Sunoco Lp  (SUN)
Other Ticker:  
    Sector  Energy    Industry Oil Refineries
   Industry Oil Refineries
   Sector  Energy

Sunoco Lp

Business Description

The Company, through its subsidiaries, is principally a petroleum refiner and marketer and chemicals manufacturer with interests in logistics and cokemaking. Sunoco’s petroleum refining and marketing operations include the manufacturing and marketing of a full range of petroleum products, including fuels, lubricants and some petrochemicals. Sunoco’s chemical operations comprise the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of commodity and intermediate petrochemicals. The petroleum refining and marketing, chemicals and logistics operations are conducted principally in the eastern half of the United States. Sunoco’s cokemaking operations are conducted in Virginia and Indiana.

The Company’s operations are organized into five business segments (Refining and Supply, Retail Marketing, Chemicals, Logistics and Coke) plus a holding company and a shared services organization. Sunoco, Inc., the holding company, is a non-operating parent company. It includes certain corporate officers and their staffs. The shared services organization consists of a number of staff functions, including: communications; engineering services; transaction processing; systems operations and information technology planning; legal; insurance; health, environment and safety; human resources; public affairs; and procurement and facilities management. Costs incurred by the shared services organization to provide these services are allocated to the five business segments and the holding company.

Sales made by the Chemicals business were distributed through the following channels:

Phenol and Related Products—Long-term phenol contract sales to Honeywell are used in nylon production. Other phenol contract sales are to large manufacturers of resins and adhesives primarily for use in building products. Large contract sales of acetone are to major customers who manufacture polymers. Other sales of acetone are made to individually smaller customers for use in inks, paints, varnishes and adhesives. Bisphenol-A, manufactured from phenol and acetone, is sold to manufacturers of epoxy resins and polycarbonates;

Polypropylene—Sales are made to a diverse group of customers for use in fibers, carpeting, packaging, automotive, furniture and other end products;

Refinery-grade Propylene—Refinery-grade propylene is sold to the Epsilon joint venture for its use in the production of polypropylene; and


In all of its operations, Sunoco is subject to competition, both from companies in the industries in which it operates and from products of companies in other industries.

The refining and marketing business is very competitive. Sunoco competes with a number of other domestic refiners and marketers in the northeastern United States and U.S. Gulf Coast, with foreign refiners who import products into the United States and with producers and marketers in other industries supplying other forms of energy and fuels to consumers. While the number of Sunoco’s competitors has decreased due to consolidation in the refining and marketing industry, the competitiveness in the marketplace has not declined.

Profitability in the refining and marketing industry depends largely on refined product margins, which can fluctuate significantly, as well as operating efficiency, product mix, and costs of product distribution and transportation. Certain of Sunoco’s competitors that have larger and more complex refineries may be able to realize lower per barrel costs or higher margins per barrel of throughput. Several of Sunoco’s principal competitors are integrated national or international oil companies that are larger and have substantially greater resources than Sunoco. Because of their integrated operations and larger capitalization, these companies may be more flexible in responding to volatile industry or market conditions, such as shortages of feedstocks or intense price fluctuations. Refining margins are frequently impacted by sharp changes in crude oil costs, which may not be immediately reflected in product prices.

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