World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sun Oil

Article Id: WHEBN0002248164
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sun Oil  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: NBC, Standard Oil, Directional drilling, Quill and Dagger, James J. Davis, List of Carnegie Mellon University people, Pia Reyes, Jim Conrad, Eugene Houdry, George C. Platt Bridge
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sun Oil

This article is about the U.S. oil company. For the unaffilated Canadian oil company, see Suncor Energy.
Not to be confused with Sonoco, a packaging products company.
Sunoco Inc.
Subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners
Traded as Template:NYSE was
Industry Oil and gas
Founded Pittsburgh, PA, U.S. (1886 (1886) as Sun Company Inc.)
Founder(s) Joseph Newton Pew
Philip Pisano
Edward O. Emerson
Headquarters Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Brian Macdonald Chairman, President, CEO[1]
Products Petrochemical
Net income Decrease (US$ -1.7 million) (2011)[2]
Total assets US$12 billion (2011)[2]

Sunoco Inc. is an American petroleum and petrochemical manufacturer headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, formerly known as Sun Company Inc. (1886–1920 and 1976–1998) and Sun Oil Co. (1920–1976). Sunoco is one of the largest gasoline distribution companies in the United States, with Sunoco brand gasoline being sold in over 4,700 outlets spanning 26 states,[3] just over a third hosting convenience stores.[4]

Sunoco is a Fortune 100 Company. In 2011 it was ranked as the third largest company by revenue in Pennsylvania, after AmerisourceBergen and Comcast.[5] Its headquarters are located in the BNY Mellon Center in Center City Philadelphia.[6] In 2011, the company decided to exit the oil refinery business.[7]

In Canada, Sunoco formerly was operated by Suncor Energy, a separate Canadian entity. In 2010, all Canadian Sunoco outlets were converted to Petro-Canada outlets.


1800s to 1900s: founding and growth

The integrated oil company now known as Sunoco began as The Peoples Natural Gas Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1886, its partners – Joseph Newton Pew, Philip Pisano and Edward O. Emerson – decided to expand their gas business with a stake in the new oil discoveries in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Four years later, the growing enterprise became the Sun Oil Company of Ohio. Sun Oil diversified quickly, active in production and distribution of oil as well as processing and marketing refined products. By 1901, the company was incorporated in New Jersey as Sun Company and turned its interest to the new Spindletop field in Texas. Pew's sons, J. Howard Pew and Joseph N. Pew, Jr. would take over the company after their father's death.

With a growing portfolio of oil fields and refineries in hand, Sun opened its first service station in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1920. The name changed back to Sun Oil Company in 1922 and, in 1925, Sun became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Sunoco ranked 39th among United States corporations in the value of World War II production contracts.[8] Sun expanded internationally following the war. Its first Canadian refinery was built in 1953 in Sarnia, Ontario, home to a burgeoning new petrochemical industry. Sun established a facility at Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo in 1957, which produced over a billion barrels (160,000,000 m³) before the operation was nationalized in 1975.

Custom blending

Sunoco is perhaps best known to consumers for its "custom blending" pumps, an innovation that, beginning in 1956, allowed customers of Sunoco service stations to choose from several octane grades through a single pump. Sunoco stations offered as many as eight grades of "Custom Blended" gasolines from its "Dial A Grade" pumps ranging from subregular Sunoco 190 to Sunoco 260, the latter a super-premium grade of 102 octane that was advertised as the "highest octane pump gas" and very popular with V8-powered Muscle Cars of the 1960s.

1960s to 2000s: acquisitions and branding

In 1967, Sun established its Great Canadian Oil Sands Limited facility in northern Alberta, Canada, to help unlock the estimated 300 billion barrels (48 km³) of recoverable oil in the Athabasca oil sands.

In 1968, Sun Oil merged with Tulsa, OK-based Sunray DX Oil Company, which refined and marketed gasoline under the DX brand in several midwestern states, and included several refineries including one in Tulsa that was operated by Sun until its sale was completed in June 2009 to Holly Corporation of Dallas, Texas.[9] This move expanded Sun's marketing area into the mid-continent region.

Sun Oil continued marketing its petroleum products under both the Sunoco and DX brands through the 1970s and into the 1980s. In the late 1980s, Sun began rebranding DX stations in the Midwest to the Sunoco brand and even introduced the high-octane Sunoco ULTRA 94 gasoline to stations in that region, but by the early 1990s, they pulled out of virtually all areas in the southeastern U.S. and west of the Mississippi, resulting in the closing and rebranding of service stations and jobbers to other brands in those areas, notably Sinclair in Oklahoma.

With increased diversification, Sun Oil Company was renamed Sun Company in 1976. In 1980, Sun acquired the U.S. oil and gas properties of Texas Pacific Oil Company, Inc., a subsidiary of The Seagram Company, Ltd., for US$2.3 billion—the second largest acquisition in U.S. history to that date.

Through the 1980s, Sun developed oil interests in the North Sea and offshore China and expanded its holdings in both oil and coal with additional U.S. business acquisitions. In 1983, consumers saw the arrival of Sunoco ULTRA 94, the market's highest octane unleaded gasoline. Then in 1988, Sun undertook a major restructuring to segregate its domestic oil and gas exploration and production business and the focus the company on its refining and marketing business. This led to the acquisition of Atlantic Refining and Marketing (and, in effect, that company's convenience store chain, A-Plus), including its Philadelphia refinery which was later merged with the former Gulf Oil refinery next door that Sunoco acquired from Chevron.

By the 1990s, Sun had departed the international exploration business and was fully dedicated to its branded products and services. In 1994 Sunoco acquired the Philadelphia PBF Energy.

