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BP reportedly set to sell SoCal Arco stations

February 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Energy giant BP is reportedly set to sell its Arco refinery and gas stations in Southern California, a move that could have a major impact on drivers.

"We think it's time to offer it up to a new owner who can potentially take that business up to the next level," said BP spokesman Scott Dean.

The asking price for the 630-acre Arco refinery in Carson and Arco itself is reportedly $4.4 billion. The refinery produces 265,00 barrels of oil a day, employs 1,200 people and produces 25 percent of all the gas in Southern California.

During the Gulf oil spill, Arco certainly downplayed the fact that BP has owned them since 2000. you don't see any sort of signage about that here.

"This is a big announcement because Arco's got the largest share in the largest gasoline market in the world, which is Southern California right now," said gas station owner Andre Van Der Valk.

BP is making money right now. In the fourth quarter, they reported a $5.5 billion profit, which was a 30 percent increase. But billions in potential bills from the Gulf oil spill are still outstanding.

Van Der Valk, a former oil executive who now owns several gas station, says there aren't many who can afford to buy Arco.

"The word on the street is that Exxon Mobile is highly interested in the Arco refinery," Van Der Valk said.

BP's spokesman says he expects whoever ends up buying Arco to keep Arco's employees working and the refinery open in Carson.

They hope to complete the sale by 2012.