Once a player in the exploration and production field, Tesoro Corporation (formerly Tesoro Petroleum) has been enjoying a more refined existence in recent years as a downstream operator. The independent oil refiner and marketer operates seven US refineries -- in Alaska, California (two), Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah, and Washington -- with a combined capacity of 665,000 barrels per day. It produces gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, fuel oil, liquid asphalt, and other fuel products. Tesoro markets fuel to 1,200 branded retail gas stations (including 375 company-operated stations under the Tesoro, Shell, and USA Gasoline brands), in Alaska, Hawaii, and 15 western states.
Higher crude oil and petroluem product prices, expanded production, and the growth in gas stations drove up the company's revenues in 2011. That year Tesoro reported a strong jump in net income primarily due to increased gross refining margins in the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Continent regions.
In 2012 the company announced plans to sell its Hawaii-based operations (94,000,000 barrel refinery and 32 gas stations) in order to raise cash and focus on its core Mid-Continent and West Coast businesses. Boosting its West Coast assets, that year it agreed to buy BP's Southern California refining and marketing assets, including the 266,000 barrels-per-day Carson refinery, for $2.5 billion.
As part of a strategy to step up its marketing efforts in the Western US, in 2010 Tesoro bought Shell-branded wholesale supply contracts in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, and most of Idaho, boosting its Shell-branded retail outlets to 650. Further agreements in 2011 with SUPERVALU and Thrifty Oil added another 290 gas stations.
To better support its refining and marketing businesses, in 2011 the company spun off its logistics business as Tesoro Logistics. The IPO raised about $230 million which in part was used to help the parent company pay down debt.
On the oil supply side, Tesoro has a major throughput deal that allows it to transport crude oil in a pipeline owned by Petroterminal de Panamá (PTP). In 2009 PTP reversed the flow of its 81-mile trans-Panamanian pipeline to allow Tesoro to more economically transport crude oils produced in Africa, the Atlantic coast of South America and the North Sea to Tesoro's five refineries on the Pacific Rim. – less