OTD: Petro-Canada acquires Gulf Canada stations

On today’s date in 1985, Petro-Canada acquired 1,800 Gulf Canada stations in Ontario and Québec to become Canada’s largest service station owner.

According to a story published by the Winnipeg Free Press on the following day, Petro-Canada—then a government-owned Crown corporation—”completed its first major acquisition under the eye of a Conservative government.”

The 1997 book Oil, the State, and FederalismThe Rise and Demise of Petro-Canada as a Statist Impulse by John Erik Fossum, the Gulf acquisition gave Petro-Canada a “nationwide network of marketing outlets, which represented a major rehabilitation of its distribution network.”


On Sept. 13, 2000, Canada Post issued a 46-cent multi-coloured stamp (Scott #1867) in celebration of Petro-Canada’s 25th anniversary. Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company on JAC Paper, the stamp has general tagging along each side. It was designed by Dennis L’Allier based on an illustration by Raymond Gendron. The stamp was issued in booklet panes of 12 stamps; however, an inverted die cutting (SC #1867a) was issued in Canada Post’s quarterly Collector’s Pack on Oct. 4, 2000, as well as in the annual collection.

Petro-Canada’s familiar red-and-white sign is a symbol of Canada’s gas station—”a reliable stop for fuel, oil and food, but also a symbol of exploration, discovery and developments in oil and natural gas,” reads a press release issued by Canada Post in 2000. “From its creation as a crown corporation in 1975, Petro-Canada has grown to become a successful profit-oriented business with world-class assets.”

The stamp was issued in panes of 12 stamps.

The stamp was issued in panes of 12 stamps (SC #1867a).

“Today, the company is active in both upstream and downstream endeavors – in the language of the petroleum business, upstream activities include finding oil and gas and bringing them to the surface, while downstream activities involve turning these raw materials into marketable energy products. Petro-Canada has led the way in tapping mammoth new oil fields in the Grand Banks off the east coast of Newfoundland, with Hibernia producing upwards of 150,000 barrels a day. Petro-Canada continues the search for additional offshore sources of oil with endeavors in unexplored areas. Also a leader in natural gas exploration and production, Petro-Canada is building on successes in the Alberta foothills and British Columbia, with further exploration in the Mackenzie Delta in the Northwest Territories and off the shores of Nova Scotia. After the exploration and extraction of raw product, Petro-Canada refines the crude oil ; producing gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, asphalt and other products specially formulated for Canadian consumers.”

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