The Shell oil company dates back to 1912 when the Royal Dutch/Shell Group founded the American Gasoline Company. This company was acquired to sell gas on the West Coast, and to buy oil properties in Oklahoma. Shell's name was adopted in 1928, when the Shell Development Company was formalized.
The Shell Development Company only explored what products could be produced from refinery byproduct gases. Shell did not start selling these products until 1929, when the Shell Chemical Company was chartered to manufacture the products. Other highlights in the company's history include the first modern continuous process oil refinery (Martinez Refinery in 1915).
The company is also known for the invention of a way to mass produce the 100-octane gasoline needed to fuel World War II-era aircraft in 1941. Shell also pioneered the testing of CO2 injection technology in 1972, and the Mars Project of 1996 that set a Gulf of Mexico record for deepest depth successfully drilled for oil.