Hess Quits Retail Gas Business
The NJ-based oil business will shed 1,350 gas stations, many of which operate in New Jersey and 17 other Eastern states
Hess gas stations that pepper main highway corridors in Monmouth County will be shuttered as the parent company moves to close more than 1,300 retail gas stations throughout the east.
Hess Corporation said Monday in a letter to shareholders at their annual meeting that it was divesting itself of its retail gasoline and convenience store operations in an effort to restructure the company and improve its balance sheet.
The move will affect 1,350 gas stations — many owned by Hess itself — that operate in 18 states on the Eastern Seaboard, including several in the area in West Long Branch and Middletown as well as other local towns. The gas stations serve as many as 1.3 million customers a day.
Hess representatives did not say when they would begin either closing or selling off their gas stations, although a press release accompanying the news said that the gas stations closure, along with other moves to improve the company's bottom line, would be instituted between now and 2014.
"Our long-standing commitment to deliver secure supply, competitive prices, and industry-leading service to our customers is part of our brand and will not change. Operated by great people, our businesses are strong, profitable and will be well situated for the future," the release said.
The move is part of Hess' multi-year effort transform itself into an oil "exploration and production" firm, the release said.
The changes began in January, when Hess announced it would be permanently shutting its oil refineries, including the one located in Woodbridge.
Hess representatives said the company was leaving the gasoline refining business because of weak demand and the cost of complying with EPA regulations. It was closed last month.