HYANNIS, Mass. -- Gulf Oil LP said that Christy's of Cape Cod LLC will begin rebranding its entire gas station portfolio from CITGO to Gulf Oil beginning this summer. This is the latest addition in Gulf's strategy to become the premiere New England brand of petroleum products, expanding its logo at gasoline retail sites across its service footprint.
Hyannis, Mass.-based Christy's of Cape Cod has 15 Christy's Markets, all in Massachusetts.
We are extremely pleased with our relationship with Gulf, said Christy's of Cape Cod CEO Christy Mihos. Our decision was simple. Gulf is the only New England-based major oil company in our industry and they are one of the region's must trusted brands. Gulf's has a 100-year history of providing superior products and service to motorists, which is consistent with the quality promise implicit in Christy's pledge to its customers.
Joseph Petrowski, Newton, Mass.-based Gulf Oil's president and CEO, said, Gulf Oil is headquartered in Massachusetts, and we are especially proud to have Christy's Markets join our growing family.
Petrowski told The Boston Herald in late June that Gulf Oil is looking to expand by as many as 500 gas stations over the next three years, thanks partly to defections from CITGO. The company has been expanding at the rate of about 100 stations a year, he said.
But he said he sees the pace picking up, because large oil companies, such as Exxon and Shell, are increasingly focusing on the upstream and refining sides of the petroleum industry, not the wholesale and retail sides. Another reason, according to the report, is that CITGO Petroleum Corp., the Houston-based oil company controlled by Venezuela's anti-American president Hugo Chavez, has been losing some of its U.S. gas station business as station owners have changed brands rather than risk being associated with the unpopular figure.
In a United Nations speech in September 2006, Chavez called President Bush the devil and an "alcoholic," prompting the displeasure of many in the U.S. petroleum industry.
CITGO also pulled out of many markets itself. As reported in CSP Daily News nearly a year ago, CITGO announced that it would halt distribution in 10 statesIowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakotaand discontinue supply to a limited number of stations in four additional statesIllinois, Texas, Arkansas and Iowa. The company's shift toward the East and Gulf Coast regions was expected to result in the debranding of 1,800 U.S. stations.
Gulf Oilowned by the Haseotes family, which also owns the Cumberland Farms chainis a totally downstream company that distributes motor fuels through a network of more than 2,400 branded stations (1,900 under the Gulf brand name and the rest under other distribution agreements with companies including Exxon), 12 proprietary oil terminals and a network of more than 50 other supply terminals.
It supplies heating oil, diesel fuel, jet fuel and kerosene to these branded retail outlets through both its Gulf brand and, in the seven states of New England and New York, the Exxon brand. Gulf Oil through its subsidiary Great Island Energy also supplies petroleum and other energy products, fuel related services and risk management products to commercial, industrial and private branding firms from throughout the East coast and Northeast. Gulf Oil is also a major distributor of ethanol and, through its ownership interest in World Energy, is also a major distributor of biodiesel.