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Hess to Rid Itself of Its Retail Gas Station Businesses

The Woodbridge-based oil business will now divest itself of 1,350 gas stations, many of which operate in New Jersey and 17 other Eastern Seaboard states.


The familiar green and white Hess signs that dot the Woodbridge landscape and much of New Jersey may soon be no more.

Hess Corporation announced Monday in a letter to shareholders at their annual meeting that it was divesting itself of its retail gasoline and convenience store operations, in an effort to restructure the company and improve its balance sheet.

The move will affect 1,350 gas stations - many owned by Hess itself - that operate in 18 states on the Eastern Seaboard. The gas stations serve as many as 1.3 million customers a day, according to a report in Supermarket News.

Hess did not say when it would begin either closing or selling off its gas stations, although a press release accompanying the news said that their closure, along with other moves to improve the company's bottom line, would be instituted by 2014.

The divesting of the company's gas station arm is part of a multi-year effort of Hess to "transform" itself into an oil 'exploration and production' firm, as stated in the release.

The changes began in January, when Hess announced it would be permanently shutting its oil refineries, including the one located in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge. Hess said it was leaving the gasoline refining business because of weak demand and the cost of complying with E.P.A. regulations.  

The refinery was closed at the end of February.

The Hess retail marketing division and company headquarters is located in the Hess corporate headquarters building on Route 9 in Woodbridge. The firm has said that the structure, an iconic landmark in the township, will remain open despite the divestiture of its various enterprises. 

