Our history


Aramco Americas has called Houston home since in 1974, and our U.S. roots extend even further.

Aramco Americas

The origins of Aramco began when Standard Oil of California set up a new overseas exploration unit after signing a concession agreement with Saudi Arabia in 1933. By the 1950s, Aramco was owned by four shareholder companies and based in New York. In addition to Standard Oil of California, the shareholders were Texaco, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, and Socony Vacuum (now Mobil).  
In 1952, Aramco's headquarters moved from New York to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Later, the government began a gradual buyout of Aramco's assets that was completed in 1980.
In 1988, Aramco's U.S. subsidiary was expanded through a joint venture (JV) with Texaco Refining & Marketing to refine, market and distribute products across a 23-state region. This JV included ownership of three refineries in Texas and Louisiana, as well as distribution terminals, owned and leased gas stations, and a distribution network.
Named Motiva in 1998, the U.S. refining entity expanded to include a new partner, Shell, who brought to the deal a fourth refinery. In 2002, Texaco exited the JV, with Aramco and Shell remaining in a 50/50 partnership. In 2017, Aramco acquired full ownership of the Motiva name, the refinery in Port Arthur (the largest in North America), a trading operation, and a series of distribution terminals and marketing agreements.
In three successive years, beginning in 2013, the company opened state-of-the-art research centers in Houston, Boston and Detroit to pursue technology breakthroughs with partners in key innovation hubs.
Today, we are known as Aramco Americas and implement the business activities of Saudi Aramco, an integrated leader in energy and chemicals, in North America.

Aramco Americas history collage