In 1934, Richardson Ayres founded the company when he purchased a small Mobil jobber’s operation in Alexandria, Louisiana. At the time of purchase, the business was doing approximately 200,000 gallons per year average sales in diesel fuel and gasoline. By 1948, the enterprise was moving 5 million gallons yearly. However, that year Mobil changed it’s mode of operation. In 1949, Richardson Ayres contracted with Skelly Oil Company of Oklahoma while expanding the company.
In 1952, J.R. Ayres, the son of Richardson Ayres, having graduated Georgia Tech with a degree in Engineering, joined the firm. The company continued to expand and on January 2, 1962, the company was incorporated. In the following years, expansion continued with franchises such as Gulf Oil, Getty Oil, Continental Oil and American Oil being added.
Steve Ayres, Son of J.R. Ayres, and a graduate of Louisiana Tech, joined the corporation in 1975. A survey was made of the future profitability of the retailing of motor fuels and the feasibility of remaining a jobber, and in 1984 the corporation sold the gasoline marketing division. At this time, the company was selling over 100 million gallons of fuel per year and was the largest jobber in Louisiana.
A need was realized to service the retail fuel industry by installing and repairing fueling equipment and the need to provide services to meet the new governmental environmental remediation and compliance laws. Petron developed divisions consisting of the following:
• Petroleum Equipment Sales
• Petroleum Equipment Maintenance
• Installation and Removal of Fueling Equipment
• Installation and Removal of Fuel Tanks
• Environmental Soil I Water Testing and Remediation
• Real Estate
Petroleum Equipment Sales and Service offers a full-time service of providing, installing and maintenance of retail petroleum fueling equipment. The Corporation has for several years been a member of Gilbarco’s, the leading fueling dispensing vendor in the world, Multi-Million Dollar Club. This honor is given to companies with over a million dollar in sales. The parts department ships merchandise all over the United States. The Maintenance Department does repair and installation not only in Louisiana but neighboring states. Maintenance technicians are highly skilled in the new computerized technology demanded by the market.
In the fuel tank removal and installation industry Petron is the largest of its kind in Louisiana and has worked in all the Gulf Coast States and areas as far away as Wyoming. The Installation & Removal Division has extensive experience in compliance with governmental regulators concerning removal and disposal of contaminated soils, residual liquids, and other factors involved in site restoration.
The Real Estate Division has developed properties for lease and has many national chain companies as its tenants. Petron has 7 major strip malls, and several stand alones. The company has lease availability in high traffic areas.
Several years ago a Construction/Design Build Division was developed due to the interest of companies who had seen the quality of Petron’s lease facilities and desired to have Petron construct buildings for their needs. In the mid-1990s Petron designed- built under the direction of the United States Corps of Engineers a Multi-use tribal building for the Jena Tribe of Indians. The success of that endeavor was such that Petron has since been involved in construction of a major eye-laser clinic, and has done contracts for churches, the State of Louisiana, banks, and a building for Louisiana State University in Alexandria. Along with a professional in house staff, a support group of architects, subcontractors and craftsmen have been assembled to guarantee projects be on time and in budget.