The company was founded by Ebenezer Greaves with the establishment on the Rudshore Waterfront of his own slaughterhouse, the Greaves Whale House, and later the Greaves Refinery to process the raw whale oil.
It was once an extremely profitable business and one of the leading producers of whale oil, employing "over 300 workers, not including the children who filled minor, and often tragic, roles," at its operating peak. In the later days of the company, a system of pressure valves was even installed to link the refinery to the Rothwild Slaughterhouse, allowing a faster way to transport the raw oil for treatment. However, when the river barrier broke, both the Whale House and the Refinery were subsequently abandoned, and the later became a haven for assassins, weepers, river krusts and looters interested in the oil tanks abandoned on the premises. It is possible that the whale oil shortage broadcast by the Propaganda Officer is due in part to the collapse of Greaves Lightning Oil, leaving only other companies like Rothwild Slaughterhouse to refine their production themselves.
- Originally, "Greaves Lightning Oil" was called "Greaves Lighting Oil", and this name was used in pre-release images of advertisements for the business, but it was changed when Dishonored was released.
- A pre-release poster for the company uses the month of August on its chart, instead of using the in-universe calendar and the Thirteen Months.