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Sunoco LP is an American master limited partnership organized in Delaware and headquartered in Dallas, Texas that is a wholesale distributor of motor fuels. It distributes fuel to 5,322 Sunoco-branded gas stations, almost all of which are owned and operated by third-parties. The partnership is controlled by Energy Transfer Partners.
|Master limited partnership; controlled by Energy Transfer Partners|
|Traded as||NYSE: SUN|
|Founded||March 27, 1886 (as Sun Company Inc.)|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Founder||Joseph Newton Pew|
Edward O. Emerson
|Headquarters||Dallas, Texas, U.S.|
|Joseph Kim, CEO & President|
Thomas R. Miller, CFO
Matthew S. Ramsey, Chairman
|Revenue||$11.723 billion (2017)|
|$0.323 billion (2017)|
|Total assets||$8.344 billion (2017)|
|Total equity||$2.247 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
|6,513, including affiliates (2017)|
|Footnotes / references|
The partnership was formerly known as Sun Company Inc. (1886–1920 and 1976–1998) and Sun Oil Co. (1920–1976). It was formerly engaged in oil refinery, the chemical industry, and retail sales, but divested these businesses.
1800s to 1900s: founding and growthEdit
The partnership 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, Sun opened its first service station in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1920. In 1922, it changed its name back to Sun Oil Company and, in 1925, it became a public company via an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Sunoco ranked 39th among United States corporations in the value of World War II production contracts. 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.
In 1956, Sunoco introduced "custom blending" pumps, an innovation that allowed customers of Sunoco service stations to choose from several octane ratings 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 operators of V8-powered Muscle Cars of the 1960s.
1960s to 2000s: acquisitions and brandingEdit
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, Oklahoma-based Sunray DX Oil Company, which refined and marketed gasoline under the DX brand in several midwestern states, and included several refineries. Its Tulsa refinery was operated by Sun until its sale in June 2009 to Holly Corporation of Dallas. 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. Ironically enough, they also at this time offered Economy 86, which was the lowest commercially available gasoline at the time.
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 Chevron Oil refinery consolidating operations with its own adjacent which it had acquired with Atlantic. Sun sold its remaining interest in Canada's Suncor Energy in 1995, but markets product from two refineries – one in Toledo, Ohio, and the other Sarnia, Ontario – in joint ventures. In 1998, Sun Company, Inc. became Sunoco, Inc. In 2011 the Toledo facility was sold to PBF Energy.
In 1998, Sun acquired the chemical business of Allied Signal, including a phenol plant. The business was renamed as "Sunoco Chemicals, Inc." In 2011, the plant was acquired by Honeywell for $85 million.
After ConocoPhillips abandoned the marketing of the Mobil brand name in the Washington, D.C., area, Sunoco purchased these rights, converted 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.
In Canada, the Sunoco brand was licensed for the Ontario retail gas station operations of Suncor Energy until 2010. Following Suncor's acquisition of Petro-Canada, all Canadian Sunoco outlets were converted to Petro-Canada branding.
Exit from refinery businessEdit
In December 2010, Sunoco sold its refinery in Toledo, Ohio to PBF Energy for US$400,000,000. 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. The company has said that its cost for exiting the refining business could be as high as US$2.7 billion. According to one report, the company had lost some US$800,000,000 on refining operations since 2009; an earlier report provided a figure of US$772,000,000.
On December 1, 2011, Sunoco announced it would accelerate closure of the Marcus Hook facility. The Marcus Hook facility, founded in 1902 and covering 781 acres, was dedicated exclusively to the processing of light sweet crude oil; 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.
Joint venture, bankruptcy, and future closureEdit
In September 2012, Sunoco formed a joint venture with The Carlyle Group, allowing for the continuation of operations at the Philadelphia refinery, and temporarily saving over 800 jobs. However, on January 22, 2018, the joint venture, named Philadelphia Energy Solutions, filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy announcement was followed by a damaging fire on June 21, 2019, which occurred at the 30,000 bpd Alkylation unit.  The explosion of the Alkylation Unit triggered a massive fireball and caused nearby homes to shake.  A few days later, on June 26 the refinery complex announced it would cease operations and shut down.
Sale to Energy Transfer Partners and merger with Susser HoldingsEdit
In 2014, Energy Transfer Partners acquired Susser Holdings Corporation, the parent company of Stripes Convenience Stores, and merged it with Sunoco into a master limited partnership. In Texas, the Sunoco brand replaced Valero Energy at the Stripes locations; Stripes and A-Plus remained separate brands.
In November 2016, Sunoco Logistics LP acquired Energy Transfer Partners LP for $21 billion.
In addition to the sponsorship deal with NASCAR, Sunoco also had exclusive deals as the gasoline supplier at all Indy Racing League races and the travel plazas along the Ohio Turnpike, Pennsylvania Turnpike, New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Atlantic City Expressway, Palisades Parkway, and Delaware Turnpike.
Sale of stores to Seven & I Holdings Co.Edit
In January 2018, the company sold 1,030 retail stores to 7-Eleven and agreed to supply 2.2 billion gallons of fuel to 7-Eleven convenience stores annually for 15 years. This included Sunoco's contract to the service plazas along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, with some users commenting on social media that they would prefer seeing one of Pennsylvania's major convenience store chains based in the commonwealth such as Sheetz or Wawa take over the contract instead.
In 1993, when the company owned refineries, it was the only refiner to sign the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (Ceres) principal.
In 2000, Sunoco leaked 190,000 gallons of oil into the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Pennsylvania through a cracked pipe. Sunoco's safety systems did not detect the leak, which was reported by a hiker in the Wildlife Refuge.
On April 4, 1991, Pennsylvania Senator H. John Heinz III was killed when his airplane collided with a Sun Company helicopter in what is known as the Merion air disaster. Falling debris killed 2 children at the Merion Elementary School in the Lower Merion School District. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident included poor judgment on the part of the captain of the Sun Company helicopter, and his failure to maintain safe separation from the Senator's airplane.
As of March 2016, records maintained by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) show that Sunoco has experienced 257 hazardous liquids incidents since 2006. (PHMSA defines an "incident" as an event that involves a release of gas from a pipeline or of liquefied natural gas or gas from an LNG facility that results in a death, or injury necessitating hospitalization; or property damage of $50,000 or more). These 257 incidents resulted in $46,936,215 of property damage. In terms of number of incidents, Sunoco has the worst safety record of 1,518 active pipeline operators who report operating data to PHMSA.
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.
Between 1989 and 1992, Sunoco sponsored NASCAR team owner Billy Hagan's No. 94 Cup team. Sterling Marlin drove the #94 Sunoco Ultra94 Oldsmobile during the 1989-90 seasons and Terry Labonte for the 91-92 seasons.
In 2017/2018 Sunoco became the official race fuel for the Canadian Snow Cross Circuit, CSRA.
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