United Refining Company can trace its beginnings back to 1902 when nine other oil refineries operated in the Warren, Pennsylvania area. The company was organized by a small group of businessmen who wanted to provide a new source of lubricating oils. A year later, increasing business made it prudent to install stills and other equipment to process crude oil from local wells. In the years that followed, United continued to expand its refinery, transportation and marketing network to its present form. Following is a list of the most significant corporate activities from the beginning days to the present era:
  • In 1912, United participated in a pipeline project that linked Warren with the producing areas of West Virginia to assure crude supply for the refinery.
  • In 1923, United sold its interest in the West Virginia Pipeline Company and purchased two lines extending from Warren to Bradford, Pennsylvania. A purchasing office and field organization were established in Bradford and construction of gathering lines was begun.
  • In 1929, United formed the Emblem Oil Company for the retail marketing of gasoline and other petroleum products in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York under the “Keystone” brand name.
  • In 1940, United’s capacity increased to 4,500 barrels of Penn crude oil per day.
  • In 1953, a catalytic reforming plant was installed to produce high octane gasoline.
  • In 1960, United entered the retail gasoline market with the purchase of seven stations in Rochester, New York and nine stations in western Pennsylvania.
  • In 1966, United purchased 60 Skat retail gas stations.
  • In 1969, United went “public” and in 1972 met the qualifications for listing on the New York Stock Exchange where it was a member of the Fortune 500 group of industrial companies in 1974 and 1975.
  • In 1971, United constructed and placed into operation a 78-mile 12-inch crude oil pipeline that connected the Warren Refinery with a common carrier pipeline system at a terminal in West Seneca, New York. The Rochester, New York terminal was also acquired at this time.
  • In 1981, United was purchased by Coral Petroleum of Houston, Texas and was taken “private”. After modifications to the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit, the refinery reached capacity of 65,000 barrels per day.
  • In 1983, United acquired 83 Ashland Oil retail stations.
  • In 1986, United was purchased by John A. Catsimatidis.
  • In 1989, the isomerization unit was constructed and 26 Stop & Go retail stations were purchased.
  • In 1991, 26 Busy Bee stations and the Springdale Terminal were purchased.
  • In 1992, United purchased a former refinery from Ashland Oil, Inc. in Tonawanda, New York and converted it to a products terminal.
  • In 1993, a new distillate hydrotreater was built to meet low sulfur diesel requirements.
  • In 1995, a prefractionator tower was built to produce reformulated gasoline.
  • In 1997, United returned to the public markets with a $200 million bond offering.
  • In 2001, United acquired the stock of Country Fair Incorporated with its 74 retail gasoline/convenience stores.

Today, United employs over 4,000 people and is the leading integrated refiner and marketer of petroleum products in its primary market area, which encompasses western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. United owns and operates a medium complexity 70,000 barrel per day petroleum refinery in Warren, Pennsylvania where it produces three primary petroleum products: gasoline, distillates and asphalts.