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One view of the sprawling Chevron headquarters complex
Chevron Corporation ( ) is an energy company. Headquartered in San Ramon, Californiamarker, USAmarker, and active in more than 180 countries, it is engaged in every aspect of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation. Chevron is one of the world's six "supermajor" oil companies.


The company celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2004. Chevron traditionally traces its roots to an oil discovery in Pico Canyon (now the Pico Canyon Oilfieldmarker) north of Los Angeles. The discovery led to the formation, in 1879, of the Pacific Coast Oil Company, the oldest predecessor of Chevron Corporation. Another side of the genealogical chart points to the founding of The Texas Fuel Company in 1901, a modest enterprise that started out in three rooms of a corrugated iron building in Beaumont, Texasmarker. This company would later become known as Texaco.

Chevron Corporation was originally known as Standard Oil of California, or SoCal, and was formed amid the antitrust breakup of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company in 1911. It was one of the "Seven Sisters" that dominated the world oil industry in the early 20th century. In 1933, Saudi Arabiamarker granted SoCal a concession to find oil, and oil was found in 1938. In the early 1950s, SoCal discovered the world's largest oil field (Ghawarmarker) in Saudi Arabia. SoCal's subsidiary, California-Arabian Standard Oil Company, developed over years, to become the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in 1944. In 1973, the Saudi government began buying into ARAMCO. By 1980, the company was entirely owned by the Saudis, and in 1988, the name was changed to Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco).

Standard Oil of California and Gulf Oil merged in 1984, the largest merger in history at that time. Under the antitrust regulation, SoCal divested many of Gulf's operating subsidiaries, and sold some Gulf stations and a refinery in the eastern United States. SoCal changed the name to Chevron Corporation.

In June 1992, Dynegy, Inc. ( ) was created from the merger of Chevron's former natural gas and natural gas liquids business with Dynegy's predecessor, NGC Corp. (formerly ). NGC had been an integrated natural gas services company since around 1994.

In a merger completed February 1, 2000, Illinova Corp. (formerly ) became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dynegy Inc., in which Chevron also took a 28% stake.

In 2001, Chevron Corporation acquired Texaco to form ChevronTexaco.

On May 9, 2005, ChevronTexaco announced it would drop the Texaco moniker and return to the Chevron name. Texaco remains as a brand under the Chevron Corporation. On August 19, 2005, Chevron acquired the Unocal Corporation. Because of Unocal's large South East Asian geothermal operations, Chevron became the world's largest producer of geothermal energy.


Chevron employs approximately 67,000 people worldwide (of which 27,000 are U.S.-based) and had approximately 12 billion barrels (1.9 km³) of oil-equivalent net proved reserves at December 31, 2003. Daily production in 2003 was 2.5 million net oil-equivalent barrels (400,000 m³) per day. In addition, the company had a global refining capacity at year-end 2003 of 2.2 million barrels (350,000 m³) of crude oil per day. The company has a worldwide marketing network in 84 countries with approximately 24,000 retail sites, including those of affiliate companies. The company also has interests in 13 power generating assets in the United Statesmarker, Asia, and Europe. Chevron also has gas stations in Western Canada.

Chevron was headquartered in San Franciscomarker for nearly a century before it relocated across the baymarker to San Ramonmarker, CA. The headquarters at 555 and 575 Market Streetmarker, built in the mid-1960s, in San Francisco were sold in December 1999. Its original headquarters were at 225 Bush St., built in 1912. Now, their headquarters are at 6001 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA.

Chevron is the owner of the Standard Oil trademark in 16 states in the western and southeastern U.S. To maintain ownership of the mark, the company owns and operates one Standard-branded Chevron station in each state of the area. Chevron also owns the trademark rights to Texaco brand gasoline. Chevron's network of wholesalers supplies Texaco fuels.

Several automakers, including General Motors and Toyota, use gasoline only from Chevron when they test vehicles. (Ford uses Chevron gas, too, despite its strategic alliance with BP.) Chevron also has often had one of the highest brand loyalty for gasoline in America, with only Shell and BP (through Amoco) having equally high loyalty.

Chevron Shipping Company is a wholly owned subsidiary company which handles the maritime transport operation for Chevron Corporation. The fleet comprises crude oil and product tankers, as well as three gas tankers operated by Chevron Shipping for other companies. The fleet is divided into two sections:The USmarker fleet transports oil products from Chevron refineries to customers in the US. The ships are manned by US citizens and are flagged in the US. The International fleet vessels are flagged in the Bahamasmarker and have officers and crews from many different nations. The largest ships are 308,000 tonne VLCCs. The job of the international fleet is to transport crude oil from the oilfields to the refineries. The international fleet mans two LPG tankers and one LNG tanker.

