Mountain Fuel Supply Company
of Salt Lake City, Utah
was for decades the historical name of the publicly-traded later-named Questar Corporation
an S&P 500
oil and natural gas
producer in the Rocky Mountains
, reorganized as a holding company and renamed in 1984. In addition to production, it is also a distributor of natural gas in Utah as well as an interstate transporter of natural gas. Since 1950, the name Questar Corporation
was also already in use by an unrelated major private telescope
manufacturer. To distinguish itself, the oil company maintains an internet presence at both http://www.questar.com and http://www.questarcorp.com.
Questar Corporation began in 1928, as a holding company named Western Public Service Corporation
. That company was formed to bring natural gas to the Salt Lake City region of northern Utah
from fields across the state border to the east in southwestern Wyoming
. Mountain Fuel Supply Company
was at that time the name of the holding company's oil and gas exploration and production affiliate.
Mountain Fuel Supply
In 1935, the shareholders voted to reorganize Western Public Service Corporation as a single company. Mountain Fuel Supply Company then became the name of the reorganized consolidated company, which was publicly-traded on the New York Stock Exchange
under that name from then until 1984. Beginning in 1935 it also paid a cash dividend
to shareholders every year since that time.
In 1963, the company began to use a new trademark logo, in the shape of a trapezoid. That logo remained in use until a company-wide update in 1998.
The Mountain Fuel Supply Company stock performed well through the long bear market of the 1970s, growing over fourfold by the early 1980s from its 1970s low.
In 1982, Mountain Fuel Supply Company generated revenues of about US$600 million with almost US$50 million in earnings, up strongly from less than US$30 million the year before.
In 1983, revenues reached about US$725 million, with nearly US$55 million in earnings. In 1983, the stock split two-for-one as it peaked at its all-time new high for the next couple years.
In 1984, Mountain Fuel Supply Company shareholders voted to return
to the holding-company structure, and chose the name Questar Corporation
as the new parent holding company name. Although that name already was in use by then by the private telescope and optics maker, the public company also has continued to keep that name as well, through the present time. Questar continued to trade on the NYSE, now under its new symbol STR.
The Mountain Fuel Supply Company name was reorganized as a Questar retail affiliate company that transported and sold natural gas to about 620,000 customers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming under that name until 1998, when it was renamed in turn as Questar Gas Company.
In 1985, Questar stock reached a marginal new high, as earnings peaked after having doubled from early in that decade. Earnings began to settle back down through the next couple years. The company held nearly US$250 million in long-term debt by then.
Through 1987, Questar stock continued to rise, although earnings still continued their downward trend from the 1985 peak, and despite the issuance of 8% additional common shares since 1985, diluting shareholders equity. Also, long-term debt continued to grow, reaching US$255 million by 1987.
In 1991, Questar Corporation stock split two-for-one again, with earnings of US$66 million. Earnings had begun to grow steadily again, and continued that trend through the 1990-1991 recession.
By 1993, despite the good earnings growth trend, the company stock peaked at an all-time high once more, for the next couple of years, as the economy entered its soft landing in 1994.
By 1995 Questar Corporation had been added to the S&P MidCap 400 index. Long-term debt had doubled from the mid 1980s, and was up to almost US$500 million by then.
By early 1996, Questar stock continued to trade 25% below its 1993 peak, although earnings came in at over US$80 million for 1995, after peaking again in 1994 at nearly US$90 million, and the company had reduced debt to just US$450 million by early 1996.
On January 1
, Mountain Fuel Supply Company was renamed Questar Gas Company
, bringing all of Questar's divisions under the single Questar brand name. The move was prompted by new deregulation in the energy industry, which allowed the company to offer wider choices to customers, and to venture into new lines of business. The old Mountain Fuel Supply name had been primarily associated with natural gas delivery up until that time. In 1998 the Questar Corporation also began to use its newly reworked version of the traditional trapezoid logo throughout the organization.
At the time, R. D. Cash was chairman, president and chief executive officer of Questar Corporation.
Other Questar affiliates were already moving into newly available energy market areas, such as Questar Energy Trading, which had begun to market electricity on the wholesale level, and Questar Energy Services, which had begun selling retail products including earthquake braces and carbon-monoxide monitors, and providing home-security and appliance-maintenance services. Also, Questar InfoComm began selling information technology and telecommunications.
By 1998, Questar Corporation had become one of the largest companies headquartered in Utah, with 2,500 employees and about US$1.8 billion in assets. The company had two major divisions:
- Regulated Services, included retail natural gas distribution and interstate natural gas transportation
- Market Resources, included natural gas and oil exploration and production, wholesale and retail energy trading and marketing, natural gas gathering and other field services.
By 2006, the Regulated Services segment had been subdivided instead into segments named Questar Gas and Questar Pipeline, for a total of three primary subsiary companies within Questar, with four major lines of business:
- gas and oil exploration and production
- midstream field services
- interstate gas transportation
- retail gas distribution
Questar's operations consist of four lines of business within three major subsidiary companies.
- Questar Market Resources, Inc.
Wexpro Company | manages reserves for Questar Gas Company
Questar Gas Management Company | provides midstream field services
- Rocky Mountain E&P - Wyoming, Utah and Colorado
- Mid-continent E&P - Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana
Questar Energy Trading Company | contracts on pipelines and at Clay Basin facility owned by Questar Pipeline
- Rendezvous Gas Services, LLC | 50%-owned partnership in western Wyoming
- Uintah Basin Field Services, LLC | 38%-owned partnership in eastern Utah
Questar Pipeline Company | interstate pipeline and storage in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado
- Clear Creek Storage Company, LLC | an underground natural gas-storage reservoir in southwestern Wyoming
Questar Gas Company | public natural gas utility in Utah, southwestern Wyoming and southeastern Idaho
- Questar Pipeline
- Southern Trails Pipeline, from the San Juan County, New Mexico Blanco Hub through the San Juan Basin to California
- Clay Basin storage facility, in the Rocky Mountains
- gathering lines and processing plants near Price, Utah