Since the founding of Amoco Corporation more than 100
years ago, Amoco Pipeline Company has grown from a small,
regional company to BP Amoco - Pipelines North America,
the second largest liquids pipeline company in the U.S.
It transports more than 450 million barrel-miles of oil,
refined products, natural gas liquids, carbon dioxide, and
chemicals daily -- about 9 percent of the US Liquids pipeline
This timeline represents an edited version of text obtained
from the books, The History of The Standard Oil Company,
written by Ida M. Tarbell in 1904 and Challenge and Response,
A Modern History of Standard Oil Company (Indiana), written
by Emmett Dedmon in 1984. Also, information was obtained
from an article that appeared in the 1998 Shield, the international
magazine of the BP Amoco Group.
1859: Colonel Drake Strikes Oil
"Colonel" Edwin Drake, one-time railroad conductor,
drilled the first commercial oil well in Titusville Pennsylvania.
By the 1880s, the commercial potentialities of oil was just
beginning to be realized. In two decades oil production
had grown to the point where more than 80 percent of the
worlds petroleum consumption was supplied by Pennsylvania
1863: The Teamsters & Pipeline Gathering
The first discoveries where transported to rail stations
by teamsters using converted whiskey barrels and horses.
From the very beginning, transportation was key with the
teamsters holding the first regional monopoly position.
They charged more to move a barrel of oil 5 miles by horse
than the entire rail freight charge from Pennsylvania to
New York City.
Despite considerable ridicule, threats, armed attacks,
arson and sabotage, the first wooden pipeline, about 9 miles
in length, was built in 1865 in essence bypassing the teamsters.
During this same point in history, a young entrepreneur
named John D. Rockefeller, was busily acquiring kerosene
refineries, and strong positions with the railroads. In
1870 he combined his companies into one, the Standard Oil
1879: Tidewater - The First Trunkline
Independent oilmen, in a desperate effort to compete with
Rockefellers position in transportation, built the
first crude oil trunk line called Tidewater in 1879.
Within a year, Rockfeller owned half of Tidewater and was
busily laying pipelines to Buffalo, Philadelphia, Cleveland
and New York.
1880s: The Rise of Russian Oil
Rockefeller looked to export his kerosene lamp oil production
to Northern Europe and Russia.
Not long after this, oil was discovered near the Russian
sea town of Baku. Over 20 refineries sprang up in the region,
but once again, logistics was key.
A pipeline was contracted through the mountains east of
Baku where an enterprising merchant Marcus Samuel developed
the first organized kerosene shipping enterprise to compete
with Rockefeller and send kerosene to Europe and the Far
1880-1905: Gushers and Refineries
Meanwhile, back in the states, geologists where astonished
to see oil discoveries in Ohio, Oklahoma, Kansas, and the
first true gusher at Spindletop, TX. which flowed 110,000
barrels per day.
Refineries sprang up near both oil fields and new markets
with the largest being Rockfellers venture on the
southern shores of lake Michigan at Whiting, Indiana.
By the turn of the century, oil was discovered as far west
1905: Crude Oil Pipelines
At this point in history the oil business was shifting
from kerosene lamp oil to gasoline.
Edison had electrified many of the cities reducing the
kerosene market but Henry Ford had changed the landscape
with mass produced automobiles.
Crude oil pipelines carrying oil from the prolific fields
in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas to the refineries in the East
began to cross the country.
1900-1915: The Government Acts
By now Standard Oil controlled over 80 percent of the worlds
refining and transportation. John D. Rockefeller was the
most powerful man in the world.
In 1890 the US government passed the Sherman Anti-Trust
Act and an energetic young president, Theodore Roosevelt,
challenged the Standard Oil Trust.
Pipeline regulation went hand in hand in 1906 as the Hepburn
Act made interstate pipelines common carriers who were required
to offer their services at equal cost to all shippers.
In 1912 the anti-trust litigation was final and Standard
Oil dissolved into seven regional oil companies.
In 1913, the Valuation Act was the first attempt at Federal
involvement in US pipeline ratemaking.
1917: Crude Oil Pipelines
the advent of WW I, crude oil pipelines where traversing
much of the nation.
1932: The Growth of Indiana Standard
In 1929, Colonel Stewart, then Chairman of Standard Indiana
realized that while he owned the largest and best equipped
refineries at Whiting, and Kansas City, he had no secure
crude oil supply.
