ConocoPhillips Limited has now officially changed its name to Phillips 66 Limited, following the company’s global repositioning of its upstream and downstream operations to create two independently-operated companies, which took place on May 1.

As a result of the repositioning, Phillips 66 Limited, a subsidiary of Houston, Texas-based Phillips 66, is focused on downstream refining, marketing operations and trading in the UK.

Despite the change in name, the company will continue to market its fuel brand in the UK as Jet.

"Although the name Phillips 66 Limited may be new to many in the UK sector, Phillips 66 already has a rich heritage in many countries across the world. This, combined with the assets we already have in place and the unrivalled expertise and knowledge of our people, ensures we are launching from a position of strength that few in the marketplace can match," says Pete George, a long-serving and well-respected member of the former ConocoPhillips team, who was on the brink of retirement before being tempted back to take on the role of manager, UK and Ireland Marketing. The opportunity came up when his predecessor Stefan Wulkan decided to leave the company: "I didn’t have to do it I was happy to retire but the idea of the new organisation, the structure we’ve got, Phillips 66, the people we’ve selected in the roles, was exciting."

Since the announcement about the ConocoPhillips restructure last October, George confirms it had taken a lot of work to split the company in two. He says when the split happened on May 1, all the systems were switched off for 24 hours, and everyone held their breath, similar to the eve of the new millennium: "Then it was switched back on again, right on schedule, and it all worked! It was very impressive. It would have been seamless for our customers," he stresses.

"We’ve been working since that time to make sure everything is bedded in before we beat the drum about Phillips 66 and that’s what we intend to do now.

"But even on day one, we rank as one of the largest and best-performing players in the UK industry, boasting an enviable customer base and an impressive portfolio of business divisions, including consumer-facing marketing and our world-class Humber Refinery."

He said a key part of Phillips 66’s global refinery portfolio the Humber Refinery is one of the most advanced in the world. Since its construction in the early ’60s, it has been the focus of hundreds of millions of pounds worth of near-continuous investment in its facilities.

With a daily crude oil processing capacity of 221,000 barrels, it produces a range of light products and fuel oil, from low sulphur petrol and diesel to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), as well as marine and aviation fuels. Around 70% of the light oils produced in the refinery are marketed in the UK, while the other products are exported to customers and markets across Europe and the US.

Phillips 66 Limited has a diverse range of customers spanning a number of sectors, including resellers and supermarkets, as well as Jet’s 350-strong network of independently operated forecourts. Aviation and marine will continue to be key markets for the business in the UK.

"The autonomy we will enjoy as Phillips 66 Limited will give us greater focus and flexibility to anticipate and respond to the demands of the marketplace. We are excited for the future and ready to meet the needs of our customer base," confirms George.

The company has already split its operations to cater for customers on a national and regional basis following a strategy review which showed a lot of consolidation both in the wholesale and retail sectors: "One segment of the business has big customers with national operations who have their own resources such as safety officers and so on; while at the other end we have the smaller dealer who doesn’t have those resources.

"So all the national customers are dealt with from our head office in Warwick; whereas the regional operators have a territory manager whose job it is to look after all those customers in that geographic region, who are not national smaller resellers, distributors and retailers.

"The bigger groups are obviously looking for product supply, price, and opportunistic volumes. But they don’t need things like the HSE and the brand support, because they’ve got their own people doing that.

"We’ve also set up at Warwick what I would call the back office where if one of the front-end sales guys is not available, there’s an automatic back-up in here. That means people aren’t chasing around trying to get hold of someone. The phone should automatically redirect to someone here from any of our customers/dealers.

"We believe the consolidation in the marketplace will continue, so we’ve set this organisation up for the next three or four years ready to accommodate that. Our number-one priority at Phillips 66 is operational excellence."