CARSON (CBS) — Company officials are downplaying reported plans to downsize the number of Arco gas stations in the Southland, saying the reports have been “blown way out of proportion”.

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Spokesman Scott Dean told the Daily News that British Petroleum — which bought Arco in 2000 — will follow through with plans to sell its Carson refinery and allow leases at over 250 sites to expire.

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Once the current leases expire, those stations would likely revert back to Thrifty Oil Co. branding, which contracts with Texas refiner Tesoro to operate the stations under the USA Gasoline brand.

But Dean said those decisions were made over one year ago and the company will likely keep as many as 800 Arco stations open in Southern California.

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The gas stations were sold in part to help BP pay for the company’s catastrophic Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.