Sunoco has screened its operations, shed nonperforming ones, and buffed the others in hopes that the sun will shine on future profits. It has 5,400 miles of oil and 2,500 miles of refined products pipelines and 40 product terminals. It markets its Sunoco gasoline through more than 4,900 retail outlets (including Ultra Service Centers and APlus convenience stores) in 23 states. Sunoco produces lubricants and mines coal for coke processing. It also operates two refineries, with a total processing capacity of 505,000 barrels of crude oil a day, although it is exiting this business. In 2012 the company was acquired by Energy Transfer Partners.
Robust oil prices and increased demand and proceeds from the sale of assets lifted Sunoco's revenues in 2011 by 25%. Net income, positive in 2010, plummeted to a $1.7 billion loss in 2011, however, due to write-downs and losses from continuing and divested operations.
In 2011 Sunoco exited its chemicals business and announced plans to exit the refining business. The company's decision to sell or idle its refining operations was part of a larger strategic review aimed at jettisoning high-cost units while maximizing the potential of its retail and logistics business, a review which led to the Energy Transfer Partners acquisition in 2012.
Some of Sunoco's pipeline, terminal, and storage assets are held through publicly traded Sunoco Logistics Partners, which is 32% controlled by Sunoco unit Sunoco Partners.
The company's Sunoco Chemicals unit, which produced phenol and polypropylene, sold off most of its operations in 2010 and 2011. To raise cash to pay down debt, in 2010 Sunoco Chemicals sold its polypropylene business to Brazilian-based Braskem S.A. in a $350 million stock transaction. In 2011 the company sold its 170,000 barrels-per-day Toledo, Ohio, refinery to PBF Holding for $400 million. It also sold a Philadelphia chemical plant to Honeywell International for $85 million as part of its strategy of selling noncore assets, and formed a joint venture with The Carlyle Group in 2012 to run its historic 300,000 barrels-per-day Philadelphia refinery.
In 2011 Sunoco exited its chemicals business by selling off the last of its standalone chemical complexes, a phenol manufacturing plant, to Haverhill Chemicals (an affiliate of private equity firm Goradia Capital) for $106.5 million.
In 2011 it also spun off its coke business as SunCoke Energy, for about $186 million. Suncor retained 80% of the unit following the IPO but divested this stock in early 2012. – less