Exxon Exiting Retail Gas Business
Posted: 2008-06-13 11:49:41
Filed Under: Crude Oil Prices

HOUSTON (June 12) – Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday it’s getting out of the retail gasoline business, following other major oil companies who have been selling their low-margin stations to gasoline distributors.

Motorists, however, will continue to see Exxon ‘s tiger-themed stations and Mobil outlets in their neighborhoods. Already, about 75 percent of Exxon Mobil’s roughly 12,000 stations in the U.S. are owned by branded distributors, who buy Exxon Mobil products and pay to use the name.

Irving-based Exxon, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, said it now plans to sell to distributors its remaining 820 company-owned stations and another 1,400 outlets operated by dealers. Exxon Mobil didn’t disclose financial details but said the sales will take place over a “multiyear period.”

Texas has the most company-owned retail locations with about 190. Florida is next with 170.

“As the highly competitive fuels marketing business in the U.S. continues to evolve, we believe this transition is the best way for Exxon Mobil to compete and grow in the future,” said Ben Soraci, the director of Exxon Mobil’s U.S. retail sales.

Exxon Mobil is not alone among Big Oil exiting the retail gas business, a market where profits have gotten tougher as crude oil prices have risen. In fact, industry officials say the major oil companies own fewer than 5 percent of U.S. gas stations.

Here is the full story.

In the last few years, a number of major companies have folded, reorganized their business, or changed their business models. With the skyrocketing fuel prices, increasing unemployment rate, and price crashing in real estate, it is increasingly more difficult for companies to sustain the same level of business.

This is why I urged the USCF in the past few years to change the status quo to become more efficient, professional, and financially viable. Chess is booming outside of the USCF. Unfortunately, little has changed within the USCF.

Instead of doing what is best for chess or the USCF, I see the same destructive politics, under the table dealings, unethical conduct, and power grabbing by the same people who are desperately trying to protect the status quo.

Instead of reaching out to supporters and partners, this federation reaches out to protect its insiders’ interests while chasing away so many good people. And if anyone speaks out against this sort of things, they are being insulted or attacked.

This has been the same pattern which exists for decades. After being on the board for 9 – 10 months, I now understand why the USCF has failed miserably and why so many have given up and walked away. I just hope that this federation won’t face the same fate as so many other companies or organizations.

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