As turmoil in the Middle East endures, and as gas prices linger just below the $4-a-gallon mark, one U.S. oil company is offering a rather ambitious guarantee: "There is no Mideast oil in our products." The United Refining Company, based out of Warren, Pennsylvania, pledges that 100 percent of the gas it sells is refined from North American crude — meaning, the oil comes only from the U.S. and Canada.
"We think Americans feel good about it," says John Catsimatidis, CEO and chairman of the United Refining Company. "People drive by, and every time they get annoyed at... (Hugo) Chavez, every time they get annoyed at BP Petroleum, every time they get annoyed at the Middle East, you know what they say? ‘Why don't I buy American oil and buy American-made gasoline?’ "
The gasoline is sold at more than 300 stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York under the Keystone, Country Fair, and Kwik Fill brand names. The company, which brands its products as "American Made Gasoline Driving America!," pumps out approximately 70,000 barrels of oil per day through its facilities in Warren, Pennsylvania, one of the destinations that a 35-year-old Canadian pipeline runs through.
United Refining Company has enjoyed groundbreaking profits since it launched its "Made in America" marketing campaign, which heavily advertises its no-Mideast-oil guarantee. Television commercials tout the benefit, Kwik Fill stations have "Driving America" signs strung across their stores, and the slogan is even branded on some of the gas pumps. The Kwik Fill website highlights the company’s "buy American" approach:
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