Old oil company stocks might be more than historical documents. They might still be valuable if they were issued by one of the seven major oil companies, known as the Seven Sisters, that once dominated the oil market. If the stock certificate was registered, the company will retain ownership records no matter how long ago it was issued. You could end up with a valuable certificate or a collector’s item worth keeping.
Research the name of the oil company listed on the stock certificate. In the 1950s, seven major oil companies -- Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Standard Oil of New York -- controlled the oil market. If one of these names appears on the stock certificate, it was issued by one of the Seven Sisters.Step 2
Contact the oil company that took over the original Seven Sister. British Petroleum took over Anglo-Persian Oil Company and the smaller part of Gulf Oil; Exxon Mobil took over Standard Oil of New Jersey and Standard Oil of New York; and Chevron took over the larger portion of Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of California and Texaco. The company’s investor relations department can tell you the present value of the shares and provide information on how to redeem or transfer them.Step 3
Contact your broker if the certificate was not issued by one of the Seven Sisters. Provide your broker with the name of the company issuing the stock certificate, the certificate registration number, the number of shares, the owner’s name and the Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures, or CUSIP, number. Your broker can find the company that took over the issuing company. Your broker can also tell you what the stock shares are presently worth and how you can sell them.Step 4
Research the old oil stock certificate online if you do not have a stockbroker. A good place to start is the Financial Stock Guide Service, which is updated yearly and provides a comprehensive listing of actively traded and obsolete stocks. For a fee, the company’s research department will research your certificate for you. Moody’s Industrial Manual and Moody’s OTC Industrial Manual have company records dating back to 1909. The Moody’s manuals provide summaries of mergers, acquisitions and subsidiaries. These sources can identify the company you need to contact to get a value for your old oil stock certificate.
- No matter how old they are, keep all your stock certificates in a secure place.
Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Karen Rogers covers the financial markets for several online publications. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.