Media Relations and Public Relations at Phillips 66

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Conoco and Phillips 66 announced on November 18, 2001 that their boards of directors had unanimously approved a definitive agreement for a "merger of equals". The merged company, ConocoPhillips, became the third-largest integrated U.S. energy company based on market capitalization and oil and gas reserves and production. On November 11, 2011 ConocoPhillips announced that Phillips 66 would be the name of a new independent oil and gasoline refining and marketing firm, created as ConocoPhillips split into two companies. ConocoPhillips kept the current name of the company and concentrated on oil exploration and production side while Phillips 66 included refining, marketing, midstream, and chemical portions of the company. Photo: Hugh Pickens all rights reserved.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations


Contents

Master Index of Articles about Phillips 66

The 587 foot tall Mammoet PTC 140 crane, seen here from North First Street, towers over the Refinery Complex in Ponca City. The supercrane was used to move two new 232 ton coker reactor units within the refinery on September 29, 2013. Phillips was willing to invest $70 million in the two new coker reactor units because the Ponca City Refinery is one of the best run, safest, and most profitable of Phillips' fifteen worldwide refineries and Garland wants the refinery in Ponca City to continue to run smoothly and profitably. This photograph of the supercrane in Ponca City was taken from almost two miles away from the crane. Photo: Hugh Pickens All Rights Reserved.
Hugh Pickens, an analyst who closely follows Phillips 66, speaks with Phillips CEO Greg Garland (right) about the disposition of the North Tower, South Tower, and Research West at Phillips' Ponca City Refinery after Garland's speech to the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce on August 13, 2014.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations


Public Relations and Media Relations

July 8, 2017: Fake News Story Says Phillips 66 Will Close Bartlesville Research Center

The Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise reported on July 8, 2017 that Phillips 66 found itself in the center a fake news tsunami last week after a bogus story quoted the company’s CEO as saying the Bartlesville research center would be closed and demolished. The fake story looked real at first glance on Facebook. It looked like every other Facebook post. It included a photo, and was posted by channel45news.com. If you clicked on the link, the post takes you to channel45news.com and what appears to be a legitimate news story. The story announced plans to demolish the research center and build a new one in Dallas. “The newly vacant land will be used to research radioactive effects on crops grown for feeding livestock in local markets across Oklahoma and Southern Kansas. The research will provide valuable information on the effects of radioactivity and its effect on livestock used for food. When asked about the destination for the possibly radioactive fed animals the CEO could not at the time comment.”

Phillips 66 issued a statement refuting the hoax. “This story about demolishing the research center is a hoax. Phillips 66 only disseminates news throughout its owned media channels such as our website and social media accounts, and via press release distribution services and statements to legitimate news outlets.”[1]

April 7, 2015: Op-ed in San Fransisco Chronicle Says Phillips Refinery Plan Threatens Rodeo Resident's Safety

An op-ed in the San Fransisco Chronicle by Janet Pygeorge and Laurel Impett on April 7, 2015 asserts that the fracking boom in North Dakota and increased recovery of tar sands oil in Canada have prompted dramatic growth in transport of crude oil by rail throughout the United States from regions that pipelines don’t serve. Bay Area refineries and oil and gas companies already are planning for increased rail traffic and expanded operations. These plans are understandably alarming residents because of the potential for oil-train explosions. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, however, does not share this alarm.[2]

March 6, 2015: Phillips 66 Us Marketing Wins The American Marketing Association Houston Chapter 2014 Marketer Of The Year Award

TESTING Virtual Strategy reported on March 6, 2015 that the Houston Chapter of the American Marketing Association award Phillips 66 the Marketer Of The Year Award for 2014. To address the challenge of B2B customers bypassing their US Fuels sales representatives during initial stages of the buying process, the Phillips 66 US Marketing launched an online business-to-business digital marketing program to assist sales in acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers that included a campaign geared to cross-sell/up-sell Convenience Store Alliance (CSA) to existing customers plus other tactical programs. The campaign increased the number of customers adopting programs from an average of 16 customers per month to 103 and achieved an overall 246% increase in existing customers participating in the CSA program.[3]

December 31, 2014: The Shredder Writes: "There’s a plethora of people eager to tell you all about how Phillips 66 has done so much for the community"

Anonymous columnist "The Shredder" wrote in the New Times on December 31, 2014 that there's "here’s a plethora of people eager to tell you all about how Phillips 66 has done so much for the community, how much Phillips 66 cares about us all, and how very much it would hurt Phillips 66’s feelings if we denied the company its rail spur project. The problem is, Phillips 66 has greased the verbal wheels by giving these people a lot of money, and then turned around and given even more money to a local PR firm to tell the rest of the community just how great Phillips 66 really is. Call me a cynic, but as soon as I know someone’s been paid to say something, they lose credibility in my eyes, and I’m speaking as someone who has never been paid. Maybe they really mean it. But if that were the case, why wouldn’t they say it without being paid?"

The reality is that Phillips 66’s “good neighbor” moments tend to be choreographed, right down to photographs of a smiling spokesperson handing over an enormous check. And that’s OK. That’s what for-profit corporations do. It is not, however, what good neighbors do. I know, because my neighbor is still miffed about the time I offered to pay up front so my dog can freely pop squats in his yard. In fact, a company is not a neighbor at all, regardless of how many times a PR company repeats the term. A corporation is not a human being with human concerns; corporations are motivated by one thing: profit.

