Hess plans to drop gas stations

By Kelly McCarthy

March 5, 2013 Updated Mar 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A popular gas station will soon sell its pumps and redirect its focus. Hess Corporation announced Monday a change in its business plans.

Hess gas stations will shed their familiar green and white signs. The corporation says it's going to focus more on oil and gas exploration and production.

It plans to sell more than 1,300 stations in 16 states so they could be a pure exploration and production company.

The changes come after a major Hess shareholder accused the board of poor oversight. Hess is a public corporation and could be refocusing its business on behalf of its shareholders.

Joe Mirabito, CEO of Mirabito Energy Products, which serves New York and Pennsylvania, says he doesn't see the change in direction as a sign of struggle.

"I don't see it as a point of struggle, I mean Hess is a good, well-run company," Mirabito said. "Every business at some point tries to refocus and that's what Hess is doing here, they're trying to refocus on behalf of their shareholders."

Mirabito adds it's a smart business move for the company and he doesn't expect there to be a noticeable change in gas prices locally.

"I don't think you're going to feel anything here locally because someone is going to take those assets and operate them," Mirabito said. "Now, the question is will they operate them as well as Hess has, or not as good, or better? I mean that's really the issue at hand."

Mirabito says if Hess decides to sell their gas stations it could present some opportunities for his company and other regional corporations like it. The opportunities could be anything from bringing in new ownership to job creation for local developers.

There is at least one company staple that will not change.

Since the 1960s, Hess Corporation is known for offering toy trucks every holiday season.

According to the Hess Toy Truck Facebook fan page: "The Hess Toy Truck program, which has been in tradition for 48 years, will continue."

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