Marland as president of Marland Oil in 1928, became the first president of the merged Conoco. Moran ran Conoco for twenty years, seeing the company through challenges of the great depression, and retiring in 1947.[15] The company ran into early trouble when, shortly after acquisition, it was hit by the Great Crash of October 1929. Conoco became a key supplier to the United States government during World War II.[16]

Under the leadership of Leonard F. McCollum, Conoco grew from a regional company to a global corporation in the years after World War II. Another rough patch for the company came during the 1970s oil crisis, from which it did not recover until 1981, when Conoco became a subsidiary of former rival DuPont.[17][18]

Former Conoco service station in Commerce, Oklahoma, pictured in 2008

In 1981, cash rich and wanting to diversify, Seagram Company Ltd. engineered a takeover of Conoco. Although Seagram acquired a 32.2% stake in Conoco, DuPont was brought in as a white knight by the oil company and entered the bidding war. Mobil Corporation, the nation's second-largest oil company at the time, also joined the bid, and borrowed $5 billion to bid for Cocono.[19] In the end, Seagram and Mobil lost out in the Conoco bidding war.[20] In exchange for its stake in Conoco Inc, Seagram became a 24.3% owner of DuPont.[citation needed] By 1995, Seagram was DuPont's largest single shareholder with four seats on the board of directors.[21]

In 1998, DuPont sold 30% of Conoco,[22] and in 1999, DuPont sold the remaining 70% stake it holds in Conoco Inc.[23] When the independent Conoco went public in October 1998, under a retooled name, Continental Oil Company, it resulted in the largest IPO in history.[24][25] In 2001, Conoco announced it has agreed to buy Gulf Canada for C$6.7 billion ($4.3 billion).[26][27][28] Conoco merged with Phillips Petroleum in 2002 to form ConocoPhillips.[29][30]

Corporate headquarters

Conoco Inc. headquarters in the Energy Corridor area of Houston, current ConocoPhillips headquarters

Before the merger, Conoco had its headquarters in what is now the current ConocoPhillips headquarters in the Energy Corridor of Houston; the complex was formerly known as the Conoco Center.[31][32]

The headquarters of Conoco moved to Houston, in 1949.[10] In 1965, the headquarters moved to Manhattan, New York City. In 1972, the headquarters moved to Stamford, Connecticut; in Stamford Conoco occupied space in the three-story High Ridge Park complex.[33] In 1982, DuPont announced that Conoco's headquarters would move from Stamford to Wilmington, Delaware.[34] The move occurred in 1982.[22] Edward G. Jefferson, the chairperson of DuPont, said that the headquarters relocation was to bring the head workforces of DuPont and Conoco together. DuPont also announced that it was closing the Conoco offices in Stamford; the lease in the Stamford complex was originally scheduled to expire in 1992.[33]

Conoco–Iran deal

In 1995, Conoco Inc. was awarded a contract by Iran to develop a huge offshore oilfield in the Persian Gulf. It was the first energy agreement involving Iran and the United States since Washington severed relations with Tehran in 1980. The contract was signed after three years of negotiations.[35] However, the company dropped the plan after the White House announced that President Bill Clinton would issue a directive blocking all such transactions on grounds of national security.[36]

Museum

The official Conoco museum was completed in 2007 and is located in Ponca City, Oklahoma.[37]

Conoco brand

Conoco gas station and quick shop in Miles City, Montana

Along with sister brands, Phillips 66, and 76, "Conoco" (properly pronounced CON-oco, not Co-NO-co or CO-noco),[38] is a major American brand of oil and gas station that has been owned by Phillips 66 since 2012 and was originally the brand used by its originator, Conoco Inc., from 1875 to its merger with Phillips Petroleum in 2002. Although the Conoco brand can be used in any state in which the Phillips 66 Company operates, it is very rare to see the Conoco brand in California and Oregon where the 76 brand predominates.[39][40]

Leadership

Chairman of the Board President

Edward T. Wilson, 1929–19??
Charles A. Perlitz Jr, 1963–1964
Leonard F. McCollum, 1964–1972
John G. McLean, 1972–1974
Howard W. Blauvelt, 1974–1979
Ralph E. Bailey, 1979–1987
Constantine S. Nicandros, 1995–1996
Edgar S. Woolard Jr., 1998–1999
Archie W. Dunham, 1999–2002

