American Refining Group is a story of success

Pessimism was blowing in the wind in March 1997 when the American Refining Group (ARG) acquired the former Kendall refinery in Bradford.“Most gave us six months,” former ARG President and Chief Operating Officer Harvey Golubock said Friday.Just how wrong were those doomsayers?ARG survived a rough start financially and last year had “our best year ever,” Golubock said. Another “good year” is expected, he said.Golubock, who now has the titles of ARG vice chairman and president of ARG Resources, outlined the company’s success Friday at a Kane Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting at Kane Manor.Golubock said there were 158 employed at the Bradford refinery when ARG took over in 1997. He said the refinery currently has 365 employees.“Since 1997, we’ve added more than 200 high-paying jobs at the refinery,” Golubock said. He said ARG’s annual payroll is $25 million-- $30 million counting fringe benefits.Harry R. Halloran Jr., the chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman of the board for ARG and the company’s largest shareholder, led the efforts to buy the refinery, Golubock pointed out.“What ‘crazy guy’ would buy a refinery?” Golubock said in reference to Halloran’s bold move to purchase a refinery that was on the verge of being torn down.Golubock said ARG paid $1 for the refinery from the Witco Corporation and allocated $17 million for “working capital.”Golubock said Halloran “recruited” him from Witco where he had worked since 1969. He served as Witco’s group vice president of lubricants from 1990 until the sale to ARG in 1997.Golubock held several key administrative positions at ARG before becoming the company’s president and chief executive officer.The ARG refinery is located on a 131-acre site along Route 219 in Bradford. The refinery has the capacity of handling 10,000 barrels of crude oil daily or about three million barrels a year.See full article by purchasing the Feb. 25 edition of The Kane Republican.