Valero Energy Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, petrochemical products and power. Valero subsidiaries employ approximately 10,000 people, and assets include 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 2.9 million barrels per day, 11 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.3 billion gallons per year, and a 50-megawatt wind farm. More than 7,400 outlets carry the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon brands in the United States and the Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Valero is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio.
Named for the mission San Antonio de Valero – the original name of the Alamo – Valero Energy Corporation was created on Jan. 1, 1980, as the corporate successor to LoVaca Gathering Company, a subsidiary of the Coastal States Gas Corporation. Valero is the direct result of a $1.6 billion settlement approved unanimously in 1978 by the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s natural gas regulatory agency, which ended more than six years of litigation brought against Coastal by its municipal gas customers who claimed they had been overcharged for natural gas.
Valero’s natural-gas transportation business diversified in the mid-1980s when the company purchased a 50 percent interest in a Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery owned by Saber Energy. The operation began as nothing more than a vacuum unit and crude unit on a humble plot of land near the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. But in the years that followed, Valero assembled its “Refinery of the Future,” and through its subsidiaries added more refineries starting in 1997, with 16 plants today. Through these acquisitions, the company also branched into retail and wholesale markets, and today supplies independently owned wholesale outlets carrying the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon brands in the United States and the Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Today, Valero proudly has a workforce of about 10,500 employees and a refining throughput capacity of 3 million barrels per day, making it the world's largest independent refiner -- tops among refiners that don't also drill for oil. The company ranks No. 9 on the current Fortune 500 list, and is still based in its hometown of San Antonio. Valero is also a leading ethanol producer with 10 ethanol plants in the Midwest and a combined production capacity of 1.2 billion gallons per year. Valero also operates a 33-turbine wind farm near its McKee Refinery in Sunray, Texas.
Valero maintains a strong commitment to safety and stands as one of the most recognized refiners within the federal OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The company demonstrates its commitment to excellence in occupational safety and process safety through an intensive, detailed Commitment to Excellence Management System. And it continues to be recognized among the world’s top refining and marketing companies, and among the nation’s best employers.
In the community, Valero is proud of its legacy of support and positive outreach through an international network of Volunteer Councils. Valero Volunteers proudly dedicate more than 131,000 volunteer hours to community outreach annually. Special missions on behalf of the United Way, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Wounded Warriors and countless children’s charities are a source of pride and motivation for every Valero employee. Valero, its employees and its philanthropic organization – the Valero Energy Foundation – annually generate more than $38 million to support worthy charities or causes, through direct donations or fundraising, to improve the lives of those living in communities near Valero operations.
Valero proudly carries its legacy of strength and stability in the refining industry and into each community touched by its operations. Through the years, the company has amassed a family of employees from virtually every corner of the energy business. Their expertise and dedication continue to make Valero a competitive partner in the global energy industry.
Scroll below for a look at Valero through the years …
On Jan. 1, 1980, Valero was born as the corporate successor of LoVaca Gathering Co., a natural-gas gathering subsidiary of the Coastal States Gas Corp. The company’s formation was far from a smooth one. LoVaca and Coastal had contracts to supply natural gas to utilities around Texas. Due to the natural-gas shortage in the 1970s, LoVaca was unable to honor its contracts. After more than six years of litigation, a $1.6 billion settlement was reached, which included the formation of Valero as a new company separate from Coastal. At the time, it was the largest corporate spinoff in U.S. history.
Valero Presence in Corpus Christi
The original Saber refinery near the site of Valero’s flagship refinery complex in Corpus Christi started as nothing more than a vacuum and crude unit on a humble plot of land. Today, the sprawling Bill Greehey West and East refineries in Corpus Christi are among the most complex, technologically advanced refineries in the world.
Valero Continues to Grow as a Diversified Company
Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Valero continued to grow as a diversified energy company, operating in refining and marketing and natural-gas-related services.
Valero Becomes Largest Independent Refinery on the Gulf Coast
Valero acquired Basis Petroleum Inc. in 1997, making it the largest independent refining and marketing company on the Gulf Coast. 'Independent' refining companies are those that don't drill for oil.
Valero at that point had four refineries in Texas and Louisiana and a 530,000-barrel-per-day total throughput capacity.
Earlier that year, Valero announced that it would merge its natural-gas-related services with PG&E Corp., as well as spin off its refining and marketing operations as a new company retaining the Valero name.
Valero Enters West Coast Market and Establishes Retail Presence
In 2000, Valero entered the West Coast market when it acquired the Benicia Refinery, which is considered one of the most complex refineries in the nation. With the acquisition of the former ExxonMobil Corp.’s refinery, located near San Francisco, Valero also acquired its 270-store retail distribution chain and 80 company-operated sites. This marked the company’s entry into the retail business when it debuted the Valero retail brand.
Valero in Acquisition Mode
Valero executed lease agreements with purchase options for a 115,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Corpus Christi (which became the Bill Greehey Refinery East Plant) and refined-product pipelines and terminals in Texas, which were owned and operated by subsidiaries of El Paso Corp. Also that year, Valero acquired Huntway Refining Co., which had two asphalt refineries on the West Coast -- one in Benicia, Calif., and one in Wilmington, Calif. -- near the company’s fuel refineries.
Valero completed its largest transaction when the company acquired Ultramar Diamond Shamrock in 2001. With this acquisition -- which was completed in seven months -- Valero became one of the nation's top three refining and marketing companies.
