Phillips Petroleum Company UK Ltd was an American oil company incorporated in 1917 that expanded into petroleum refining, marketing and transportation, natural gas gathering and the chemical sectors.
In the period 1965-1968, three oil refineries were developed close to Teesport, thanks to the Phillips Petroleum's development of the Ekofisk oil field in the North Sea. The first two were jointly developed and operated by Phillips and ICI on the north shore of the River Tees, just south of Greatham Creek. The third refinery was developed in 1968 by Shell Oil on the south shore within Teesport.
In 1980, with the discovery of North Sea Gas, a 220 miles (350 km) pipeline was installed between Ekofisk and Seal Sands on the north shore. Although the Shell refinery was mothballed in 1989 and later closed, as a result of the pipeline petrochemicals traffic still today represents about 50% of the cargo through Teesport, around 26 million tonnes a year.
On August 30, 2002, Conoco Inc. merged with Phillips Petroleum to form ConocoPhillips, becoming the third largest integrated energy company and second-largest refining company in the United States. The company moved its headquarters to Houston.
In 2012, ConocoPhillips split into two separate companies. The new company, which owns the refinery, chemical and pipeline assets formerly held in ConocoPhillips, is named Phillips 66, the brand name and trademark used by the original Phillips Petroleum from 1930 until the 2002 ConocoPhillips merger.
On 24 January 2012 it was announced that Petroplus would file for insolvency, which led to the closure of Coryton Refinery in Essex with the Teesside operation closing shortly afterwards. The plant was bought by Greenergy in July 2012, reopening as a diesel, gasoil and kerosene supply depot in November 2012.
The Phillips Fund was established in 1993 following a commitment from General manager John Sparke, who later became a long serving Trustee to the Foundation. The fund continues to support the community across the Tees Valley as a lasting legacy of the impact of this company.