Reporting Juan Fernandez
ANAHEIM (CBS) — A major change is coming to gas stations as BP moves forward with plans to move out of Southern California.
The oil giant is selling its operations in the southwest in order to pay for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which devastated the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports.
The move is leaving many Arco franchise owners stunned. Some have been told that in two years, they will have to go.
“I was assured that by making this decision Arco had no plans of ever letting the station go back to Thrifty because it’s such a valuable site,” Mike Engel, who owns an Arco gas station in Anaheim, told CBS2′s Juan Fernandez.
Engel, however, is not alone.
Fernandez reports that 257 Arco gas stations will be replaced by Tesoro-owned USA Gasoline outlets.
Bobby Alloush, who owns two stations, has been told to leave by May. He says the pullout will hurt drivers who rely on Arco’s low prices.
“They control the market because they’re low gas. So if there’s a Chevron across the street from you, they have to be close to you. Now there’s no Arco anymore, they don’t really care. They are going to work on any margin they want,” Alloush said.
Some Arcos could actually be rebranded as Shell stations, according to Fernandez.
In all, about 2,000 employees will lose their jobs.