Dentss Dunnagun March 05, 2013 at 09:52 AM
My thinking is you might see more Valero stations pop up now .....
c March 05, 2013 at 11:22 AM
you could go to Lukoil which is owned by Russia.
. March 05, 2013 at 11:37 AM
I will miss Hess stations. It's the only place I ever go for gas. All of the attendants were either young kids or older men and all speak English!
slyfox1961 March 05, 2013 at 12:52 PM
that's a good thing, since Valero is a US company.
Scott March 05, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Many of you clearly don't have a clue about economics. Thanks for the good laugh.
paulie March 05, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Downtown: Well I have a clue about economics so here is the real story: US gasoline prices are directly influenced by the price of Brent Crude. Brent in turn is influenced by the European economy. Europe is in a recession with 12% unemployment and demand is now falling for gasoline. This has all pushed the Euro lower against the dollar which in turn will push gasoline prices lower. Just wait, expect retail gasoline prices to FALL by as much as 10% by summer.
Al March 05, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Maybe Wawa will buy some of them. Their employees speak English.
Jack March 05, 2013 at 02:19 PM
As a Jets fans for over 45 years I feel so sorry for Leon Hess even know he has pass away years ago. This man started out with a little oil company in Asbury Park NJ, many years ago and made a well knows names for himself. You can bet that if he was still alive this wouldn't be happening. I can remember as a little boy back in 1964 my father bought me the first Hess Truck that was made I sure wish I still had that truck today. I will sure will miss this Gas Station because it just remind me of my dad who has pass on years ago went we used to gas up at Hess going to the Jets games and of cause went he got me the first Hess truck with my dad was a gasoline Truck driver too not for hess but for another company.
Bell47 March 05, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Hear, hear
Sydney March 05, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Seems like alot of the Lukoil stations shut down too. I see alot of old empty Lukoil stations around OC.
Ross Chatham March 05, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Who is Brent Crude? He sounds like a jerk.
luis cabrera March 05, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Hess is the only American gas station in the USA all others are owned and operated by people from the middle east ,and all you people worry about is the Hess trucks ?
Jackthebear March 05, 2013 at 04:55 PM
I'm pretty sure Brent Crude was a "Greaser" from Wildwood.
Opinionated March 05, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I find it interesting how so many people are going to lose their jobs and we have very little in details as to why this is being done. Thanks to those who cited some economic possiblities. Yes, they want to go into the exploration field but is that due to some govt coercion (like the EPA) or simply a large cash payment? If we had a free press, we might hear the truth.
marylou March 05, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Valero is an American company.
Porterincollingswood March 05, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Oil is harder to come by, it's just a fact. Every easy drilling operation is dry or close to it. The new opportunities are all challenging - oil sands, deepwater, etc. Deep water drilling is a great opportunity, but the technology and reliability just doesn't make it worth it (from a profit and PR standpoint). Ask BP, the gulf catastrophe set their company back years. They were doing those operations because they were desperate, not because they were good at it. Who wants to follow in their footsteps unless they can develop a better way of doing it that minimizes risk? Same for Arctic drilling. Sounds easy, but existing techniques and technological limitations make it hard. Ask Shell, they just quit because they were not up to the challenge. If an oil company wants to make even bigger profits (not that they aren't already reaping in historic revenues), it needs to drill hard-to-get oil in a safe and low-risk manner. That means technology and innovation. So maybe Hess knows what it's doing. Just a theory.
Amy Seeley March 05, 2013 at 06:42 PM
(a) you dont get to know "why" there is no "why" it is a for profit venture - the owners or their proxy decided they no longer wanted to engage in. (b) there is plenty of oil. Hess is still in the business of oil. The problem is that refining oil into gasoline and selling it at the wholesale and retail level is not that profitable due to all of the tree huggers and enviro-terrorist wackos and this illegal administration. Forget the fact that the guy was born in kenya for a minute - he doesnt even believe that they congress needs to pass laws! He thinks he is the king and can just rule by decree - look what he is trying to do with the cap and trade nonsense. Everyone knows that it is a ridiculous theory and the congress and senate will not pass the laws that the kenyan and his enviro terrorists want so he thinks he can do it himself. Hopefully he will be tried for war crimes and thrown in a kenyan prison.
paulie March 05, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Porterincollingswood 11:49 am on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 Unless I am mistaken, Brent Crude briefly replaced Nikki Sixx back in the early 90's. Excuse me Peter but I think your theory is about as smart as your previous comment.
Amy Seeley March 05, 2013 at 06:57 PM
pualie is forgeting one very very important fact - you need to keep the crazy arabs under control also.
WaWa Willy March 05, 2013 at 07:35 PM
It's a WaWa world.
Bernie March 05, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Hess is tired of US politicians ruling the prices.
Porterincollingswood March 05, 2013 at 08:40 PM
I was responding to Ross, and that was a joke. I meant no offense and had zero issue with your rationale, although China also influences the price and did so today. And I'm not sure that exploration is a bad business to get into, for the reasons I noted plus many others none of us are privy to.
Dentss Dunnagun March 05, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Brent Crude ...was he a linebacker for the Jets ?
Edward Dooley Jr. March 06, 2013 at 03:02 AM
They still plan to sell the Hess trucks somehow, probably on their web site. lol
Steven March 06, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Maybe WALMART can take them over on their continued attempt to take over every possible retail enterprise. I have to say the HESS stations will be missed, along with the annual trucks at Christmas.
unknownauthor March 06, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Does anyone think the changing situation in Venezuela had any influence on Hess' decision to close its refineries and retail outlets?
unknownauthor March 06, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Really. All middle east owners/operators. So who owns CITGO Petroleum? Go to: http://www.citgo.com/Home.jsp to find a station near you!
mrlargejoe March 08, 2013 at 11:19 PM
The main reason Hess is getting out of the retail is because of a hedge fund raider by the name of elliot group Paul Singer the bought up 900 millon dollars of Hess stock worth 5% Mr Hess owns 10% Singer got other stock holders to go along with him he felt the stock should be worth more than 67,00 a share without the retail and other low money investments he could take the company to 126 a share .Also moved in 5 new board members there is more money in finding oil and production this about corperate greed .The Hess stores will be there under another name or they will spin off from the parent co.
john f. nassour sr. March 15, 2013 at 01:02 PM
i own a hess station , for 40 years, the best company ever, mr john hess, will do the right thing, as he and father always does, john hess,will not let this happen,be patient,hess stations will be around a while
Ryan April 14, 2013 at 06:49 AM
So why is it in NYC (specifically Queens and Bklyn), HESS is far and away the cheapest gas using a credit card purchase?

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