By Tanya Rutledge
Special to the Houston Chronicle
Adams Resources & Energy’s crude oil marketing and transportation subsidiary, GulfMark Energy, gets credit for a big portion of the company’s success last year. The company also took advantage of strong activity in the Eagle Ford Shale.
GulfMark Energy was responsible for a significant portion of Adams’ 45 percent increase in year-over-year revenue, said the chief financial officer, Rick Abshire.
The company had 2011 revenue of $3.2 billion. The revenue growth, coupled with earnings-per-share growth of 165??percent, helped it land in the No. 7 spot on the Chronicle 100, up from No. 56 the year before.
In addition to GulfMark, onshore-focused Adams Resources, which has 780 employees, including 298 in Houston, runs Service Transport Co., a petrochemical transportation division, and Adams Resources Exploration, an oil and gas exploration and production operation.
But GulfMark was the shining star last year. That business buys oil from third parties, takes title to it at the wellhead and sells it to refiners and trucks it to pipelines or barge terminals owned by third parties.
Last year’s most significant advance came in April, when GulfMark began operating a barge terminal at the Port of Victoria that let it move more oil from South Texas to Louisiana and other refinery locations along the Gulf Coast.
GulfMark signed a long-term lease and made improvements. Oil purchases increased from 70,000 barrels per day in 2010 to 82,000 barrels per day last year.
“It gave us better access to the refineries in Louisiana on the sale side,” Abshire said. “We have trucks that service that area, but this provided us with a better distribution outlet.”
Although Adams Resources has been in transportation and exploration and production in South Texas for more than 15 years, the boom in the Eagle Ford Shale spurred huge increases in trucking activity for the company, Abshire said.
That helped offset the effects of low natural gas prices for the E&P business. Adams Resources’ petrochemical transportation business, Service Transport Co., also took up the slack from low natural gas prices, which tend to be positive for chemical manufacturers. It operates 300 tank trucks that haul chemicals nationwide.
K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr., owner of the Tennessee Titans, formerly the Houston Oilers, founded the company and serves as chairman and CEO.
Rutledge is a freelance reporter.