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Pettit Oil closes facilities

Pettit Oil Company closed its doors abruptly Friday, leaving a recorded message on its corporate phones say that it is no longer in business.

“Hello. Thank you for calling Pettit Oil Company. We regret to inform you that after many years of service, Pettit Oil has closed its doors and is no longer in business. We appreciate your many years of loyalty as a customer, thank you,” said a male voice.

Besides facilities in Hoquiam, which was locked and closed down, Pettit also operates cardlock fueling stations in Montesano and Elma. Both of those facilities still seem to be up and running as of Monday, though their fate is still unkown.

The closure of the Lakewood-based petroleum distributor follows an attempt to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late November. A message was left for bankruptcy lawyer Brian L. Budsberg of Olympia.

The Pettit Oil website reports that the company has around 200 employees, and has operated in Western Washington for more than 75 years. The Seattle Times put the number of employees at 125 in early December and said the company had sales of $319 million in 2012 and served more than 10,000 customers. It was not clear how many employees worked at the Hoquiam operation.

That Chapter 11 petition, filed Nov. 25, reported debt totaling about $22.5 million and assets valued at $18.7 million, according to the Times, which listed the largest secured creditors as “KeyBank, owed more than 11.3 million and U.S. Bank, owed about $18.7 million.”

Pettit was ranked the state’s 33rd-largest private company in the state in 2011 by Puget Sound Business Journal, the website says. Pettit had three distribution facilities on the Olympic Peninsula, at 820 Myrtle in Hoquiam, and one each in Port Angeles and Forks. Other operations included corporate headquarters in Lakewood, and facilities in Everett and Bremerton.

Reaction to Pettit Oil Co.’s abrupt closing came swiftly over the weekend and Monday as several providers worked to supply products such as fuel to trucking fleets, home heating oil to worried customers and jobs to those out of work.