The History of Sunoco
The All American Gas Company.
The Beginning Of Success
Sunoco started in Ohio on March 27, 1886, as a joint partnership between Joseph Newton Pew and Edward G. Emerson, both of whom were already partners in The Peoples Natural Gas Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Newton and Emerson, were already successful businessmen before the venture. However, they wanted to expand their business, as well as their portfolios. So they decided to expand their Natural Gas company, into neighboring Ohio.
After only a few years, the company began to thrive in Ohio. After the needed acquisition of pipelines, leases and storage tanks, the company was well on its way to being, Ohio’s largest crude oil supplier. With overwhelming success in the fields of producing oil, transporting, and storing oil, the duo decided to change the company’s name. That is when, The Peoples Natural Gas Company, became The Sun Oil Company of Ohio, on March 17, 1890. With such steady growth, the company also began refining, shipping, and marketing all other types of petroleum products. These early ambitions and innovations, are what shaped Sunoco to be without a doubt in our mind the best gas company in the world.
In 1916, in a move to ease operations and expand into other markets, the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company was established. Sun Shipbuilding, became the largest shipbuilding company in the US during WWII (click here to learn more about Sun Shipbuilding , you may also visit wikipedia, or the Sun Shipbuilding Collective .)
In 1920,the first Sun service station was opened in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and a second in Toledo, Ohio. Sun soon changed it’s name to, Sun Oil Company in 1922 to better identify with its business model. A few years later, on November 12, 1925, Sun became a publicly traded company – its stock appeared for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange, and was well received by the market.Eventually, Sun entered the oilfield equipment business with the founding of Sperry-Sun in 1929; a joint venture Between Sun Oil, and Sperry Gyroscope. Sperry-Sun, became a major player and innovator with in the Oil Refining Industry. One major innovation took place in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, in 1937. Sun had placed, on stream the world’s first large-scale, commercial catalytic cracking plant. Trendsetting, and inventions like this were what drove Sunoco to the front of the Oil and Gas Industry since the beginning.
Ever self-sufficient, Sun decided to enter the mining business. So in order to supply it’s own mercury for it’s line of Sunoco Motor Oil, Sun formed the Cordero Mining Company, in Nevada, in 1941. Sun’s mercury proved vital to the US Armed Forces during World War II, as did The Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company – which turned out 40% of all wartime tankers built or reconverted.
Expanding to the North and South
During the 1950s, Sun expanded to the north and south. To the north, in Canada, Sun began a 15,000-barrels-per-day refinery in Sarnia, Ontario (Sun also opened The Great Canadian Oil Sands Limited facility in Alberta, Canada, in 1967.) To the south in 1957, in Venezuela, The Venezuelan Sun Oil Company was formed. Venezuelan Sun Oil, produced over 1 billion barrels of oil from Lake Maracaibo before ending it’s operations in 1975. Sun ended its operations in Venezuela, after the Venezuelan government nationalized Sun’s holdings.
In the states however, Sun was still innovating and going strong. In 1958, Sun introduced the Custom Blending Pump. This novel system for dispensing gas, was a choice of five octane grades of gasoline from a single pump. The Custom Blending Pump, revolutionized the way the industry marketed gasoline, and a model of the pump is today on display at the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C.
Restructuring, Name Changes, and Further Expansion
Sun merged with Sunray Dx Oil Company of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1968. A few years later, the company reshaped itself in 1975, and underwent a major restructuring. Sun organized itself into 14 operating units, two property companies, and a non-operating parent company. This also included, a move to a new corporate headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania. To reflect its new change, and the diversification of the company, Sun Oil Company was renamed Sun Company, Inc., in 1976.
Sunoco continued to expand through out the 1980’s; most notably in China. Sun also continued to produce new products such as the Sunoco Ultra 94 which was introduced in 1983 and the highest octane gas available on the market. The company also continued to enter new fields and acquire new subsidiaries. A prime example is the acquisition of many service stations from Coastal Petroleum, and Atlantic Refining and Marketing. Finally in 1998, Sun Oil changed its name, and became Sunoco as we know it today.
In 2004, Sunoco became The Official Fuel of NASCAR (which was previously supplied by ConocoPhillips.) Sunoco is already the Officially Authorized gasoline for over 30 different racing series; on top of this Sunoco has also added NASCAR’s Sprint, Nationwide, and Craftsman Truck series to that list. Most recently, Sunoco entered a partnership to become the Official Fuel of INDYCAR, North America’s most popular open-wheel racing league.
Today, as it always was Sunoco is a company constantly changing and always on the go – continuously innovating, evolving, and striving for excellence to promote leadership, within the Oil Industry. Sunoco has been serving its shareholders, customers, and employees for over 125 years; with plans to continue being the premier provider of transportation and racing fuels in its markets.
Sunoco Joins Energy Transfer Partners
Sunoco has taken steps to transform its business to focus on logistics and transportation fuels and merged with Energy Transfer Partners, one of the largest natural gas and natural gas distribution companies in the US. ETP is a Texas-based energy company that began in 1995 as a small intrastate natural gas pipeline company, and has grown to be one of the country’s fastest-growing natural gas and natural gas liquids transportation companies. It holds, widespread operations that are prized throughout the energy industry and investor communities.
Energy Transfer Partners’ operations consist of gathering, treating, processing, marketing, and transportation of all things gas. It’s diverse portfolio and assets make it a perfect fit for the Sunoco Family.