Chevron ships originally had names beginning with "Chevron", such as the Chevron Washington and Chevron South America, or were named after former or serving directors of the company. Samuel Ginn, William E Crain, and most notably Condoleezza Rice were amongst those honored, but the ship named after Rice was subsequently renamed as Altair Voyager. All the ships were renamed in 2001 to reflect the corporate merger with Texaco. Ships in the international fleet are all named after celestial bodies or constellations, such as Orion Voyager and Altair Voyager, and the American ships are named after the states in the country, as in Washington Voyager and Colorado Voyager.

Tax evasion

Chevron was found to have evaded $3.25 billion in federal and state taxes from 1970 to 2000 through a complex petroleum pricing scheme involving a project in Indonesiamarker.

Chevron and Texaco, before they merged in 2001, each owned 50 percent of a joint venture called Caltex, which pulled crude oil from the ground in a project with the Indonesian state oil company, Pertamina. Chevron was accused of reducing its tax liabilities in the U.S. by buying oil from Caltex at inflated prices. One internal Chevron document set the price it paid Pertamina for oil at $4.55 a barrel higher than the prevailing market price. Chevron was then able to overstate deductions for costs on its U.S. income tax returns. Indonesia appeared to levy tax on this oil at 56%, a rate far higher than the corporate tax rate in the U.S. Because the United States gives companies a credit for taxes paid to foreign governments, tax paid to the Indonesian government reduces tax to the U.S. government.

Caltex transferred fund out of the U.S. to Indonesia, because the Indonesian government compensated Caltex for the excessively priced oil and the extra taxes paid by giving oil for free. Because Caltex had to pay taxes on that oil, too, the Indonesian government gave it even more oil to cover the taxes.

Alternative energy

The company is developing technology for alternative energy, including fuel cells, photovoltaics, advanced batteries, and hydrogen fuel for transport and power.


Chevron is investing $300M USD a year into alternative fuel sources, and has created a biofuels business unit.

Chevron and US-DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that they had entered into a collaborative agreement to produce biofuels from algae. Chevron and NREL scientists would develop algae strains that can be economically harvested and processed into transportation fuels, such as jet fuel.

Environmental record

From 1965 to 1993, Texaco operated development of the Lago Agrio oil field in Ecuadormarker. Chevron is now being sued for extensive environmental damage caused by these operations. An Ecuadorian court could impose a legal penalty of up to $28 billion in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Amazonian villagers in the region. Chevron claims that agreements with the Ecuadorian Government exempt the company from any liabilities. In September 2009 a documentary on the issue, Crude, premiered.

Chevron’s activities in Richmond, Californiamarker have been the subject of ongoing controversy. The project generated over 11 million pounds of toxic materials and caused more than 304 accidents. Chevron’s Richmond refineries paid $540,000 in 1998 for illegally bypassing waste water treatments and failing to notify the public about toxic releases, . Overall, Chevron is listed as potentially liable for 95 Superfund sites, with funds set aside by the EPA for clean-up. In October, 2003, the state of New Hampshiremarker sued Chevron and other oil companies for using MTBE, a gasoline additive that the attorney general claimed polluted much of the state's water supply.

Chevron’s operations in Africa have also been criticized as environmentally unsound. In 2002, Angolamarker became the first country in Africa ever to levy a fine on a major multinational corporation operating within its borders, when it demanded $2 million in compensation for oil spills allegedly caused by Chevron.

On October 16, 2003, Chevron U.S.A. settled a charge under the Clean Air Act, which reduced harmful air emissions by about 10,000 tons a year. In San Francisco, Chevron was filed by a consent decree to spend almost $275 million to install and utilize innovative technology to reduce nitrogen and sulfur dioxide emissions at its refineries. After violating the Clean Air Act at an offline loading terminal in El Segundo, California, Chevron paid a $6 million penalty as well as $1 million for environmental improvement projects. Chevron also had implemented programs that minimized production of hazardous gases, upgraded leak detection and repair procedure, reduced emissions from sulfur recovery plants, and adopted strategies to ensure the proper handling of harmful benzene wastes at refineries. Chevron also spent about $500,000 to install leakless valves and double-sealed pumps at its El Segundo refinery, which could prevent significant emissions of air contaminants.

Defenders of Chevron’s environmental record point to recent changes in the corporation, particularly its pledge in 2004 to combat global warming.

ECD Ovonics founder, Stan Ovshinksy, and Dr. Masahiko Oshitani of the Yuasa Company, invented the NiMH technology used in hybrid vehicles . In 1994, General Motors acquired a controlling interest in Ovonics's battery development and manufacturing business. On October 10, 2001, Texaco purchased GM's share in GM Ovonics, and Chevron completed acquisition of Texaco six days later. In 2003, Texaco Ovonics Battery Systems was restructured into Cobasys, a 50/50 joint venture between Chevron and Energy Conversion Devices Ovonics. Chevron's influence over Cobasys extends beyond a strict 50/50 joint venture. Chevron holds a 19.99% interest in ECD Ovonics. In addition, Chevron maintains the right to seize all of Cobasys' intellectual property rights in the event that ECD Ovonics does not fulfill its contractual obligations. On September 10, 2007, Chevron filed a legal claim that ECD Ovonics has not fulfilled its obligations. ECD Ovonics disputes this claim. Since that time, the arbitration hearing was repeatedly suspended while the parties negotiate with an unknown prospective buyer. No agreement has been reached with the potential buyer. Cobasys's patents relating to NiMH batteries expire in 2015.

