Hess to Rid Itself of Its Retail Gas Station Businesses
Woodbridge-based oil business will 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 much of 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 company statement said the closures, along with other moves to improve the company's bottom line, would be instituted between now and 2014.
"Our longstanding commitment to deliver secure supply, competitive prices, and industry-leading service to our customers is part of our brand and will not change," said the Hess statement. "Operated by great people, our businesses are strong, profitable and will be well situated for the future," a Hess spokesperson said.
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 they stated in their release.
The changes began in January, when Hess announced it would close its oil refineries permanently, including one located in Woodbridge. Hess said it was leaving the gasoline refining business because of weak demand and the cost of complying with federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The refinery was closed at the end of February.
Close to home, the nearest Hess station is on Route 23 in Butler.
Hess's retail marketing division and the company's Woodbridge headquarters, the firm said, will remain open despite the divestiture of its various enterprises.