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Pennzoil



  Pennzoil is an oil company originally founded in Oil City, Pennsylvania. In 1963, South Penn Oil merged with Zapata Petroleum to become Pennzoil. During the 1970s, the company moved its offices to Houston, Texas. It was then headquartered in Pennzoil Place, a recognizable skyscraper designed by the civil engineer Jack Boyd Buckley of Houston. In 1998, the company merged with onetime rival Quaker State to form Pennzoil-Quaker State. In 2002, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group purchased Pennzoil-Quaker State to form SOPUS--Shell Oil Products US. Both Pennzoil and Quaker State are now marketed together as a result.

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Contents

Products

The following are products offered from Pennzoil:

  • Motor Oils - Pennzoil motor oils is effectively the mainstay of the Pennzoil brand name. As of FY 2005 Pennzoil was the number one selling motor oil. Chief rivals include Castrol, Valvoline, and Havoline.
  • Jiffy Lube - The company's oil change shop, which it operates as part of their corporate tree, and separate franchises.
  • Gasoline - Pennzoil sells gasoline to motorists, mostly in western Pennsylvania. See more in the description below.

Gasoline

Though not much emphasis has ever been placed on gasoline, Pennzoil does sell gas. In the early parts of the company's history, the gas stations were branded as "Pennzip", though they were later changed to "Pennzoil". For decades, Pennzoil gas stations were mostly marketed in western Pennsylvania, western New York, northern and eastern Ohio, and northern West Virginia.

In the 1990's, Pennzoil gas did have somewhat of a revival when Pittsburgh area convenience store chain Cogo's began cobranding themselves with Pennzoil. The cobranding only lasted a few years, and Cogo's switched brands to BP and Exxon in 2001.

After Shell's purchase of Pennzoil, there was the possibility that the remaining Pennzoil stations--mostly in western PA--would be converted to Shell as part of the company's aggressive movement to expand nationally. This hasn't happened, but all company-owned Pennzoil gas stations with convenience stores (mostly located in the New Castle, Pennsylvania area) began cobranding themselves with 7-Eleven in 2003, with more emphasis placed on the 7-Eleven brand name than Pennzoil itself.

Controversy

Controversy arose in November 2003 following an investigation by NBC when it was discovered via the use of hidden camera that certain Jiffy Lube service stations were charging motorists for work they had in fact not performed.

Pennzoil vs. Texaco

In 1984, Pennzoil made an informal, yet still binding, contract with the Getty Oil company to purchase the company. The deal, however, was encroached upon by the Texaco oil company when it instead attempted to acquire Getty. In a landmark lawsuit presided over by Judge Solomon (Sol) Casseb of San Antonio, Pennzoil, represented by a legal team including Joe Jamail and Baine Kerr, won $10.53 billion from Texaco. (The case was appealed, and the decision of the trial court was upheld on condition that Pennzoil file a remittitur agreeing to a reduction of punitive damages from $3 billion, to $1 billion, while the compensatory damages of $7.53 billon remained unaffected) Pennzoil paid Mr. Jamail $335 million and Mr. Kerr $10 million for the victory.

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pennzoil". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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