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. Also, Acıbadem Healthcare Group became the team's 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 that was reenacted after fourteen years of pause.
Petrolul's traditional, historic rival is Rapid Bucharest. 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 maintains a strong rivalry with Astra Giurgiu, its former local enemy. The rivalry started when Astra promoted for the first time in the Divizia A in 1998, as their fans engaged in a grudge with Petrolul. Astra played in Ploiești until September 2012, when it was moved to Giurgiu by its owner. Even after the move, the rivalry continues.
^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.