At the dawn of the 20th century, discovery of oil in southeast Texas transforms the area and gives birth to The Texas Co., later Texaco, which quickly grows into a major international petroleum company. Highlighting the company's first decade are significant discoveries, the entry into new markets, and development of new products from kerosene to automotive gasoline and lubricants.
J.S. Cullinan and Arnold Schlaet form "The Texas Company" in April 1902, absorbing the Texas Fuel Co. and inheriting its office in Beaumont. By November, the new company makes appropriations for the first units of the Port Arthur (Texas) Refinery as well as 20 storage tanks, its first marine vessel, and equipment for an oil terminal to serve sugar plantations along the Mississippi River. This early growth pattern continues in the years ahead.
The Texas Co. registers its first trademark, the original red star with a green capital letter "T" superimposed on it in 1909. Despite subtle design changes, the Texaco star will remain an essential component of the company logo for decades ahead.
The Texas Fuel Co. is organized in March 1901 with sufficient capital to purchase large quantities of crude oil from the Spindletop field, develop a storage and transportation network and sell crude at a profit to northern United States refineries.
The Texas Co. strikes oil at Sour Lake, Texas, in January 1903 after gambling its future on the site’s drilling rights. The discovery, during a heavy downpour near Sour Lake’s mineral springs, turns the company into a major oil producer overnight, validating the risk-taking insight of company co-founder J.S. Cullinan and the ability of driller Walter Sharp.