Tesoro will change name to Andeavor after Western Refining acquisition

Editor’s note: This story has been changed to correct Tesoro’s use of the former Flint Hills refinery in North Pole. The company leased terminal space at the Flint Hills North Pole refinery after it was converted into a storage facility in 2014 and continues to use the tank farm there, though Flint Hills demolished the refinery itself in December 2016. 

Tesoro Corporation — the San Antonio, Texas-based company that owns a large petroleum refinery in Nikiski — will change its name to Andeavor after acquiring the oil refiner and marketer Western Refining in a $4.1 billion deal that closed June 1.

The name change will be made August 1.

Though the acquisition will double the Tesoro’s current nationwide workforce to 13,000 employees, the 225 employees of the Nikiski refinery won’t be seeing any operational changes, said Tesoro Government and Public Affairs Manager Kate Blair.

Nationwide, Andeavor will have 10 refineries, located in Alaska, California, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington, with the total capacity to refine 1.1 million barrels of oil per day. The Nikiski refinery, built in 1969, has a capacity of about 72,000 barrels per day, Blair said.

Tesoro’s infrastructure-owning subsidiary Tesoro Logistics will also become Andeavor Logistics, but the Tesoro name will remain attached to the company’s chain of local gas stations.

“You won’t see Andeavor at a gas station or convenience store, because we’ll continue our successful multi-brand retail strategy,” wrote Tesoro CEO Geoff Goff in a statement on Andeavor’s website. Following the acquisition, Andeavor will own more than 3,000 nationwide gas station and convenience store locations, according to its website FAQ. Though supplied by Tesoro and branded with its name, the local gas stations are run by a company called Anabi, Blair said, and represent one of the many brands under which Tesoro sells gasoline nation-wide.

“The name change and logo change and identity change are a corporate change,” Blair said. “We currently market fuel under many different brands across the United States — Arco, Shell, Exxon, and Mobil. So we will continue to sell under the Tesoro brand.”

The word “Tesoro” is Spanish for “treasure,” while “Andeavor” is described as “a custom-created word” in the online FAQ. Blair said it is meant to resemble “endeavor” and convey a dynamic impression of the company. She referred to the expansions in Alaska that she said “have grown up around” the Nikiski refinery: since 2014 Tesoro has since acquired much of the state’s fuel importing infrastructure, including fuel terminals in the Fairbanks airport and the port of Anchorage, previously owned by competitor Flint Hills, which closed its refinery in North Pole in 2014. In June 2016 the Alaska Attorney General’s office announced it had reached an agreement with Tesoro requiring the company to sell the smallest of its three Port of Anchorage terminals, preventing a situation in which Tesoro’s ownership of import infrastructure would “impair competition in markets for some fuel products, including gasoline,” according to a press release announcing the agreement.

On May 2, 2017 the Attorney General’s office announced that the 220,000 barrel-capacity terminal would be sold to Tesoro competitor PetroStar, a subsidiary of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation that specializes in producing diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil — rather than commercial gasoline — at its two refineries in North Pole and Valdez, according to an Arctic Slope Regional Corporation announcement of the sale.

Reach Ben Boettger at benjamin.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

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