Standard Oil of Ohio

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Standard Oil of Ohio
Industry Oil
Fate Acquired by BP
Founded 1911
Defunct 1991
Headquarters Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Standard Oil of Ohio or Sohio was an American oil company that was acquired by British Petroleum, now called BP.

It was one of the successor companies to Standard Oil after the antitrust breakup in 1911. Standard Oil of Ohio was the original Standard Oil company founded by John D. Rockefeller. It operated service stations under the "Sohio" brand name in Ohio. The company used the same logo, but with "Boron" as the brand name in other states. Wallace Trevor Holliday was President of the company from 1928 to 1949 and Chairman of the Board from 1949 until his death on November 7, 1950.

Vintage Sohio pump in storage at Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Richfield, Ohio.
Sohio canopy circa 1989. Sohio's final prototype canopy. Also used as the canopies for Boron and Gulf Gasoline stations until the stations were rebranded as BP.
A Gulf Oil gasoline station in Louisville, KY using the previous BP/Sohio/Boron prototype.
Sohio sign circa 1989. Sohio's logo. A similar logo was also used at Boron stations outside the state of Ohio.

A merger between Sohio and BP was negotiated with Sohio by Sohio CEO Charlie Spahr in 1968. Although the merger was announced as an acquisition of BP interests in North America by Sohio, the terms included the stipulation that BP would assume majority interest when Sohio's share of production from the Prudhoe Bay oilfield in Alaska reached 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m3/d). BP took majority ownership of the company in 1978 when the benchmark level was attained. By 1980, Sohio and Boron had 3,400 gas stations in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia. Following Chevron's takeover of Gulf, Sohio acquired 5,660 former Gulf service stations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina for $1 billion. Sohio was allowed to use the "Gulf" name for five years as a result of the acquisition. In 1987, after all other Standard Oil descendants had minimized use of the name Standard, Standard of Ohio, proud to be the original, sought to corporately rebrand itself under the Standard name while continuing to use the Sohio brand and others to sell products in Ohio. However, later that year BP bought the 45% of Sohio it did not already own and assumed control. Among the first changes was the rebranding of all Sohio and Boron stations to 'BP' in 1991. The Boron name was used outside of Ohio in neighboring states, like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia. Boron was also the branding of its premium grade gasoline along with its regular grade fuel "Extron"(formerly "Ex-tane" later "Octron") and its unleaded version "Cetron" introduced in 1970.

Sohio's credit cards, like other oil company cards at the time, could be used at competitors' stations outside the issuing company's competitive territory, which in Sohio's case was Ohio. The benefit died with the Sohio brand. Exxon had a similar arrangement as well. In 1916, Sohio introduced a prefabricated canopy prototype for its stations.[1]

Although Sohio gas stations have ceased to exist, a few marina gas stations on Lake Erie and the Ohio River still bear the Sohio name.

When BP merged with Amoco, its American headquarters moved from the former BP America Building on Public Square in Cleveland to Chicago.

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