A message from Alabama’s Petroleum Marketing Industry
Members of the Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama are probably most known for their retail convenience store locations. Say names like Circle-K, MAPCO and yes, even Buc-ee’s, and most everyone in Alabama knows the industry you’re talking about. What many don’t know is that Alabama’s wholesale petroleum marketers, commonly referred to in the industry as “jobbers,” provide vital products far and beyond the retail gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel.
According to Wikipedia:
A jobber, or petroleum marketer, is a person or company that purchases quantities of refined fuel from refining companies (e.g., Chevron, Exxon, Shell), either for sale to retailers (e.g., convenience stores/gas stations), or to sell directly to the users of those products (e.g., home heating oil to homeowners, lubricating oils to industrial operations or repair shops jet fuel to FBO’s etc.). In essence, the jobber acts as the “middleman” between the company that refines the petroleum products and those that use them or market them at retail prices. The jobber often owns the gasoline being sold, and the station it is being sold to, but allows an operator to lease the store
Spanning more than 225 companies, P&CMA’s membership accounts for more than 80% of the sales of petroleum products statewide, with some members having nothing to do with retail convenience stores. In addition to wholesale gasoline and diesel fuel, these companies offer products including lubricating oils, hydraulic fluids, specialty greases and antifreezes.
Wholesale customers include governmental entities like police and fire departments, as well as school systems, but wholesale petroleum customers also span a variety of other industries. Alabama industries, where specialty lubricants designed to ensure equipment runs efficiently and is properly maintained, include behemoth drag lines at surface mines; massive production lines at steel and iron manufacturers; armadas of equipment at building and highway construction sites; aviation and jet fuels at airports as well as gasoline and diesel for their vehicle fleets; farming, where diesel fuel and lubricants are necessities; timber and forest products harvesting; and an endless list of other situations, all of which are dependent on fuels and petroleum-based products.
More recently, there has been tremendous growth in the automobile manufacturing industry in Alabama. Along with these production plants comes a huge need for specialty lubricants and hydraulic fluids as well as greases and oils of various kinds. There’s even one P&CMA member who supplies one of the industry’s most unusual products, a lubricant for the railroad industry that is applied to curves in the tracks. This special grease saves railroads money in diesel fuel and wear and tear on rails and wheels. It’s a very narrow niche, but this particular member supplies the product from St. Louis to Massachusetts and Miami to New Orleans.
Despite what you may be hearing, petroleum and petroleum-based products continue to be a primary, and much needed, part of Alabama (and America’s) economy.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), this is a list of petroleum products and their share of total US petroleum consumption.
- Gasoline 46%
- Heating Oil / Diesel Fuel 20%
- Jet Fuel (kerosene) 8%
- Propane / Propylene 7%
- NGL / LRG 6%
- Still Gas 4%
- Petrochemical Feedstocks 2%
- Petroleum Coke 2%
- Residual / Heavy Fuel Oil 2%
- Asphalt / Road Oil 2%
- Lubricants 1%
A recent nationwide online survey revealed that 72 percent of the American public does not know that conventional plastic is made from petroleum products, primarily oil. While some may assume this is common knowledge, apparently, it falls into the useless trivia category in most people’s brains. Here are some additional products that are made, at least in part, by petroleum-based components:
- Clothing Fibers
- Golf Bags and Golf Balls
- Roofing Materials
- Heart Valves
- Carpet Fibers
Petroleum and petroleum-based products both “fuel” and “move” Alabama’s economic engine. The Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama are proud to supply these products and will continue “Fueling Alabama” for years to come.
See the map of stores in your district here: