Sonol Israel or Sonol (Hebrew: סונול), is an Israeli fuel provider and the country's third largest gas station chain.[1] The company traces its roots back to 1917 and World War I.[2] Sonol has been indirectly controlled by the Azrieli Group since 2006.

Sonol Israel Ltd.
PredecessorSocony Mobil Israel
Founded1913 (1913)
Key people
Nir Galili (CEO)
ProductsRefined fuel
ParentGranite Hacarmel Investments Ltd.



The Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony) began oil exploration operations in Ottoman Palestine in 1913.[3] It had been granted concessions by the Ottoman government to conduct geological surveys in order to ascertain whether oil was in existence in commercial quantities. Preparations to drill at a concession in the Negev – southern present-day Israel – were halted in 1915 due to World War I. After the war, when the territory of Palestine came under British administration, Socony complained to the U.S. State Department that the British government was refusing to allow the company to carry out research at its concessions. The State Department interceded with the British on Socony's behalf, and in December 1922 Socony completed its surveys. The surveys indicated that oil was not available in commercial quantities, after which Socony abandoned its concessionary claims and joined the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) in 1928.[4][5][6][7][8]

Vacuum Oil Company began operating mechanical gas pumps in 1924. In 1931, Socony and Vacuum merged to form Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. By the 1940s, various transnational oil companies were operating in Mandatory Palestine, including IPC, Shell and Socony-Vacuum.[9] IPC owned terminal facilities of the Kirkuk–Haifa pipeline; Shell jointly controlled the Haifa oil refinery with British Petroleum; and Socony-Vacuum maintained a local distributing agency accounting for 25–30% of the local oil market.[10][11][12][13]: 43 


In the late 1940s, around the time Israel gained its independence, Socony-Vacuum made its pumps electric motor-driven.[14][15] Saudi pressure in 1956 compelled Socony-Vacuum – which theretofore had been one of Israel's principal oil suppliers and which a year earlier had changed its name to Socony Mobil – to terminate its relationship with Israel and sell its interests there. In 1957 Socony Mobil's Israel operations were acquired by Rudolf Sonneborn and Sonol became the name of the company.[13]: 50–51 [16][17]

Sonol acquired gas distribution company Supergas in 1975. In 1981 Sonol was acquired by Granite Hacarmel Investments Ltd., one of the largest holding companies in Israel.[18] In 1990 Sonol acquired car battery manufacturer Vulcan from Koor Industries Ltd for $2 million.[19]

Since 2000Edit

Sonol gas station near Kfar Adumim

Vulcan was sold in 2000 to Focus Capital Group Ltd.[20] Sonol announced the establishment of its own chain of gas station convenience stores in 2004, following a similar trend set by rivals Paz, Delek and Dor Alon.[21] By 2010 it was operating 140 such stores under the brand So Good.[22]

In September 2005 Granite Hacarmel agreed to sell Sonol's 210 gas stations and other Granite-held assets to Dor Alon for $155 million.[23] The Antitrust Authority opposed the deal and in April 2006 filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.[24] In June 2006 the Supreme Court ruled to suspend the Sonol deal.[25] In October 2010 Azrieli Group acquired 54% of Granite for $148 million and in December increased its stake to 63.8% for an additional NIS109.2 million.[26][27][28]

In 2011 Sonol was one of four companies that together controlled 90% of the Israeli fuel market.[29] In March Sonol and Better Place signed an agreement to deploy electric car battery recharging terminals at Sonol's gas stations.[30] In October Sonol stations began offering gas containing an additive produced by Lubrizol Corporation shown in one study to reduce fumes and carbon dioxide emissions.[31][32]

Notable tender winsEdit

In February 2004 Sonol, together with a foreign partner, won a tender to supply refined fuel to U.S. forces in Iraq for $70–80 million.[33][34] In August 2004 Sonol won a tender to supply crude oil, diesel and gasoline to Dead Sea Works for five years for $300 million.[35]

Israel's jet fuel market was opened up to competition in mid-1996.[36] In January 2008 Sonol outbid three competitors to secure a tender to supply jet fuel to seven Star Alliance airlines for NIS300–400 million. The two-year contract was renewed in December 2009 for $60 million.[22][37]