In her book, Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America, published in February 2007, Sherry Boschert argues that large-format NiMH batteries are commercially viable but that Cobasys refuses to sell the batteries or license the technology to small companies or individuals. Boschert argues that Cobasys accepts only very large orders for the batteries. Major automakers showed little interest in placing large orders for large-format NiMH batteries. However, Toyota complained about the difficulty in getting smaller orders of large format NiMH batteries to service the existing 825 RAV-4EVs. Because no other companies were willing to place large orders, Cobasys was not manufacturing or licensing large format NiMH battery technology for automobiles. Boschert concludes that "it's possible that Cobasys (Chevron) is squelching all access to large NiMH batteries through its control of patent licenses in order to remove a competitor to gasoline. Or it's possible that Cobasys simply wants the market for itself and is waiting for a major automaker to start producing plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles."

In an interview with Economist, Ovshinsky subscribed to the former view. "I think we at ECD we made a mistake of having a joint venture with an oil company, frankly speaking. And I think it’s not a good idea to go into business with somebody whose strategies would put you out of business, rather than building the business."

In December 2006, Cobasys and General Motors announced that they had signed a contract under which Cobasys provides NiMH batteries for the Saturn Aura hybrid sedan. In March 2007, GM announced that it would use Cobasys NiMH batteries in the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid as well.

In October 2007, International Acquisitions Services and Innovative Transportation Systems filed suit against Cobasys and its parents for refusing to fill an order for large-format NiMH batteries to be used in the electric Innovan.

In August 2008, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International filed suit against Cobasys, on the ground Cobasys did not tender the batteries it agreed to build for Mercedes-Benz’s planned hybrid SUV.

Niger Delta incident

On May 28, 1998, activists staged a demonstration and took several individuals hostage on a company oil platform in the Niger Deltamarker, Nigeriamarker. Nigerian police and soldiers were allegedly flown in with Chevron helicopters. Soldiers shot at the activists and subsequently two activists (Jola Ogungbeje and Aroleka Irowaninu) died from their wounds. Chevron describes the situation as "a violent occupation of private property by aggressors seeking to extort cash payments from the company." The Nigerian government is reportedly 80% dependent upon oil production and is condemned by many for its reported treatment of environmentalists. The documentary "Drilling and Killing" covers these and other topics.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, allowing a lawsuit brought by victims and victims' families against Chevron to proceed, said that there may be evidence that Chevron has hired, supervised, and/or provided transportation to Nigerian military forces known for their "general history of committing abuses." In March 2008, the plaintiffs' lawyers, without explanation, "quietly moved to withdraw half of their claims" against Chevron.

On December 1, 2008, a federal jury cleared Chevron of all charges brought against them in the case. The jury deliberated for less than two hours and the verdict was unanimous. Chevron had claimed that the military intervention was necessary to protect the lives of its workers and considers the jury's decision vindication for the accusations of wrongdoing.

New policy and development

Chevron has taken steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and pursue cleaner forms of energy. Chevron has scored highest among U.S. oil companies for investing in alternative energy sources and setting targets for reducing its own emissions. Chevron is the world's largest producer of geothermal energy, providing enough power for over 7 million homes.

Board of directors

As of April 2007 [36536]:

*David J. O'Reilly (Chairman & CEO)
*Samual Armacost
*Linnet F. Deily
*Robert Denham
*Robert James Eaton
*Sam Ginn
*Franklyn Jenifer
*Sam Nunn
*Donald Rice
*Peter Robertson
*Charles Shoemate
*Ronald Sugar
*Carl Ware

Condoleezza Rice is a former member of the board of directors, and also headed Chevron's committee on public policy until she resigned on January 15, 2001, to become National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush.

On September 30, 2009, John Watson, age 52, was elected Chairman of the Board and CEO, effective at the December 31, 2009 retirement of David J. O'Reilly

Marketing brands

The typical Chevron gas station design that was used until 2006.
In 2006, Chevron began phasing in this gas station design.


Convenience stores

  • Star Mart
  • Extra Mile
  • Redwood Market
  • Town Pantry


  • Delo (sold by Caltex and Chevron)
  • Havoline (sold by Caltex and Texaco)
  • Revtex (sold by Caltex)
  • Ursa (sold by Texaco)

Fuel additives

  • Techron - Chevron, Texaco (phased in during 2005), Caltex (phased in during 2006 and later)
  • Clean System 3 - Texaco (phased out during 2005 in favor of Techron)

See also


External links

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