Through many years of significant socio-economic changes in the Philippines, Petron Corporation has remained a steadfast ally of the Filipino in nation-building. Powering industries, fueling economic growth, uplifting lives—this is the story of Petron.
A Storied History
Petron traces its rich heritage to September 7, 1933 when Socony Vacuum Oil Company of New York and the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey merged to form the Standard Vacuum Oil Company or Stanvac. After suspending operations in World War II, Stanvac promptly resumed its operations in 1945.
In 1957, Stanvac started constructing a refinery in the province of Limay, Bataan to meet the country’s growing fuel needs. At the time of its inauguration in 1961, it had a refining capacity of 25,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The end of Standard Oil and Socony Vacuum’s partnership in 1962 gave birth to Esso Philippines. In 1973, the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) acquired Esso Philippines at the height of the first oil crisis and renamed it Petrophil Corporation.
In February 1988, Petrophil was rechristened Petron Corporation. Amid the most difficult and trying times that the country faced, including the Gulf War of 1991, Petron readily worked hand-in-hand with the national government in ensuring an uninterrupted and reliable supply of petroleum products.
Deregulation and Privatization
The 1990s saw the full deregulation of the local oil industry. In preparation for this, PNOC partnered with the world’s largest crude oil producer, Saudi Aramco, to give Petron a reliable crude supply and access to state-of-the-art refining and marketing technology.
In 1994, PNOC and Saudi Aramco signed a stock purchase agreement that gave Aramco 40% ownership of Petron. In the same year, 20% of PNOC shares were sold in what was dubbed as the “mother of all initial public offerings (IPOs)” in the Philippines.s
The Wave of Change
Privatization spurred many changes in Petron. At the Petron Bataan Refinery (PBR), refining capacity was expanded from 155,000 to 180,000 barrels per day over five years beginning in 1993.
Petron also commissioned several units to produce environment-friendly fuels that go beyond compliance with the Philippine Clean Air Act’s stringent specifications.
In 2000, Petron marked its diversification into the petrochemical business by constructing units that allowed the production of raw materials to make everyday products such as car parts, home appliances, food packaging, and plastic containers among others. Later on, in 2010, Petron acquired a polypropylene plant in Mariveles, Bataan to delve even deeper into the petrochemical business.
To give motorists a one-stop full service experience, Petron partnered with leading fast food chains and consumer-service companies to make its service stations—particularly its mega stations or Petron Express Centers—a travelers’ oasis.
Petron also introduced various automotive fuels that meet the unique requirements of the motoring community, such as Petron XCS, Petron Diesel Max, and Petron Blaze.
Blazing New Trails
In 2009, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) started managing Petron. Having been in the beverage, food, and packaging industries for over 120 years, SMC is one of the biggest global conglomerates in the country today. In recent years, it has diversified into heavy industries such as power, mining, toll ways, and airports.
Petron embarked on a retail network expansion program. It pioneered the micro-filling or bulilit station. The program opened business opportunities for entrepreneurs and broadened Petron’s already extensive reach, especially in the provinces.
Capitalizing on its strength as an oil refiner, Petron formulated revolutionary fuels to meet the daily needs of Filipino motorists such as the improved Petron Blaze 100 (formerly Petron Blaze), which has the highest recorded octane rating in fuels technology history.
At the end of 2010, Petron was conferred with the Gold Trusted Brand Award in the Petrol Station category by Reader’s Digest for the 11th consecutive time the year after.
Building for the Future
In April 2011, Petron Bataan Refinery celebrated its 50th anniversary with the launch of its Expansion Project (RMP-2).
RMP-2 is the company’s biggest and most ambitious project to date. Upon its completion, it will increase PBR’s refining capacity and as a result, further enhance the country’s supply security. It will also make Petron the only oil company that could locally-produce fuels that meet global clean air Euro IV standard and ultimately, one of the most modern integrated oil refining and petrochemical complexes in Asia-Pacific region.
Nearly eighty years later, Petron remains dedicated and passionate about its vision to be the leading provider of total customer solutions in the energy sector and its derivative businesses.