We'll break for a few more historical factoids. As we learned before, Shell's presence in the U.S. stemmed from two acquistions, Roxana Petroleum and the American Gasoline Company in 1912. My guess is that American Gasoline was incororated into Shell of California at that time. I haven't been able to document this so if anyone else has any other historical information I'd appreciate it.
For review here is a timeline history of Shell:
1833: Marcus Samuel starts import export business in London
1890: Royal Dutch Company launched
1892: Marcus commissions the first special oil tanker and delivers 4,000 tons of Russian kerosene to Singapore and Bangkok
1897: Samuel's company begins to operate under the name Shell Transport and Trading Company, Limited
1903: Shell and Dutch company N.V. Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot Explotatie van Petroleum-bronnen in Nederlandsch-IndiŽ form the Asiatic Petroleum Company
1903: Royal Dutch and Shell group begins joint marketing campaign under name "British Dutch"
1906-1914: British Dutch Group acquires producing interests in: Romania (1906), Russia (1910), Egypt (1911), Venezuela (1913) and Trinidad (1914)
1907: Royal Dutch/Shell partnership is extended worldwide, with the creation of the Royal Dutch / Shell Group of Companies
1912: Trading in the US starts after the acquisition of the American Gasoline Company, an American marketing company
1912: Turkish Petroleum Company founded with 50% ownership by Turkish National Bank, 25% Deutsche Bank, 25% Royal Dutch/Shell
1915: Formation of the Shell Company in California
1915: Shell's Martinez, California refinery became the country's first modern, continous-process refinery that long served as the model for other U.S. refineries.
1918: Royal Dutch/Shell buys Mexican Eagle
1921: Shell's historic strike in 1921 at the legendary Signal Hill field in California set off an oil boom, with the field becoming the nation's most productive in terms of barrels per acre.
1922: Shell companies in California and the midwest merged with Deleware based Union Oil Company to form Shell Union Corporation, a holding company. This merger created the publicly held company that eventually became Shell Oil Company in 1949. In 1985, Shell Oil became a wholly owned affiliate of the Royal Dutch/ Shell Group of Companies.
1937: Shell, Total, and Partex form the consortium Petroleum Development (Oman and Dhofar) later, Petroleum Development Oman
1941: Shell scientists made a history shaping discovery when they invented the 100-octane gasoline needed for a new generation of aviation engines used in World War II.
1945-55: Exploratory drilling in Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria, Trinidad and offshore in British Borneo; Production from the Iraq Petroleum Company increases dramatically
1949: Royal Dutch shortens its corporate title to "Shell"
1954: Consortium of oil companies, including British Petroleum, Exxon, Socony, Texas Oil, Socal, Gulf, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and CFP form the Iranian Oil Participants Ltd. (IOP) and negotiate agreement with Iranian government and for oil production in Iran
1956: Shell discovers oil in the Sahara
1959: Joint Shell/Esso exploration company called N.V. Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) discovers gas fields in Groningen in the Netherlands
1974: Omani government claims 25% interest Petroleum Development Oman
1975: Omani government raises its interest in Petroleum Development Oman to 60%
1979: Shell acquires Belridge Oil
1984: Shell buys minority interest (30%) in Shell Oil US
Mid-1980s: Royal Dutch/Shell buys remaining 31% of Shell Oil U.S.A. (the remainder that it did not yet own)
1998: Shell Oil Co., Texaco Inc. and Saudi Aramco initiate joint venture combining their eastern U.S. refining and marketing assets under the name Motiva Enterprises LLC, paralleling a joint venture launched by Shell and Texaco under the name Equilon Enterprises LLC for their Midwest, Southwest and West Coast downstream assets; Shell to own 35% of Houston-based Motiva, while Texaco and Aramco will each own 32.5%
1998: Occidental and Royal Dutch/Shell, Anglo-Dutch oil group complete a $1bn global asset swap