Seven Sisters

Definition - What does Seven Sisters mean?

Seven Sisters is an association of certain oil and gas organizations which pioneered oil and gas markets across the world and controlled the entire American Oil Industry. These were the seven giant oil and gas organizations which were in operation before OPEC became influential in 1970. OPEC was formed in September 1960 and gained its influence in 1970’s thereby reducing the influence of Seven Sisters.

Petropedia explains Seven Sisters

The first American oil organization (Standard Oil) was formed by John D Rockefeller and it became a very large organization. Because of its large size, unimaginable growth and great concentration of power, the group was divided into various companies due to an order from Federal Court. This eventually led to the emergence of Seven Sisters, an organization which controlled the entire oil and gas market in America and slowly started its dominance over the globe.

Seeing their growth and dominance in the oil and gas industry, the Middle East formed OPEC (Organization of Petroleum and Exporting Countries) which has 12 member oil producing nations. The main objective of OPEC is to regulate negotiate and maintain the stable or escalating oil prices across the globe. With OPEC coming into influence in 1970’s, the power of Seven Sisters was reduced and that led to division of the seven sister organizations to distinct oil and gas organizations.

Currently the Seven Sisters do not exist as a single giant oil and gas organization, but rather consist of three organizations from Standard Oil and four other major oil companies:

  • Standard Oil of New Jersey in which Esso got merged with Mobil to form Exxon-Mobil.
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Anglo Persian Oil Company (APOC) currently called British Petroleum or BP.
  • Standard Oil Company of New York which later became Mobil and now a part of Exxon-Mobil.
  • Standard Oil of California, which is now called Chevron.
  • Gulf Oil
  • Texaco which merged with Chevron and was called as ChevronTexaco, but later changed to Chevron.
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