Key Milestones

  • 1951: Phillips Petroleum Company enters the plastics business after 2 researchers (Paul Hogan and Robert Banks) discover the catalyst that would transform ethylene and propylene into solid polymers. The scientists, working at the Research Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, had modified their original catalyst (nickel oxide) to include small amounts of chromium oxide. As it turned out, the chromium catalyst produced solid polypropylene. Later, the first linear polyethylenes were also developed (HDPE & LLDPE). Phillips Petroleum brought this new polyolefin plastic from the laboratory to a commercial scale production in less than 6 years.

  • 1954: Phillips Petroleum introduces the first Marlex® polyethylene resin on the market. It is made in semi-works plant in Bartlesville. In the next 2 years, Marlex® polyethylene resins will be marketed for film, blow molding, pipe, fiber, injection molding and sheet. For example, in 1957, the first blow molded bottle was a Plax baby bottle, Marlex® resin offered the advantage of being stiff enough to permit heat sterilization.

  • 1958: Marlex® polyethylene resin is used to produce the famous Hula Hoop® toy by Wham-O. That same year, Phillips Petroleum introduced the very first commercial bimodal resins on the market.

  • 1980: Ziegler and Cr resins are produced in the same reactor for the first time by Phillips Petroleum at Pasadena.

  • 1985: Chevron Corporation officially entered the polyethylene market, when the company purchased Gulf Oil Corporation which included Gulf Chemical Company. At that time, Gulf operated two polyethylene plants: Orange and Cedar Bayou, both in Texas.

  • 1993: first commercially viable production of LLDPE at Pasadena, thanks to the introduction of a new catalyst technology.

  • 1996: building on recent reactor advancements, Phillips Petroleum introduced metallocenes. This was followed by the commercial introduction of the first dual metallocenes in 2002.

  • 2000: Chevron Corporation and Phillips Petroleum (now Phillips 66) joined forces and created a new joint venture to manage their chemical businesses: the Chevron Phillips Chemical Company was born.
Chevron Corporation and Phillips 66 (then Phillips Petroleum) were doing business together well before the creation of the Chevron Phillips Chemical joint venture. Both companies have demonstrated a pioneering spirit through the decades, focusing on growth. For the last 20 years, Chevron Phillips Chemical perpetuated this rich heritage. This demonstrates true leadership in the polyethylene industry and a commitment to support customers, domestically and internationally.