By 1998, Sun had acquired Allied Signal, Inc. chemical plants. Allied Signal, Inc. being on the stock exchange sold half of the company to Honeywell, Inc. and the other half to Sunoco, Inc. The chemical portion of the business was called "Sunoco Chemicals, Inc."

In 2003, the Speedway SuperAmerica chain of gas stations and convenience stores exited the southeast United States and sold most of their operations to Sunoco. Shortly prior to this, Sunoco acquired many service stations from Coastal Petroleum, especially its stations in Florida. This has led to the reintroduction of the Sunoco brand to areas it pulled out of ten years earlier.

In 2004, Sunoco replaced ConocoPhillips' 76 brand as the official fuel of NASCAR.

After ConocoPhillips abandoned the marketing of the Mobil brand name in the Washington, DC, area, Sunoco purchased these rights, and has since been converting Maryland and Virginia Mobil stations to the Sunoco brand, bringing the A-Plus convenience store with them – prior to this, these stations had convenience stores under the Circle K or On the Run brands. Most of the conversions done so far have been in Virginia.

In September 2009, Sunoco announced the sale of its retail heating oil and propane distribution business to Superior Plus Corp for $82.5 million in cash.[11]

In October 2009, Sunoco announced it will idle and possibly permanently shut down its Eagle Point/Westville, NJ plant, laying off over 400 employees.

Exit from refinery business

In December 2010, Sunoco sold its refinery in Toledo, Ohio to PBF Energy for US$400 million.[7] Effective 6 September 2011, Sunoco announced that it would exit the crude oil refining business and seek to sell its Philadelphia and Marcus Hook refineries by mid-2012.[7] The company has said that its cost for exiting the refining business could be as high as US$2.7 billion.[7] According to one report, the company had lost some US$800 million on refining operations since 2009;[1] an earlier report provided a figure of US$772 million.[7] On December 1, 2011, Sunoco announced it would accelerate closure of the Marcus Hook facility, with a target completion in 90 days.[1] The Marcus Hook facility, founded in 1902 and covering 781 acres, was dedicated exclusively to the processing of light sweet crude oil;[1] this processing focus combined with volatility in crude oil prices are considered contributing factors to both this refinery's closure and Sunoco's exit from the refinery business.[12]

Joint venture with Carlyle Group

After weeks of negotiations, it was announced that Sunoco would be forming a joint venture with the Carlyle Group, allowing for the continuation of operations at the Philadelphia refinery, and saving over 800 jobs[13] The joint venture is slated to begin in late 2012.

Gasoline sales

Sunoco is the only major gasoline retailer to sell four grades of gasoline in the U.S., due to its proprietary pumps which blend regular with Ultra93 to obtain the mid-grades, with octane ratings in parentheses:

  • Regular (87)
  • Plus (89)
  • Premium (91)
  • Ultra93 (formerly Ultra94; Sunoco began phasing out the 94 octane gasoline in the first decade of the 21st century).

Sunoco also once sold Economy unleaded, an 86 octane slightly cheaper than regular, in all of its markets until the mid-1990s when it was withdrawn from Pennsylvania and a handful of other states, and was phased out altogether in 2003.

Up until the early 1980s, Sunoco used a numbering system to market its then-five grades of leaded gasoline, and a rotary lever on the pump was used to select the grade and blend the lowest-octane gasoline with the highest-octane gasoline to obtain the proper octane, with the resulting octane (R+M/2 method) in parentheses (originally, the "missing" grades were available, too - 210, 230, and 250):[14]

  • 190 - Economy (87)
  • 200 - Regular (89)
  • 220 - Plus (92)
  • 240 - Premium (94)
  • 260 - Super 260 (96; originally 97.5)

Exclusive deals

In addition to their sponsorship deal with NASCAR, Sunoco also has exclusive deals as the gasoline supplier at the travel plazas along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, New Jersey Turnpike, Atlantic City Expressway, Palisades Parkway, and Delaware Turnpike. In 2011, Sunoco acquired the rights to operate the nine plazas on the Garden State Parkway,[15] and also signed a new contract to operate the 16 plazas on the Ohio Turnpike beginning in 2012.[16] In addition, Sunoco also owns & operates a station with an A-Plus convenience store at Pittsburgh International Airport, as Sunoco has a very large market share in Pittsburgh. Sunoco also operates some of the filling stations on the New York Thruway.

Sunoco will become the official fuel of the Izod IndyCar Series beginning in 2011.[17]

Environmental record

Among oil corporations, Sunoco is listed as the most environmentally responsible in the latest version of the Sierra Club's Updated Environmentalist's Guide to Gasoline.[18] Sunoco is also the only oil company to sign the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) principal and as part of this agreement, Sunoco has made all of its environmental activities—both successes and failures—publicly available.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have identified Sunoco as the 55th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with roughly 1.7 million pounds of toxic chemicals released annually into the air.[19] Major pollutants indicated by the study include nickel compounds, naphthalene, aniline, and benzene.

As A Sponsor

Sunoco was Penske Racing's sponsor of choice for many years, particularly in the SCCA Trans-Am_Series, where Roger Penske's Sunoco Camaros won the championship in 1968 and 1969. Sunoco also sponsored Penske Porsches in the SCCA Can-Am series, and won the Indianapolis 500 in 1972 with Penske and driver Mark Donohue.

See also

Philadelphia portal
Companies portal


External links

  • Official Sunoco Retail Site
  • Company History at Official Site
  • Sun Transport
  • 1975 Philadelphia Refinery Fire
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.