Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals

SIC 5171

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This industry consists of companies that wholesale crude petroleum and petroleum products from bulk liquid storage facilities. Distributors of liquefied petroleum gas from bulk liquid storage facilities are also included.

According to industry statistics, in 2009, there were 3,528 petroleum bulk stations and terminals establishments with a combined 37,000 employees. The industry had 7,020 establishments with 94,034 workers in 2001. The number of establishments had dropped to 4,603 by 2003, when the number of workers shrunk to 45,419. Texas was the leading state with 231 establishments in 2010, followed by California with 188, Minnesota with 165, Illinois with 156, and Missouri with 152.

Analysts divided the industry into three categories: petroleum bulk stations, petroleum bulk terminals, and liquefied petroleum (LP) gas bulk stations and terminals. Petroleum bulk stations were defined as businesses with bulk storage capacity from 10,000 to 100,000 gallons for stations getting supplies by tanker, barge, or pipeline, and those with capacity from 100,000 to 2,100,000 for stations getting supplies from other sources. Petroleum bulk terminals were those businesses whose bulk storage capacity exceeded 100,000 gallons in facilities getting supplies by tanker, barge, or pipeline, and those whose capacity exceeded 2,100,000 gallons for facilities getting supplies from other sources. LP gas bulk stations and terminals were plants selling liquefied petroleum gas to dealers, wholesale distributors, industrial users, commercial users, and government and military units.

Petroleum bulk stations were the largest sector of the industry, with more than 60 percent of the overall market. Petroleum bulk stations and terminals accounted for more than 30 percent of the market value.

Industry watchers predicted that petroleum demand would rise as the U.S. economy improved after a slowdown in the early 1990s, and world crude oil supplies met demand. Even as forecasters predicted stable prices, this theory was disproved in the late 1990s.

The petroleum industry in the United States decline in 2008. The year-to-date decline through October 2008 compared with the same time in 2007 was 2.6 percent for gasoline at one end and 19 percent for residual fuel oil at the other. The overall decline of more than 5 percent, including decreases in distillate and jet fuel, was the largest drop since the early 1980s.

By late 2010 consumption of petroleum products was on the rise. Overall, petroleum demand increased by 6.5 percent in November 2010, compared to November 2009. Domestic deliveries of all petroleum products equaled nearly 19.98 million barrels per day (b/d) in November 2010, up from 18.75 million b/d in November 2009. U.S. deliveries from primary storage of gasoline for fuel increased from 8.91 million b/d in November 2009 to 9.19 million b/d in November 2010. Domestic deliveries from primary storage of home heating and diesel in November 2010 was 4.08 b/d, up from 3.40 b/d in November 2009.

On a percentage basis, gasoline deliveries increased by 3.2 percent, comparing November 2009 to November 2010, whereas over the same time frame distillate and ultra-low sulfur distillate (truck diesel) fuel deliveries rose 13.5 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively. Jet fuel deliveries jumped by16.7 percent. These increases in demand signaled in upturn in the overall U.S. economy. In December 2010, American Petroleum Institute (API) chief economist John Felmy noted: "Fuel demand continues to strengthen, a positive sign for our economy. Gasoline deliveries are up three months in a row and distillate deliveries are up 10 months in a row over the same months in 2009. Stronger fuel demand tells us a recovery is underway."

One of the largest companies classified in this industry was El Paso Energy, a leader in natural gas that acquired Coastal Oil New England, Inc. in the early 2000s. Coast Oil, a petroleum products marketing subsidiary of the Coastal Corporation, was founded in 1955 and became one of the nation's largest energy companies. El Paso Energy operates the largest gas transportation system in the United States, controlling some 42,000 miles of interstate pipelines. The Houston-based El Paso Corporation had revenues of $4.63 billion in 2009.

Another industry leader was Inergy, L.P. of Kansas City, Missouri. Inergy focuses on propane, selling over 300 million gallons of propane annually to retail customers and another 380 million gallons to its wholesale customers. Its 700,000 customers span 28 states. Its wholesales services include roughly 350 distributers in 40 states and Canada. The company maintains natural gas and LPG storage facilities. Inergy posted revenues of $1.79 billion and employed more than 3,000 in fiscal 2010 (ending September).

UGI Corp. subsidiary AmeriGas Partners, LP, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, had 9,800 employees and sales upward of $5.59 billion in 2009. Ferrellgas Partners is another propane leader, with 2010 fiscal sales (ending July) of $2.1 billion and more than 3,650 employees.

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News and information about Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals

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