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Tosco’s O’Malley heads oil merger

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

When Phillips Petroleum bought Greenwich, Conn.-based refinery Tosco Corporation last week, the resulting merger created the nation’s second largest refining conglomerate after Exxon Mobil Corp., and the fifth largest gas retailer. In charge of implementing the merger is Tosco’s Irish-American CEO, Thomas D. O’Malley.

Born on Staten Island, O’Malley earned his BA in Economics from Manhattan College in 1963 and has been chairman and CEO of Tosco since 1990.

Analysts described the merger as unusual, since most large U.S. oil companies had been selling off refining assets in recent years, but O’Malley told the Wall Street Journal that he believes refining is facing a period of prosperity.

"We are looking at an extraordinarily strong four- or five-year cycle. It is difficult to see what will derail it," he said.

O’Malley’s confidence is difficult to shake — already in 2001, Tosco aquired a smaller Irish refinery for $100 million, and he has overseen the vigorous expansion of Tosco since the early 1990s, working in what is one of the world’s less glamorous industrires, frequently prey to the ire of environmentalists and stringent, costly regulations.

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Outside of his position at Tosco, O’Malley has served as a member of the board of trustees for Manhattan College and Boston College, amongs others, and lives in Greenwich with his wife, Mary Alice. He is a second generation Irish American, with grandparents coming from Sligo and Galway.

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