He soon acquired the Sinclair crude oil pipeline system
for the unheard sum of $62 million dollars and Stanolind
Pipeline Company was born.
1935: Population Shifts (Product Lines)
By the 30s, the population continued to move west
across the Mississippi River and the first product pipelines
where built from Whiting, St. Louis and Kansas City to the
1945: Product Lines Grow During WWII
Throughout WW II, product systems grew rapidly along the
eastern seaboard. 48 US oil tankers were sunk in the early
stages of the war showing the US vulnerability to such attack.
Near the end of the war, pipeline regulation became the
responsibility of the US Interstate Commerce Commission
who introduced the notion of reasonable returns in the 8
percent to 10 percent range.
1950s-1960s: Amoco moves overseas
In the 50s and 60s, the balance of supply was
For the first time the US was a net importer of oil.
Indiana Standard, which would soon become Amoco, moved
overseas discovering oil and gas in:
Egypt, Argentina, Trinidad, West Africa, the North Sea,
Western Canada, the Caspian Sea and offshore China.
Shifting crude supply
As lower 48 oil production declined and petroleum supply
came increasingly from overseas and Canada, the pipeline
industry responded with major industry systems from the
US Gulf Coast to the Mid West, Western Canada to the Mid
West, and California to the US West Coast.
In 1954, Stanolind, the Indiana Standard pipeline company,
became the largest liquid pipeline carrier in North America.
A position it held to the most recent Enbridge expansion.
1968: The population Moves West
The relentless move westward continued and product pipelines
followed. Also, the rise of import refineries on the US
Gulf Coast led to the construction of Colonial pipeline
to supply the eastern seaboard.
Colonial was the largest privately financed undertaking
in US history in 1968.
1970s - 1990s: The Advent of Specialty Pipes
Modern pipelines became increasingly versatile as they
were called upon to:
- gather oil and gas over one mile beneath the ocean surface
- transport supercritical fluid carbon dioxide for territory
- carry natural gas liquids for growing regional heating
and olefins industries
- and transport specialty chemicals between chemical plants
1998: BP and Amoco Merge
December 31, 1998, BP and Amoco united their global operations
through a merger. The joining of the two companies represented,
at the time, the worlds largest ever industrial merger.
BP and Amoco had significant investments in solar energy
and share strong records and reputations for sound operating
practices, and environmental and social responsibility
1999: BP Amoco Pipelines (North America) Business Unit
As a result of the combination of BP's and Amoco's North
American pipeline assets, a new pipeline business unit was
2000: BP Amoco and ARCO Combine
On April, 18, 2000, BP Amoco combined with Atlantic Richfield
Company (ARCO) of Los Angeles.
BP Pipelines (North America)
BP Amoco Pipelines (North America) renamed BP Pipelines
BP Pipelines Operates Destin Pipeline
Amoco Destin Pipeline Company, an
indirect subsidiary of BP Amoco Inc., purchased the ownership
interest of Southern Natural Gas in Destin Pipeline Company,
LLC. As a result the Pipelines Business Unit owns approximately
67% interest in Destin Pipeline Company, LLC. The Pipelines
Business Unit is the field operator of the Destin pipeline
and will become is its Commercial Manager in 2002.
2000: BP Pipelines Operates Olympic
Richfield Company (ARCO), a subsidiary of BP America Inc.,
purchased the stock interest of GATX Terminals Corporation
in Olympic Pipe Line Company. As a result of the addition
of GATX stock, the Pipelines' Business unit owns approximately
63% of the outstanding shares of Olympic Pipe Line Company.
The Olympic Pipe Line Company operates
a 400-mile pipeline system that runs in a 299-mile corridor
from Ferndale, Washington to Portland, Oregon. Delivery
lines carry products from the mainline to bulk terminals
at Seattle, Sea-Tax International Airport, Tacoma, Olympia
and Vancouver, Washington and Linnton and Portland, Oregon.
Pipeline Systems Today
Looking ahead, the North American pipeline industry continues
to move toward market based pricing under relatively light
handed federal regulation.
The largest growth opportunities in the near term is in
the Gulf of Mexico and southern US.
Recent high profile incidents have increased industry emphasis
on being a premier operator with superb Health Safety Environmental
Finally, the industry continues to restructure with integrated
majors restructuring in the advent of new mid-stream players.