Isaac E. Blake, 1877–1893
Henry M. Tilford, 1893–1907
Edward T. Wilson, 1907–1924
C. E. Strong, 1924–1927
Sidney H. Keoughan, 1927–1929
Daniel J. Moran, 1929–1947
Leonard F. McCollum, 1947–1964
Andrew W. Tarkington, 1964–1969
John G. McLean, 1969–1972
vacant, 1972–1974
Howard W. Blauvelt, 1974
Dr John E. Kircher, 1974–1977
Ralph E. Bailey, 1977–1987
Constantine S. Nicandros, 1987–1995
Archie W. Dunham, 1996–2002

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ "Conoco to cut 975 jobs - Dec. 29, 1998". money.cnn.com. CNN. CNN Money. 29 December 1998. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  2. ^ "NLS Other Writings: The ABC Book, A Pronunciation Guide". National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) | Library of Congress. Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  3. ^ a b "Phillips 66 to Roll Out New Brand Images". Convenience Store News. Ensemble IQ. Convenience Store News. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  4. ^ "Number of Conoco gas stations in the United States in 2023". Scrapehero. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  5. ^ "The Business Journal Interview with Ryan Lance, CEO and chairman of ConocoPhillips (Video)". Houston Business Journal. CNN. American City Business Journals. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  6. ^ Gaines, William R. (1996). Pre-Reorganization Continuity of Interest and the Historic Shareholder Concept: J.E. Seagram Corp. v. Commissioner (50 ed.). American Bar Association. p. 249. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  7. ^ Rowe Jr., James L. (6 August 1981). "Du Pont Wins Costly Fight Over Conoco". The Washington Post. New York City, New York: Nash Holdings. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  8. ^ Noble, Kenneth B. (18 August 1981). "TAKEOVER OF CONOCO BACKED BY DU PONT'S SHAREHOLDERS". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  9. ^ "1909-1875". ConocoPhillips. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  10. ^ a b c "ConocoPhillips Announces Museum Plans For Ponca City and Bartlesville" (Press release). ConocoPhillips. May 13, 2005. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  11. ^ "Our History: 1875–1909". ConocoPhilips. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "History of ConocoPhillips Canada". ConocoPhilips Canada. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  13. ^ "Marland Oil Company | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture". www.okhistory.org. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  14. ^ Mufson, Steven. "Marland estate, from an earlier oil boom". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
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  16. ^ Banham, Russ (2000). Conoco: 125 Years of Energy. Lyme, Conn.: Greenwich Publishing Group, Inc. p. 67. ISBN 0944641385.
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  18. ^ Sloan, Allan (1998-11-03). "DUPONT'S 17-YEAR OWNERSHIP OF CONOCO WAS A LOW-OCTANE INVESTMENT". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
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  20. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. (1981-08-06). "DU PONT VICTOR IN COSTLY BATTLE TO BUY CONOCO (Published 1981)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  21. ^ Wayne, Leslie (1985-08-11). "SEAGRAM PUTS ITS FAITH IN CHEMICALS (Published 1985)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  22. ^ a b "DuPont, Conoco SplittingArchived 2001-07-15 at the Wayback Machine." Ponca City News. Monday May 11, 1998. Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  23. ^ "Dupont announces "split-off" of Conoco unit - Jul. 9, 1999". money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  24. ^ Hamilton, Martha M. (1998-10-22). "CONOCO RAISES $4.4 BILLION IN IPO". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  25. ^ "Conoco revamps IPO to draw $4.4 billion - Oct. 21, 1998". money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  26. ^ "CNN.com - Conoco to buy Gulf Canada for $4.3B - May 29, 2001". edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  27. ^ Barrionuevo, Alexei; Carlisle, Tamsin (2001-05-30). "Conoco Reaches Deal to Buy Gulf Canada for $4.33 Billion". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  28. ^ "Oil patch merger: Conoco gets Gulf Canada for $9.8 billion | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  29. ^ "ConocoPhillips". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
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  35. ^ Iran Signs Oil Deal With Conoco; First Since 1980 Break With U.S. The New York Times – March 7, 1995
  36. ^ CLINTON TO ORDER A TRADE EMBARGO AGAINST TEHERAN The New York Times – May 1, 1995
  37. ^ "Homepage". Conoco Museum. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  38. ^ Per exhibit at the Conoco Museum in Ponca City, Oklahoma, viewed May 5, 2021.
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