While I don’t fault Phillips 66 for behaving like a corporation any more than I fault a wild animal for behaving like a wild animal, I don’t much appreciate the fact that they’re trotting out platitudes about being there for the community in lieu of substantive discussion about the impacts of what they’re proposing. Hiring a company to attempt to wrangle and limit the media while feeding the public a heavily manipulated image of an oil company as Mr. Rogers—if Mr. Rogers was in the habit of doling out enormous checks—is a fairly oily thing to do.[4]

December 23, 2014: Judge Rules That Phillips 66 Policy Prohibiting Santa Maria Refinery Employees from Talking to the Media Violates the Law

David Minsky reports at the Santa Maria Sun that on November 25, 2014 a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge found that Phillips policy of prohibiting Phillips employees at the Santa Maria Refinery from speaking to reporters violated the law. According to case documents, attorneys representing Phillips 66 argued in court that the policy was meant to prohibit employees from speaking on the company’s behalf about any confidential operations. But the judge rejected this argument, saying the policy was ambiguous and violates the law because employees could “reasonably construe” that it would prohibit them from discussing, among other things, labor disputes or conditions of work. Reached by email last week, Phillips 66 spokesperson Dennis H. Nuss said the company is aware of the recent decision, but didn’t make specific comments about the case. However Nuss did write: “Our company’s top priority is the safety of everyone who works at our sites and lives in our neighboring communities. In 2012, Phillips 66 redistributed certain safety-related functions and responsibilities among personnel at the Santa Maria Refinery, and there were no staff reductions. These changes have helped maintain and improve the refinery’s high standards for safety performance.”[5]

January 2, 2013: Gregg Laskoski at US News and World Report is Critical of Lack of Tranparency at Phillips 66

Gregg Laskoski wrote at US News and World Report on January 2, 2013 that after Reuters reported that some 7,700 gallons of fuel spilled from Phillips 66's Bayway refinery in Linden, N.J., after Hurricane Sandy in November, 2012, New Jersey environmental protection officials said they were not made aware of a major spill at the Bayway plant, and the refinery failed to respond to inquiries from Reuters reporters. "Too many times, history has shown us, the Phillips 66 response or lack thereof characterizes the standard practice of the oil industry. Refineries often fail or are slow to communicate problems that create significant disruptions to fuel supplies and spikes in retail gasoline prices. More often than not, scant information is provided reluctantly, if at all," writes Laskoski. "When such things occur is silence from refineries acceptable? Or does our government and the electorate who put them there have a right to know what's really going on? "[6]

November 5, 2012: Motor Trend Journalist Takes Money To Be Spokesperson For Phillip 66

Matt Hardigree reported on Jalopnik on November 5, 2012 that Motor Trend's Jessi Lang is being paid to represent oil company Phillips 66 as a spokesperson who is trying to help influence young people to buy their gas, "something Motor Trend doesn't appear to be telling its readers." Last month a PR firm hired by Phillips 66 reached out to reporters with the results of a survey designed to evaluate the buying habits of "millenials" and offered a quote from Lang, who they identified as a spokesperson and host of Motor Trend's weekly automotive news roundup "Wide Open Throttle" on YouTube. "Taking payment from a potential newsmaker is a generally frowned upon practice, but Lang, and the PR firm representing Phillips 66, say Motor Trend approves of her simultaneously representing an automotive publication and a company that's part of the automotive industry," writes Hardigree who asked Lang if it was proper for her to take money from Phillips 66 and work as a journalist for Motor Trend at the same time. "I get paid by Motor Trend to be a journalist and to help educate others and that doesn't at all call into question my integrity as a writer," said Lang adding that "anyone within a capitalist society" should be compensated for their work. Motor Trend's Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh declined to comment if there is a conflict of interest. "In the case of Lang, Motor Trend, and Phillips 66 it seems they've skipped ahead from trying to woo car writers with free trips to paying them outright," writes Hardigree.[7]

September 6, 2012: Motor Trend's Jessi Lang says Drivers Can Clean Their Engines with Top Tier Gas Like Phillips 66

PR Newswire reported on September 6, 2012 that Jessi Lang, host of Motor Trend's "Wide Open Throttle" and Phillips 66 spokesperson, says that "millennials think they're saving money by seeking out cheaper gas, but what they don't realize is that the unbranded gasoline they're buying actually can cost them money in the long run by compromising their fuel economy and causing build-up in their engine. "By using branded TOP TIER gas like Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco, these drivers can clean up their engines and accrue significant savings over time -- especially now that these brands have had the detergent additive treat rate increased by more than 25 percent in all fuel grades."[8]

References



Master Index of Articles about Phillips 66

The North Tower and the South Tower, part of Phillips 66's Refinery Complex in Ponca City, contain over 250,000 square feet of Class A office space that is essentially unused. Research West contains another 230,000 square feet of unused Class A office space. Photo: Hugh Pickens
Ponca: A Core Asset. Phillips CEO Greg Garland told members of the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce on August 27, 2013 that the refinery at Ponca is a 'core asset' of Phillips 66. The refinery in Ponca City "is making very good money for us," Garland told his Bartlesville audience. Garland added that he expects gas demands in the U.S. to decline by 20 percent in the next 10 years, but that demand for refined products in South America and Africa will more than offset that decline.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations

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