Alaska’s Petroleum Distributor

Delta Western
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Providing a broad range of fuels and lubricants to customers across the state, Delta Western Inlet Petroleum Inc. is proud of its reputation as ‘Alaska’s Petroleum Distributor’. The company offers heating, marine and aviation fuels, diesel and gasoline along with packaged lubricants and filters.
Delta Western’s nine fuel terminals and two distribution warehouses and a superior distribution network allow Delta Western to provide high quality products at competitive prices to Alaskan towns, industrial sites, homes, mines, oilfield worksites commercial fishing ports, local gas stations, deep draft vessels, airports, marine vessels and logging facilities.

As the state’s leading independent distributor of petroleum products and lubricants for the past thirty years, Delta Western’s strategically located terminals allow the company to meet the needs of customers across western Alaska/Bristol Bay, southeast Alaska and the Aleutian islands. It works with clients in Fairbanks, Prudhoe Bay, Haines, Juneau, Yakutat, Sitka, Bethel, Dillingham, Naknek, and Dutch Harbor.

“We are a distributor for Chevron, Phillips 66, Castrol, Tesoro, Shell and Pennzoil, so we are not competing against them; we work with them to sell into the market,” says Bill Potter, training manager and business development head for the company.

Delta Western delivers fuels through a variety of methods: a fleet of fuel trucks, docks and bulk fuel through barges. The company has a fleet of approximately fifty vehicles and ensures that its vehicles are maintained in top condition to deliver fuels and lubricant products where and when they are needed, and this includes 24/7 emergency services.

Delta Western’s multiple fuel terminal sites work with either full-time employees or qualified contract mechanics to ensure all trucks are operational and safe, sometimes working with fly-in-fly-out truck maintenance workers.

And to ensure all fuel terminals are in proper operating condition, the company has its own crew for plant maintenance. This crew will visit every site each summer for inspection and necessary work. If a situation at a fuel terminal is critical, crews will address potential issues immediately.

When it comes to delivering petroleum products and lubricants, there is no priority greater than safety for the company’s workers and clients. Firmly committed to safe workplace practices, Delta has a rigorous program for injury prevention.

“We have our own director of safety, an environmental person and assistants, and they go through rigorous training to meet federal regulations – particularly drivers with hazmat and other training,” says Potter. “At Delta Western, our safety practices are pretty extensive. We use both in-house training and on-line training, and we are doing quite a bit with online training now as it fits with our more remote locations.”

The program works with both Delta Western’s management team and its approximately two hundred employees to identify and eliminate potential hazards that workers may encounter on a regular basis. There is ongoing training for all employees, and managers are responsible both for the safety of their staff and the safe operation of the business. Equally important, company workers are encouraged to identify ways to make day-to-day fueling activities as safe and efficient as possible for staff and customers.

Considering the company works with petroleum products every single day, it is critical that all employees follow strict environmental compliance guidelines. To ensure the safe and environmentally sound delivery of oils and lubricants, Delta Western has a training program designed to address proper hazardous waste operations, security, oil spill response, incident command, hazard communications, wildlife response training and fire response.

The company is better prepared to address these issues through standardized training about the prevention of oil spills and how to properly use the equipment. All of the company’s twelve facilities have oil spill contingency plans in place that have been approved by a several agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

In 2003, Delta Western was commended for its work as an industry leader and received a certificate of merit for outstanding efforts from the USCG. It has an impressive safety record considering that the company distributes about 150 million gallons of fuel every year, along with some two million gallons of lubricants, and it continues to grow.

Bill Potter was a former employee of American multinational energy corporation Chevron, and he started with Inlet Petroleum Co. when that company was founded in 1986. At the beginning of 2014, Inlet Petroleum officially merged with Delta Western, Inc.

Back in the 1980s, the company was able to acquire several assets that Chevron sold. Today, these allow Delta Western to have strategically located fuel terminals across Alaska.

In places such as Haines, the company can supply a range of heating fuels for residential and commercial applications, diesel, lubricants, marine fuel, and gasoline from its Tesoro-branded gas station. In Juneau, the capital of the state, Delta Western’s fuel sales are made in conjunction with Reliable Oil, a veteran business serving the Juneau/Douglas area for over one hundred years. In Yakutat, Alaska – home of the massive Hubbard Glacier – Delta Western’s aviation fuels at the Yakutat Airport include Jet A and avgas (aviation gasoline) 100LL. And, at Naknek Alaska, the ‘Red Salmon Capital of the World’, Delta Western remains the only distributor of heating fuel, diesel, unleaded gas and Jet A and avgas 100LL from its loading rack.

In other areas like Sitka, the one-time Russian capital of Alaska, the company supplies heating oil and equipment for homes and businesses, along with regular and unleaded gasoline and marine fuels from an eighty-foot floating dock.

Delta Western continues to meet the needs of existing and new customers across Alaska along with sister companies that offer complementary services, such as marine transportation services companies Foss Maritime Company and Cook Inlet Tug and Barge, maritime cargo hauler Totem Ocean Trailer Express and all cargo airline, Northern Air Cargo.

“One of our goals is to grow more in the coming years, especially in the lubricants market,” says Potter. The company continues to attract more business in a number of areas, particularly in resource-driven areas such as mining, exploration, fishing and logging.

“At Western Delta Inlet Petroleum, we are known for our knowledgeable staff, competitive pricing, good logistics support and services,” comments Potter. “The historical Delta Western portion of the business mainly deals with fuel more than lubes, but we are trying to build up the lubricant end of the business. In addition, we have a very large warehouse in Anchorage, and we have a lot of inventory for customers. If they need a large order right away, we are able to satisfy it, whereas if you are going to get it from the lower forty-eight states, it could be up to two weeks out.”



To Make a Northwest Passage

Read Our Current Issue


From Here to There

April 2024

Peace of Mind

March 2024

Making the Smart Grid Smarter

February 2024

More Past Editions

Featured Articles