The company was started by John Ross Ewing III, Christopher Ewing, Elena Ramos, and Bobby Ewing. John Ross, Much like Digger Barnes before him, has a gift for finding oil. Because of John Ross and Elena's works on new oil drilling technology, the oil pulled from wells would be used to bankroll a new gas hydrates technology developed by Christopher and Elena's collaboration. When John Ross was attacked while in police custody for the suspected murder of Veronica Martinez, Christopher signed over exclusive South American rights to his technology to John Ross's former business partner, Vicente Cano. Vicente's part of the deal was to provide video tape evidence that would clear John Ross. By doing this, Christopher also prevented Bobby from having to drill on Southfork to protect John Ross from Vicente. It is discovered in the season finale that before his arrest for his hand in the fraudulent Southfork sale, Vicente was about to sell off his South American rights to Cliff Barnes.
Cliff had built an international conglomerate, Barnes Global, which owned more than 100 subsidiaries in over 50 countries. After the death of J.R. Ewing, Cliff conspired with trucking magnate Harris Ryland and Texas governor Sam McConaughey to take down the Ewing family once and for all. Cliff's plan was to sabotage Christopher's technology demonstration on the gas rig, causing the state to levy a billion dollar fine against Ewing Energies. Meanwhile, Governor McConaughy was to seize the Ewings' oil wells via eminent domain, making it impossible to pay the fine. Cliff bought the debt and knowing the Ewings didn't have the money to pay the fine, took control of Ewing Energies.
The Ewings prevailed thanks to J.R.'s final scheme. Sue Ellen got the first report of the gas rig explosion that proved the rig was sabotaged and the governor intentionally hid the report. She blackmailed the governor into ending the eminent domain on the Ewings' oil wells. Emma stole evidence from her father's safe that linked him to working with a Mexican drug cartel and cocaine trafficking. Christopher got proof that his adoptive mother Pamela Barnes Ewing was dead and he inherited 1/3 of Barnes Global. Cliff's daughter Pamela, who married John Ross, convinced him to give her 1/3 of Barnes Global giving the Ewings control of the company. This led to the renaming of Barnes Global; Ewing Global. Cliff was framed for the murder of J.R. Ewing and was imprisoned in a Mexican jail but he did manage to contact Elena Ramos and revealed that years ago her father had bought some oil-rich land but that J.R. had switched land deeds and her father was left with useless land while J.R. made millions originally belonging to her father. Cliff gave Elena his power of attorney over his third of the company, and told her to exact revenge on the Ewings.