It was founded in 1924 as Juventus București, following the merger of Triumf București and Romcomit București. The Latin tradition cultivated by Juventus was illustrated by its emblem, which was based on the history of the foundation of Rome, where a she-wolf nursed Romulus and Remus. The team's current home colors are yellow and dark blue. Accordingly, the players are nicknamed "The Yellow Wolves".
Petrolul have won the Liga I four times and the Cupa României three times since its establishment.
Their first national title came after six years, as Juventus were champions in the 1929-30 season. After the reorganisation of the Romanian football's division structure, Juventus played 7 consecutive seasons in Liga I, from 1933 to 1940. Following World War II, the club was promoted once again to Liga I, having finished in 1st place in the final Liga II season prior to the outbreak of war. From 1946-1952 Juventus had 6 consecutive seasons in Liga I; they also changed their name numerous times, being known as Distribuția, Competrol, Petrolul, Partizanul and Flacăra. In 1952 the club moved to Ploiești, and changed its name to Flacăra Ploiești accordingly.
They finished third in the 2012–13 Liga I, as well as winning Cupa României for the third time in their history. The third place finish earned Petrolul a spot in the second qualifying round of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, with the club playing a European match following an 18-year absence.
Petrolul signed a one-year kit deal with American sportswear company Nike, after the association with Puma came to an end. The club confirmed on its official website that Opel will continue being the shirt sponsor until the end of the season.Acıbadem Healthcare Group also became the medical sponsor until the end of the season, with an extension option being available. Using many players that would normally be substitutes and having a player sent off in the second half, Petrolul was beaten by Universitatea Cluj in the Cupa Ligii (English: League Cup) round of 16, a competition which was reenacted after fourteen years of pause. After eliminating Flamurtari Vlorë, "The Yellow Wolves" confronted Czech side Viktoria Plzeň in the Europa League third qualifying round, a club which in the previous season took part in the Champions League group stage. After a draw at Ploiești (1–1), Petrolul impressively beat Viktoria scoring four goals and conceding only one. The Romanian side's captain, 35-year-old Adrian Mutu, played a big role in his team's qualification, scoring both home and away. However, losing both of the play-off legs against Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia, Petrolul yet again missed the chance of advancing to the group stage. On 16 September, coach Răzvan Lucescu was sacked.Gheorghe Mulțescu took his place one day later. After many rumours, Adrian Mutu eventually broke his contract with "The Oilmen", on the 26th. He was the best paid footballer, and was often criticised for playing bad. Cosmin Contra, Petrolul's coach from October 2012 to March 2014, said that the signings of Adrian Mutu and Ianis Zicu (both joined in January 2014) were a "failure". On 25 November, president Daniel Capră, general director Marius Bucuroiu and five other persons were arrested for 24 hours. They are suspected of tax evasion and money laundering. The loss would amount to 15.4 million euros. The press suggested that these criminal matters could cause serious financial problems for Petrolul and important players might want to leave the club.
Petrolul's first competitive match at the stadium was a Liga I game against Dinamo București on 25 September 2011, which ended 5–1 for the Bucharest team. Dinamo player Cosmin Moți scored the first goal of the game and thus the first official goal at new Ilie Oană Stadium.
Petrolul's traditional, historic rival is Rapid București. Petrolul and Rapid fans have maintained a strong rivalry, despite long periods of not meeting when one or the other were playing in the second division. Petrolul won the 1965–66 Divizia A, while Rapid finished second. The following season, Rapid won its first national title after a match played on the Ilie Oană Stadium. These events are said to have started the rivalry.
Petrolul maintains a mild rivalry with Astra Giurgiu, its former local enemy. Astra promoted for the first time to the Divizia A in 1998. It played in Ploiești until September 2012, when it was moved to Giurgiu by its owner, Ioan Niculae. Even after the move, the rivalry continues between the governances of the clubs.
^There is a controversy concerning the value of Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. While it is viewed as the predecessor to the UEFA Cup, it was not organised by UEFA. Consequently, UEFA do not recognise the competition as a major honour. Petrolul have participated in 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup editions, which are included in these statistics and final statistics.
^The Intertoto Cup was founded in 1961–62, but was only taken over by UEFA in 1995. Petrolul have participated in the 1990 edition. The results are included in the total statistics.