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Our history

In the early 1900s, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey sought to strengthen its position in the southern United States. After considering several locations, the company chose a location high on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in north Baton Rouge.

In April 1909, Standard Oil Company of Louisiana was chartered, and by November 1909 the refinery processed its first products.

A location in North Baton Rouge on the bluffs of the Mississippi River provided a strategic location on the last deep-water port above the Gulf of Mexico and a safe harbor for ships without danger of flooding. Moreover, rich oil and gas deposits were nearby, and the central location offered vital pipeline connections to the west and north. Baton Rouge, a sleepy river town at the time, was reeling from boll weevil infestation of cotton crops and welcomed the new industry.

The transformation from farmland to thriving industrial complex happened over the course of a century. Advanced technology development, spurred by two world wars, helped propel the petrochemical industry and Baton Rouge rapidly forward. Since 1909, the original refinery has become one of the largest and most integrated refining and petrochemical hubs in the world.

Technological firsts 

  • Nov. 15, 1909 – Refinery began processing just seven months after construction started
  • 1920s – Research labs adapted basic hydrogenation technology to petroleum refining
  • 1930s – Pioneered the alkylation process for the production of high octane aviation fuel, which later provided critical fuel for Allied aircraft in WWII
  • 1940s – Baton Rouge known as "Cradle of Synthetic Rubber Industry," providing much-needed supplies to Allies in WWII
  • 1942 – World’s first Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit went into operation, producing 100 octane aviation fuel, which literally fueled World War II.
  • 1950s – Developed "Powerforming" process to help meet rising demand for gasoline
  • 1970s – Became one of first facilities to use the Wet Gas Scrubber, now an industry standard for environmental protection
  • 1994 – Developed SCANfining technology to remove sulfur from gasoline