Founded by Edward M. Carey, an oil industry executive who assisted in the finance of the political ambitions of his younger brother Hugh L. Carey, a former governor of New York state.
In the 1930's Carey founded the Peerless Oil and Chemical Company with his father. In the early 1940's he founded the New England Petroleum Corporation. The company would became one of the nation's largest privately owned petroleum refining and marketing companies.
The company specialized in supplying petroleum products to East Coast electrical utilities, but also had interests in shipping as well as in oil exploration and production in North Africa, the Persian Gulf and the North Sea.
In 1968, Carey established relations with Standard Oil of California. To establish the Bahamas Oil Refining Company, which built and operated a refinery in the Bahamas. The refinery processed low sulfur oil from Standard Oil's Libyan concession. New England Petroleum then sold this oil mainly to utilities in the Northeast, which were under pressure from the environmental lobby to reduce pollution by burning cleaner fuels.
However, the Bahamas venture, which was largely financed by Standard Oil. The company eventually faced difficulties after the oil price explosion of 1973, when Libya also nationalized its foreign held oil concessions.
The result was a falloff in oil supplies to the refinery, as Standard Oil contested the Libyan move and a series of disputes between Carey and the giant oil company were further inflamed by the complex regulations the United States put in place in a move force to deal with the effects of rising worldwide oil prices.
In 1953, Carey founded the Commonwealth Oil Refining Company in Puerto Rico under the "so called" Operation Bootstrap development program for the island. The company operated a refinery and petrochemical plant at Ponce.
However in 1979, Carey sold his remaining oil businesses to the Charter Company of Jacksonville, Florida. The Charter Company filed for bankruptcy protection in late 1984, and eventually sold off all of its businesses and purchasing to Spelling Entertainment Incorporated to form Spelling Entertainment Group Incorporated.