6 Interesting Facts About Gas Stations

6 Interesting Facts About Gas Stations

Visiting the gas station is a daily task that most people probably don’t overthink. It’s something we need to take care of to be able to drive around. However, in our time as a petroleum service company, we have learned that there are actually some pretty interesting facts about gas stations, and we thought it would be fun to share a few of them with you!

1 - Most Gas Stations are Owned Independently

As a petroleum service company, we are used to seeing branded gas stations like Shell, BP or ExxonMobil everywhere we look. However, surprisingly gas stations owned by these brands are actually not in the majority. In fact, according to a study by NACS, only 0.4% of gas stations in America are owned by the top five oil companies. The remainder is owned and operated independently. Over 60% are owned by an individual or family with a single gas station or convenience store. Around 36% are independently owned but have branding agreements that allow them to sell fuel under a brand name.

2 - The Location of a Gas Station isn’t Random

Have you ever noticed that gas stations seem to appear in clusters around the same area? There is a good reason for this. Several factors go into deciding where to build a gas station, including the size of the lot, traffic, and the number of people living in the area. Since all gas station owners are looking at those same factors, seeing several choose the same area makes sense. Game Theory also plays a role in gas station locations, as gas stations compete for the same consumers, so they all want a prime location that is easy to access. Statistically, the premium spot for gas stations is in the corner on the right of a four-way intersection after the light. This is because drivers prefer not to make a left-hand turn and also want to pass the light before stopping to get gas! These groupings of competing gas stations also make it important to have a petroleum service company you can trust to keep you pumping - otherwise you could lose business to someone across the street.

3 - KFC Started Life as a Gas Station

Nowadays, it is relatively common to see gas pumps at diners and other restaurants along the highway, but did you know that well known fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken used to be a gas station? Back in the 1940s and 1950s, the chain’s founder Colonel Sanders owned a gas station where he also sold chicken dinners. However, after the interstate highway system was constructed, his chain of gas stations suffered. He decided to abandon the retail fueling industry and turn all his attention to the chicken dinners. He started to franchise his chicken restaurants instead, and the rest is history!

4 - You Can’t Pump Your Own Gas in 2 States

If you read our blog last week on the history of gas stations, then you will know that a visit to the gas station used to mean being greeted by a snappily dressed attendant who would pump your gas and clean your windshield. However, most of us have been pumping our own gas for as long as I can remember. However, not everyone gets to pump their own gas. Did you know that in Oregon and New Jersey, you are not allowed to pump your own gas? Instead, an attendant will come out to assist you.

5 - How Many Gas Stations Are in the United States?

There are approximately 10,700 stand-alone gas stations currently operating in the United States. However, that does not include the 84% of convenience stores that also sell gas. That adds another 126,840 retail fuel outlets to the total.

6 - There is More to a Gas Station Than Just the Pumps

When visiting a gas station, you only really get to see the gas pumps and the point of sale. However, there is much more going on that you may not even realize. Depending on the size of the gas station, there could be up to 5 underground tanks beneath your feet storing thousands of gallons of fuel. Not only that, but those tanks also require other equipment such as submersible pumps, line leak detectors, gauge monitoring, alarms to prevent overfilling, treatments to stop corrosion of the tank, and so much more. This is all maintained with the help of a petroleum service company like PumpTex, which offers a variety of servicing and maintenance, and fuel pump repair in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas.

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PumpTex, Inc. was founded in 1997 in the back of a garage with the dream of bringing a new level of customer service to the retail petroleum service industry. Over the years, we have grown to become a valuable resource to our customers. Many consider us to be the first responders of the retail petroleum service industry!


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