Pettit Oil with Peninsula facilities files for bankruptcy protection; customers likely not affected

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

A Lakewood-based petroleum distributor seeking bankruptcy reorganization will likely not affect the company's ability to supply its customers and distribution centers, which include facilities in Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Forks, the company's lawyer said Tuesday.

“We've had no interruptions in supply, and we don't anticipate we're going to have them,” said Brian Budsberg, the Olympia-based bankruptcy attorney representing Pettit Oil Co. Inc.

Pierce County-based Pettit, which serves more than 10,000 customers across the state, reported assets of about $18.7 million and liabilities of roughly $22.5 million, according to a Nov. 25 petition filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tacoma.

The company has been in business for more than 75 years and has distribution centers in Bremerton, Everett, Forks, Hoquiam, Lakewood and Port Angeles, according to the website.

It also has a fueling station in Port Townsend.

Pettit distributes heating oil across 12 counties, including Clallam and Jefferson, and supplies Chevron, Shell and Phillips 66 fuels and lubricants to the marine, commercial and automotive industries.

The petition lists Pettit's largest secured creditors as KeyBank and U.S. Bank, which are owed roughly $11.3 million and $8.8 million, respectively.

Budsberg said the total number of listed creditors is “a lot,” though many are listed only as parties of interest because they could have a potential claim against the company.

“We've listed over 2,000 potential parties of interest,” Budsberg said.

“A huge percentage of them don't have any claims, but the system requires we list them.”

The bankruptcy petition lists Pettit as “current with its suppliers, taxes and payroll.”

Budsberg said his and his client's next step is a court hearing Thursday to present additional information to the judge on how the company will work with its major creditors to continue funding operations in the near future.

“We're working it out and expect to have an agreement to present to the court,” Budsberg said.

In 2012, Pettit transported more than 96 million gallons of petroleum products and collected revenues of roughly $319.1 million, according to the bankruptcy filing.

Pettit employs about 200 people and was listed as the state's 33rd-largest private company by the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2011, according to the company's website.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 03. 2013 7:41PM
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