Gulf Oil bridges the gap between petroleum producers and retail sales outlets. The petroleum wholesaler distributes gasoline and diesel fuel to more than 2,500 Gulf-brand stations in 23 northeastern and southeastern states. Gulf Oil owns 12 storage terminals and operates a network of more than 50 other terminals. It also distributes motor oils, lubricants, and heating oil to commercial, industrial, and utility customers. The company has alliances with terminal operators in areas where it does not have a proprietary terminal. Gulf Oil boasts one of the oldest and most recognizable brands in the oil business. Regional convenience store chain and gas retailer Cumberland Farms controls the company.
In order to stay competitive, Gulf Oil is revamping its brand, including redoing its signage at its gas stations and adding extra facilities such as Gulf Express convenience stores. In 2009 Gulf Oil introduced the Wave brand of gas stations, allowing gas stations that do not meet site requirements for Gulf Oil's brand upgrade to function as value brand locations. The company is also growing its Gulf Oil brand by getting Exxon-branded gas stations it owns along the Massachusetts Turnpike and elsewhere in New England to convert to the Gulf Oil brand.
Once limited to only marketing in 11 northeastern states, in 2010 it acquired the rights from Chevron to market the Gulf brand across the US. As part of this push, through a branded partnership agreement with Mountain Express Oil, the company reentered the Georgia market for the first time in 20 years. Likewise, it reentered the Kentucky market through an agreement with Southern Petroleum. During the year the company expanded into 12 new states and rebranded more than 400 gas stations.
Gulf Oil works closely with parent/partner Cumberland Farms. It allows Cumberland Farms the right to license Gulf trademarks in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, most of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and in New England. Gulf Oil CEO Joseph Petrowski was appointed as Cumberland Farms CEO in 2008.
Gulf Oil also supplies petroleum products, risk management and other financial services to retail firms through Great Island Energy, and offers biodiesel through World Energy, the largest distributor of biodiesel in the US.
Gulf Oil traces its roots to the famous 1901 oil discovery in Spindletop, Texas. At one time one of the largest integrated oil concerns in the world, Gulf Oil Corporation restructured into seven operating companies in the 1970s, the bulk of which were acquired by Chevron in 1984.