Dispute leaves firm’s Utah stations without gasoline
Creditors • Convenience store operator at odds with Phillips 66.
Published: October 2, 2012 07:56PM
Updated: January 14, 2013 11:31PM
image
Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Gas pumps at the Conoco station near 4700 South and 3600 West has caution tape and a note on them in West Valley City on Sept. 28, 2012. About 15 service stations in Utah have "No Gas" and "Cash Only" signs up and police-type tape around their pumps because of a bankruptcy dispute.

A Colorado company that operates upward of a dozen ConocoPhillips- or Phillips 66-branded locations in Utah is scrambling to put together a deal to resupply gasoline to its outlets, some of which have been without fuel for a month or more.

PCF Saleco of Littleton, which runs a four-state, 78-store chain, ran into financial trouble in recent months. It has been in a dispute with Phillips 66, which supplies its stores with fuel.

That dispute led to three of PCF Saleco’s creditors filing papers Aug. 31 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Colorado, asking it to place the convenience store operator into involuntarily bankruptcy under Chapter 11, which would force the company to reorganize its debt.

The creditors, including a San Francisco-based convenience store supplier that claims it is owed more than $1.6 million, told the bankruptcy court they’re not being paid as their bills are coming due.

PCF Saleco’s Utah stations, which include outlets in West Valley City, American Fork and Riverdale, have been out of fuel for weeks, with their pumps cordoned off with yellow tape. The convenience store part of the operations remains open.

Store employees have told customers and the media that they either don’t know what is happening or were unable to comment on the matter. They referred all questions to PCF’s office, which declined comment.

Denver attorney Caroline Fuller, who is representing three unsecured creditors, said PCF told the bankruptcy court last week it is in negotiations with Phillips 66.

As a result, Fuller said her clients have agreed to give PCF a two-week extension to respond to their bankruptcy court petition. “If they can reach an agreement with Phillips 66, then we may not have to move forward in bankruptcy court,” Fuller said.

Alissa Hicks, a Phillips 66 spokeswoman, said the oil company is “working diligently toward a solution” with PCF. She said because of its difficulties, PCF chose to “temporarily close some of its sites.”