Valero Turns Low-performing Refinery into a Profitable, Community-focused Plant
Valero acquired Orion Refining Corp.'s St. Charles Refinery in Norco, La., outside New Orleans, in July 2003. This was a key addition to Valero's refining network because the facility was another of the nation's most-complex refineries, yet still had tremendous upgrade potential. That means Valero could significantly enhance the plant’s profitability and performance with minimal capital investment.
The purchase also proved the company’s ability to turn a low-performing refinery into a profitable, community-focused plant. Under Valero’s ownership, the refinery produced a record-breaking United Way campaign, donating monies and volunteering time to charities in the community.
Valero Continues its International Reach
Valero's international reach expanded in 2004 with the purchase of El Paso Corp.'s 315,000-barrel-per-day refinery on the Caribbean Island of Aruba. The $465 million deal included other assets, such as a marina.
Valero Becomes Largest Independent North American Refiner
A milestone year of growth, 2005 marked Valero's rise to become the largest independent North American refiner with the acquisition of Premcor Inc. This $8 billion transaction was one of the largest and most strategic acquisitions in the company's history.
To keep its competitive advantage over other refiners, Valero has acquired facilities and upgraded them. For example, the Port Arthur Refinery -- part of the Premcor acquisition in 2005 -- was Valero's most profitable plant in 2006, and with expansions has allowed the processing of an additional 325,000 barrels per day of medium and heavy sour crude.
On Jan. 1, 2006, Bill Klesse became Chief Executive Officer of Valero Energy Corporation.
Valero's Branded Wholesale Division Grows and Earns Honors
In August 2006, Valero became the No. 1 rack fuel marketer in Texas with a total of 1,900 branded wholesale and company-owned locations and significant unbranded sales volumes around the state.
This growth occurred when Valero signed an 11-year agreement with Susser Petroleum -- the largest single branded wholesale deal in Valero history in terms of both fuel volumes and number of sites -- to supply fuel and brand programs to more than 300 of Susser's network of 324 retail stores in Texas and Oklahoma. Valero also began branding selected sites from Susser's network of 352 wholesale dealers.
Valero was also named 2006 Convenience Store Chain of the Year by Convenience Store Decisions magazine, a widely read retail industry trade publication.
In December, Valero completed the sale of its ownership interest in Valero GP Holdings LLC, successfully spinning off Valero L.P. and its general partner, Valero GP Holdings. By making the companies independent, both Valero Energy and Valero L.P. were in a good position to continue growing.
Valero Named Best Big Company
For nine consecutive years, Valero ranked as one of Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. The company also earned accolades as one of the nation's Best Big Companies to Work For.
Valero Enters Renewable Fuels Business
In 2009, Valero entered the ethanol business with the purchase of seven ethanol plants from VeraSun Energy Corp. With this purchase, a new subsidiary was formed, Valero Renewable Fuels Company LLC, or Valero Renewables for short. These ethanol plants are in Albert City, Charles City, Fort Dodge and Hartley, Iowa; Welcome, Minn.; Aurora, S.D.; and Albion, Neb. The following year, Valero added three more plants in Bloomingburg, Ohio; Linden, Ind., and Jefferson, Wis.
Valero Enters Western Europe, Continues Strategic Acquisitions
Valero has continued high-value refinery acquisitions to improve opportunities for profitable, long-term growth. In summer 2011, the company marked its entry into the Western European refining market by acquiring the Pembroke Refinery in Wales from Chevron, along with related marketing and logistics operations throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. The refinery is one of Western Europe’s largest and most complex refineries, with a total throughput capacity of 270,000 barrels per day.
In addition to the Pembroke Refinery, Valero also purchased ownership interests in four major pipelines and 11 fuel terminals, and acquired a 14,000-barrel-per-day aviation fuels business, and a network of more than 1,000 Texaco-branded wholesale sites – the largest branded-dealer network in the U.K. and the second-largest in Ireland. This raised Valero’s number of retail and branded wholesale sites to about 6,800.
And in fall 2011, Valero acquired the Meraux Refinery, in Meraux, La., outside New Orleans, from Murphy Oil USA Inc., and related logistics. The Meraux refinery also is a complex plant, with a total throughput capacity of 135,000 barrels per day and significant hydro-processing capacity. Its location with a dock on the Mississippi River only 40 miles away from Valero’s St. Charles Refinery provided for synergies between the two plants. The purchase also included an adjacent product terminal, a 20 percent equity interest in the Collins Product Pipeline and T&M terminal, and a 3.2 percent interest in the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP).
Through acquisitions and rationalization of assets, Valero today has 16 refineries with total throughput capacity of 3 million barrels per day.
Valero Spins Off Retail to CST Brands Inc.
On May 1, 2013, Valero completed the spinoff to its stockholders of its retail business as an independent public company, CST Brands Inc., but continued to supply fuel to CST Brands' retail sites through long-term supply agreements.
With the spinoff, the roughly 1,900 former Valero company-operated retail sites in the U.S. and Canada went to CST Brands, which instantly became one of North America's largest independent retailers of transportation fuels and convenience merchandise. Valero emerged as a focused refiner and wholesale marketer.
Valero remains the world's largest independent petroleum refiner, one of the largest ethanol producers and a major wholesale fuel marketer, with subsidiaries employing approximately 10,500 people.
The company continues to supply fuel to approximately 7,300 independently owned wholesale locations branded as Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon in the U.S. and the Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the U.K. and Ireland.