Named for the mission San Antonio de Valero – the original name of the Alamo – Valero Energy Corporation was created on Jan. 1, 1980, as the corporate successor of LoVaca Gathering Company, a subsidiary of the Coastal States Gas Corporation. Valero is the direct result of a $1.6 billion settlement approved unanimously in 1978 by the Texas Railroad Commission, the state's natural gas regulatory agency, which ended more than six years of litigation brought against Coastal by its municipal gas customers.
Valero's natural-gas transportation business diversified in the mid-1980s when the company purchased a 50 percent interest in a Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery owned by Saber Energy. The operation began as nothing more than a vacuum unit and crude unit on a humble plot of land near the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. But in the years that followed, Valero assembled its "Refinery of the Future," and through its subsidiaries added more refineries starting in 1997, with 15 plants today. Through these acquisitions, the company also branched into retail and wholesale markets, and today supplies independently owned wholesale outlets carrying the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon brands in the United States; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Today, Valero proudly has a workforce of about 10,000 employees and a refining throughput capacity of approximately 3 million barrels per day, making it the world's largest independent refiner -- tops among refiners that don't also drill for oil. The company ranks No. 32 on the current Fortune 500 list, and is still based in its hometown of San Antonio. Valero is also a leading ethanol producer with 11 ethanol plants in the Midwest and a combined production capacity of 1.4 billion gallons per year. Valero also operates a 33-turbine wind farm near its McKee refinery in Sunray, Texas.
Valero maintains a strong commitment to safety and stands as one of the most recognized refiners within the federal OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The company demonstrates its commitment to excellence in occupational safety and process safety through an intensive, detailed Commitment to Excellence Management System. And it continues to be recognized among the world's top refining and marketing companies, and among the nation's best employers.
In the community, Valero is proud of its legacy of support and positive outreach through an international network of Volunteer Councils. Valero Volunteers proudly dedicate more than 136,000 volunteer hours to community outreach annually. Special missions on behalf of the United Way, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Wounded Warriors and countless children's charities are a source of pride and motivation for every Valero employee. Valero, its employees and its philanthropic organization – the Valero Energy Foundation – annually generate more than $40 million to support worthy charities or causes, through direct donations or fundraising, to improve the lives of those living in communities near Valero operations.
Valero proudly carries its legacy of strength and stability in the refining industry and into each community touched by its operations. Through the years, the company has amassed a family of employees from virtually every corner of the energy business. Their expertise and dedication continue to make Valero a competitive partner in the global energy industry.
Scroll below for a look at Valero through the years.
On Jan. 1, 1980, Valero is born as the corporate successor of LoVaca Gathering Co., a natural-gas gathering subsidiary of the Coastal States Gas Corp.
The original Saber crude unit was developed into a sprawling, modern refinery complex in Corpus Christi.
Valero merged its natural-gas-related services with PG&E Corp. and spins off its refining and marketing operations as a new company retaining the Valero name.
Valero acquired Basis Petroleum Inc. in 1997, making it the largest independent refining and marketing company on the Gulf Coast.
Valero acquired the Benicia refinery, one of the most complex refineries in the nation, and also gets a 270-store retail distribution chain and 80 company-operated sites.
Valero accelerated its expansion with purchases of a 115,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Corpus Christi (which became the Bill Greehey Refineries East Plant), two asphalt refineries on the West Coast, and then its largest transaction, the purchase of Ultramar Diamond Shamrock in 2001.
Valero acquired Orion Refining Corp.'s St. Charles Refinery in Norco, La., outside New Orleans, in 2003.
Valero's international reach expanded in 2004 with the purchase of El Paso Corp.'s 315,000-barrel-per-day refinery on the Caribbean Island of Aruba.
In 2005, Valero became the largest independent North American refiner with the acquisition of Premcor Inc. and its four refineries.
Valero spun off Valero L.P. and its general partner, Valero GP Holdings in 2006, creating the independent company NuStar.
In 2009, Valero entered the ethanol business. Today, Valero Renewables is one of the nation's largest ethanol producers.
In 2011, Valero acquired the Pembroke refinery in Wales, along with related marketing and logistics operations throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as the Meraux refinery outside New Orleans.
Valero spun off its retail business as an independent public company, CST Brands Inc., in 2013.
In December of that year, Valero formed Valero Energy Partners LP as a fee-based master limited partnership to own, operate, develop and acquire crude oil and refined products pipelines, terminals and other transportation and logistics assets. Through subsidiaries, Valero owns the general partner of the partnership, which is integral to operations of 10 of Valero's refineries.