A north Yorkshire company that last year acquired a fuel business that had been operating on Tyneside for more than 50 years has made a major investment to meet growing demand from customers in the North East.
The Stokesley-based Oil NRG, which took over GB Fuels, has invested in two new road tankers and employed two additional drivers, while relocating its Tyneside depot from central Gateshead to Birtley.
Oil NRG supplies kerosene home-heating oil, gas oil and road diesel to agricultural, domestic and industrial customers.
The company remains one of the few independent, privately-owned fuel and oil distributors working in the North East,
In the past year, it has increased its tanker fleet from six to 16.
The two new Scania tankers will be working across the firm’s distribution area from York in the south up to Holy Island.
Jeremy Royle, head of sales and marketing at Oil NRG, said: “With crude oil prices at their lowest for nigh on two years, and a strong pound, our customers are taking advantage of the timely opportunity to ‘buy well’.
“At a time of renewed economic growth and confidence in the economy – and with the outlook being more positive – we felt the timing was right to further invest in our fleet to meet our customers’ needs.”
Founded by Derek Noble – formerly of Noble Fuels – and brothers Nigel, Mark and Craig Jones of Armstrong Richardson, Oil NRG reunited two business families with a long history of working together.
GB Fuels, a division of the family-run Goodall Bates & Todd Limited, was set up in the 1960s and operated from Gateshead since.
By the time it was acquired by Oil NRG, it had already established a strong customer base in Tyneside and Northumberland, including a major presence in rural areas.
GB Lubricants, another division of the Goodall Bates and Todd Limited group, was unaffected by the deal, and, after a period of strong growth, announced last year a further expansion was planned.
At the time of the acquisition, Oil NRG managing director Roger Peart said: “Our main focus is oil distribution.
“We are delighted we can now provide a higher level of service to the region’s customers, whilst the additional volume will mean we are more than able to match the buying power of our larger, national competitors in the area.”
The two new in-house drivers mean the firm can now cover recent increases in orders and maintain customer service throughout North Yorkshire, Cleveland, County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear. It has also been investing heavily in sales and marketing, operations and finance.
Royle added: “These additional tankers and our continued choice of fuel products increase our ability to maintain customer choice and flexibility, allowing our agricultural, domestic, and industrial customers the satisfaction of enjoying the full range of services in a marketplace which is being reduced by the rapid consolidation by the competition.
“And, as independent direct purchasers and distributors, we have a choice of several wholesale suppliers, allowing us to offer some of the most competitive fuel prices in the region, supplying the fuel directly to our customers with our own in-house drivers and tankers.”