In January 2012 Sonol won one of the largest-ever fuel tenders in Israel to supply diesel to Israel Railways in the central and southern regions of the country for three years.[38]


Sonol launched a nationwide campaign with the JDRF in 2005 to raise donations to help young sufferers of diabetes and further medical research.[39] In 2007 Sonol launched a nationwide campaign to raise money for the nonprofit organization Larger Than Life, which strives to improve the lives of children and teenagers with cancer.[40]


Involvement in Israeli settlementsEdit

On 12 February 2020, the United Nations published a database of companies doing business related in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Golan Heights.[41] Sonol was listed on the database on account of its activities in Israeli settlements in these occupied territories,[42] which are considered illegal under international law.[43]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hazani, Golan (10 June 2011). "Azrieli's Granit on market for NIS 400M". Ynetnews. Calcalist. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Ownership Structure and Strategy". Sonol. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  3. ^ Davison, Roderic H. (1977). "Chapter 6: The Search for Sources". In Davis, Moshe (ed.). With Eyes Toward Zion: Scholars Colloquium on America–Holy Land Studies. Arno Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-405-10312-3. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  4. ^ Morton, Michael Quentin (March 2020). "The Land That Oil Forgot: Palestine 1913-1948". GeoExpro. 17 (1): 58–61. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  5. ^ "History of Oil & Gas Exploration in Israel - 1900 to 2004". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Zion Oil & Gas Inc. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  6. ^ Davidson, Lawrence (2001). "Chapter 3: Early Perceptions of Mandate Palestine". America's Palestine:Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Statehood. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. pp. 59–61. ISBN 0-8130-2421-8. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Britain Concedes on Palestine Oil". The New York Times. 7 April 1922. p. 30.
  8. ^ "Britain Grants Exploring Rights to Standard Oil". The Montreal Gazette. 8 April 1922. p. 13. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  9. ^ Lockman, Zachary (1996). "Chapter 8: Labor Activism and Politics, 1943–48". Comrades and Enemies: Arab and Jewish Workers in Palestine, 1906–1948. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 328. ISBN 0-520-20259-7. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  10. ^ Demir, Idris (2010). Laçiner, Sedat (ed.). "The Kirkuk–Haifa Pipeline". USAK Yearbook of International Politics and Law. Ankara: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK). 3: 303. ISBN 9786054030262. ISSN 1308-0334. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Fear Decision of Oil Firms To Leave Israel Due To Arab Pressure Reflects British Policy Change". The Canadian Jewish Review. 2 August 1957. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  12. ^ DeNovo, John A. (1968). "Chapter 10: The Arab East between the Wars". American Interests and Politics in the Middle East, 1900–1939. Saint Paul, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. p. 346. ISBN 9781452909363. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  13. ^ a b Cohn, Margit (2010). "Chapter 3: History of the Local Energy Market". Energy Law in Israel. Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands: Kluwer Law International. ISBN 978-90-411-3303-8. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  14. ^ Levin, Itamar (7 September 2005). "סונול: ממלחמת העולם הראשונה ועד לדלק סילוני" [Sonol: From World War I to jet fuel]. Globes (in Hebrew). Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  15. ^ Bar-Eli, Avi (25 April 2008). "מנכ"ל סונול, תמיר פוליקר: 'שוק הדלק מונופוליסטי לחלוטין'" [Tamir Poliker, Sonol CEO: 'Fuel market is thoroughly monopolistic']. TheMarker (in Hebrew). Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  16. ^ Lotto, Jack (2 March 1957). "U.S. Firms' Boycott of Israel Under Arab Pressure Revealed". St. Petersburg Times. International News Service. p. 2. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  17. ^ Railsback, Bruce (April 2002). "A Genealogy of the Oil Industry" (PDF). University of Georgia. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  18. ^ Hadar, Tomer (23 August 2010). "פרסום ראשון: ניר גלילי מתמודד על משרת מנכ"ל סונול" [First report: Nir Galili vying for role of Sonol CEO]. Calcalist (in Hebrew). Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  19. ^ "Sonol buys Vulcan Batteries from Koor". ICEN (Israel Commercial Economic Newsletter). AccessMyLibrary. 17 January 1990. Retrieved 25 July 2012.[dead link]
