In 1999 a bedroom start-up partnership was created by the Group’s founders, who were then in their twenties, with the intention to trade in the petroleum sector. In 2000, State Oil was founded as a trader, wholesaler and retailer of petroleum products.
The growth of the business necessitated separation of the trading function from its retail and wholesale operation. This requirement led to the formation of Prax in 2002 as a wholly owned subsidiary of State Oil to focus solely on physical trading of petroleum products.
In view of the unusually high working capital demands of this business and in order to benefit from established expertise, the Group formed strategic alliances with industry operators.
Through a number of these alliances, the Group was able to secure larger contracts, develop its expertise and expand its pool of counterparties.
The Group quickly acquired dedicated oil storage facilities in order to establish and secure its position in the market.
The Group has continued its phenomenal growth and its strategically located oil storage facilities provide it with opportunities to trade around its assets. The Group is now considered to be a pre-eminent independent oil trader.
In its retail operations, trading as Harvest Energy, the Group has enjoyed considerable growth and is now amongst the top independent retail brands. The Group continues to expand its number of branded filling stations and to invest and develop a niche which it has identified for unmanned filling stations.
The Group remains privately owned by its founders.