|Industry||Oil and gas|
|Fate||Merged with Phillips Petroleum Company|
|Defunct||August 30, 2002|
|Headquarters||Houston,Texas, United States|
Conoco Inc. was an American oil company founded in 1875 as the Continental Oil and Transportation Company. It is now a brand of gasoline and service station in the United States which belongs to the ConocoPhillips Company. Before the 2002 merger with Phillips, Conoco had its headquarters in what is now the current ConocoPhillips headquarters in the Energy Corridor of Houston, formerly known as the Conoco Center. It currently still operates the largest oil refinery in Oklahoma and one of the largest in the United States.
The Continental Oil and Transportation Company was founded in 1875. Based in Ogden, Utah, the company distributed oil, kerosene, benzene, and other products in the western United States. 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. Marland Oil acquired the assets (subject to liabilities) of Continental Oil Company for a consideration of 2,317,266 shares of stock. At that time, Marland Oil changed its name to Continental Oil Company. The acquisition gave Conoco the red triangle symbol previously used by Marland and would become Conoco's logo from 1930 to 1970, when the now-familiar capsule logo was adopted.
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.
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.
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. In the end, Seagram lost out in the Conoco bidding war. In exchange for its stake in Conoco Inc, it became a 24.3% owner of DuPont. By 1995, Seagram was DuPont's largest single shareholder with four seats on the board of directors.
In 1998, DuPont and Conoco parted ways. When the independent Conoco went public in October 1998, under a retooled name, Continental Oil Company, it resulted in the largest IPO in history. Conoco bought what was left of Gulf Oil's Canadian operations in 2002. Conoco merged with Phillips Petroleum Company in 2002 to form ConocoPhillips.
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The headquarters of Conoco moved to Houston, Texas, in 1949. 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. In 1982, DuPont announced that Conoco's headquarters would move from Stamford to Wilmington, Delaware. The move occurred in 1982. 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.
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- Mathews, John Joseph (1992) . Life and Death of an Oil Man: The Career of E. W. Marland. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-1238-7.
- Moody’s Industrial Manual, 1960