The following is from the Aug. 27, 2008, edition of The Houston Chronicle. Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute in SMU's Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.
By BRETT CLANTON
ConocoPhillips on Wednesday became the latest major oil company to exit the troubled gas station business and pass on the guardianship of familiar store brands to new owners.
The Houston-based oil company agreed to sell its 600 remaining stores to PetroSun Fuel, a privately held Seattle company, in an $800 million deal that puts a bookend on an effort announced in 2006 to unload the company's fuel stations.
The move follows similar ones recently by Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP, which announced plans to jettison U.S. gas stations amid higher fuel costs, increasing competition from low-price rivals and slumping profits. . .
Bruce Bullock, director of Southern Methodist University's Maguire Energy Institute, said the deal announced Wednesday suggests ConocoPhillips and its rivals don't see the gas station business improving anytime soon.
"I think this is a pretty good indication that most of the companies continue to believe that prices are going to be either stable or increasing," he said.
# # #