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    Ever-Ready Oil in Trouble?

    Media reports indicate 23 stores in New Mexico may close.

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Local media here report that several Chevron stations owned by Ever-Ready Oil Co. will be closing, citing officials from the New Mexico Petroleum Marketers Association.

    "They took down the Chevron signs a long time [ago]," Ruben Baca, with the state Petroleum Marketers Association, told KOAT. "A month and a half ago on all of them, so I imagine that they're all in the same boat."

    Officials told area television station KOAT that 23 gas stations are closing and employees said up to 300 jobs could be lost. The company would not disclose the reasons for the closures. Ever-Ready Oil owns and operates 28 Chevron and three Conoco stations, and employs approximately 285 people, according to the company's Web site. Ever-Ready Oil also operates a network of national and proprietary commercial fueling sites, and a wholesale division that sells and distributes lubricants and approximately 40 million gallons of wholesale fuels annually throughout New Mexico, the Web site stated.

    Vendors contacted by the station indicated Ever-Ready Oil owes them as much as $40,000, according to the report. The vendors declined to be identified, as they did not want to jeopardize payment.

    Store level employees told the station the company was going out of business, and stores were liquidating all of the merchandise, including gas. Employees at the corporate office said the company is still selling fuel to other businesses in Albuquerque. A call by CSNews Online for more information was unreturned by press time.

    According to the company's Web site, Ever-Ready Oil Co. Inc. can trace its history back to 1929, when the company started in a small garage with two gas pumps. By 1998, Ever-Ready Oil owned and operated 28 retail convenience stores under the RediMart name, and had developed a wholesale fuel, lubricant and commercial fueling center business. That year, Ever-Ready business was purchased by its current owner, Charles Ochs, doing business as Petrolink Inc.

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