Company History

Valero Arrives

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 wholesale markets, and today supplies independently owned wholesale outlets carrying its brands in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Mexico.

Today, Valero proudly has a workforce of about 10,000 employees and a refining throughput capacity of approximately 3.2 million barrels per day, making it the largest global independent petroleum refiner -- tops among refiners not engaged in oil exploration. The company ranks No. 32 on the current Fortune 500 list, and is still based in its hometown of San Antonio. Valero also is North America's largest renewable fuels producer, with its Diamond Green Diesel joint venture producing renewable diesel fuel from recycled animal fats, used cooking oil and inedible corn oil, and 14 ethanol plants in the U.S. Midwest with a combined production capacity of 1.73 billion gallons per year.

Valero maintains a strong commitment to safety, and has the most refineries approved as federal OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Sites, the agency's highest plant safety designation. 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 approximately 150,000 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 organizations annually generate more than $64 million to support charities through direct or in-kind donations, fundraising, pledges and value of volunteer hours 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 was 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, Texas.

Valero merged its natural-gas-related services with PG&E Corp. and spun 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, as well as 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 and its six refineries in 2001.

Valero acquired Orion Refining Corp.'s St. Charles Refinery in Norco, Louisiana, outside New Orleans, in 2003.

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 is the world's second-largest corn ethanol producer.


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 in 2013, but continued as a major wholesale supplier, with approximately 7,000 outlets carrying Valero's family of brands, including Valero, Beacon, Diamond Shamrock and Shamrock in the U.S.; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the U.K. and Ireland.

Also in 2013, Valero began producing sustainable renewable diesel fuel in its Diamond Green Diesel joint venture with Darling Ingredients Inc., at a plant adjacent to its St. Charles refinery, and today produces 275 million gallons per year.

In spring 2018, Valero established a growth platform in Latin America with the acquisition of Pure Biofuels del Peru S.A.C. (PBF) from Pegasus Capital Advisors LP, PBF management and its minority shareholders. The transaction included refined products terminals in Callao, near Lima, and in Paita, near Piura in northern Peru, and a leading supply platform with a diverse group of customers, including retailers, miners and airlines.

Valero expanded product supply into high-growth markets of Mexico, supplying gasoline and diesel fuel from Texas refineries and entering into long-term agreements with seven fuel-storage terminals in key markets of the country.


The first of dozens of Valero-branded gas stations in Mexico opened in 2020.