"the Pleiades," 1412 (see Pleiades), seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, placed among the stars by Zeus. As a name for the major multi-national petroleum companies, it is attested from 1962. They were listed in 1976 as Exxon, Mobil, Gulf, Standard Oil of California, Texaco,
British Petroleum, and Royal Dutch Shell. The Pleiades also are known as the Seven Stars (O.E. sibunsterri), though in 15c. this name occasionally was given to the Big Dipper.
FOOL: ... The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason. KING LEAR: Because they are not eight? FOOL: Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool. ["King Lear," Act I, Scene V]