  20. ^ Ganor, Avi (1 August 2000). "וולקן מצברים הבורסאית בקשיים: הפסד של 6 מיליון שקל במחצית ופיטורי עובדים". Globes (in Hebrew). Retrieved 25 July 2012. חברת וולקן מצברים הייתה בבעלות חברת סונול וחברת גרנית הכרמל, עד שנרכשה לפני מספר חודשים על ידי חברת פוקוס קפיטול, בראשותם של מאיר ומשקיעים נוספים.
  21. ^ Sharon-Rivlin, Vered (5 July 2004). "סונול תקים רשת חנויות נוחות בתחנות דלק תחת השם SO GOOD" [Sonol to establish gas station convenience store chain under SO GOOD name]. Globes (in Hebrew). Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  22. ^ a b Blumenkrantz, Zohar (30 December 2009). "חברת סונול תספק דלק לשבע חברות תעופה ב-60 מיליון דולר" [Sonol to supply fuel to seven airline companies for $60 million]. TheMarker (in Hebrew). Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  23. ^ Klingbail, Sivan; Coren, Ora; Gavison, Yoram (8 September 2005). "Dor Alon buys Sonol gas station chain". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  24. ^ Dekalo, Shmuel (27 April 2006). "Supreme Court delays Dor Alon-Sonol merger". Globes. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  25. ^ "Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Dor Alon-Sonol Merger". Arutz Sheva. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  26. ^ Coren, Ora; Shpurer, Sharon (29 October 2006). "Azrieli buying Granite Hacarmel". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  27. ^ Shlomo, Gil (23 November 2006). "Antitrust Authority OKs Azrieli takeover of Granite Hacarmel". Globes. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  28. ^ Shuster, Uri (13 December 2006). "Azrieli buys further 10 percent of Granite Hacarmel: David Azrieli bought the stake from Yeshayahu Landau with whom he competed for the controlling interest in Granite Hacarmel". Globes. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  29. ^ Barkat, Amiram (6 October 2011). "Privatization has cost Israelis dear". Globes. Archived from the original on 8 April 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  30. ^ "Better Place signs Sonol battery replacement station deal". Globes. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  31. ^ Barkat, Amiram (4 October 2011). "Sonol fires 300 in response to fuel margin cut". Globes. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  32. ^ Bar-Eli, Avi (4 October 2011). "Sonol CEO, at launch of new fuel: Competition has reached gasoline". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  33. ^ "Israeli Company to Supply Fuel to US Army in Iraq". Arutz Sheva. 24 February 2004. Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  34. ^ Cohen, Amiram (8 March 2004). "Sonol pumps fuel to U.S. forces in Iraq". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  35. ^ Hayoun, David (18 August 2004). "Sonol wins 5-year $300m Dead Sea Works fuel tender". Globes. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  36. ^ Hayoun, David (28 January 1998). "Paz Wins El Al Jet Fuel Tender". Globes. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  37. ^ Baron, Lior (28 January 2008). "Sonol wins foreign airlines fuel tender". Globes. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  38. ^ Schmil, Daniel (19 January 2012). "סונול ודור אלון זכו במכרז: יספקו לרכבת 5 מיליון ליטר דלק בחודש". TheMarker. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  39. ^ "סונול משיקה מבצע התרמה לחולי סוכרת נעורים" [Sonol launches fundraising campaign for juvenile diabetes]. Ynet (in Hebrew). 5 October 2005. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  40. ^ "סונול משיקה מבצע התרמה למען 'גדולים מהחיים'" [Sonol launches fundraising campaign for Larger Than Life]. Ynet (in Hebrew). 18 February 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  41. ^ "Database of all business enterprises involved in certain activities relating to Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank (A/HRC/43/71)". UN OCHA. 12 Feb 2020. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  42. ^ "UN rights office issues report on business activities related to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  43. ^ "S/RES/2334(2016)". United Nations Security Council. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2021.

External linksEdit