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ShellNews.net: Shell deal in California helps to clear obstacles to BP/Shell mega-merger

Message posted on Live Chat following announcement of Shell sale of assets in California as announced today, 29 January 2007.

guest_9321 : Shell’s sale of Californian downstream assets will avoid excessive concentration of downstream capacity in the event of a merger – BP is already No. 1 in California according to their website

This is the relevant information from BP’s U.S. website: California: We’re No. 1 in the state

With more than 6,000 employees involved in a variety of operations ranging from refining, making and distributing lubricants, to gasoline retail operations and solar energy, BP is proud to play an important role in addressing the diverse energy needs of the state of California.

BP traces its history in California, in part, to the late 1800s and the creation of the Atlantic Petroleum Storage Company, which later became ARCO. BP acquired ARCO in 2000.

Today, BP owns more than $3.5 billion in assets in the state of California. On an annual basis, these operations account for more than $124 million in property and income taxes. BP collects and remits more than $1 billion in state and federal taxes. The company’s annual California payroll tops $200 million. In addition to our direct payroll, BP supports many thousands of contractors, vendors and suppliers throughout the state.

No. 1 in California

As the number one gasoline marketer throughout the state, BP may be best known in California for its ARCO brand. In fact, one of every four cars in the state is fueled with ARCO® gasoline. On the U.S. West Coast, ARCO is the leading retail gasoline brand – and, it’s the largest volume supplier in areas such as Southern California and Sacramento. ARCO has a distinct position as the smart choice that gives the consumer the same quality gasoline as other majors at a competitive price.

ARCO am/pm® sites are the only retail franchise businesses owned by a major oil company – BP! And, they’re among the most environmentally sensitive, featuring the latest in vapor-capture technology on ARCO gas pumps.

ARCO also sells highly regarded, cleaner burning, ultra low sulfur ECD-1 diesel fuel at all of its California ARCO and am/pm® retail outlets where diesel is sold. With a maximum of 15ppm sulfur, this diesel fuel is capable of reducing particulate matter, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions in diesel vehicles by more than 90 percent over typical California (CARB) diesel, when used with a catalyzed particulate filter.

With competitive prices, am/pm® stores enjoy high brand awareness and customer loyalty. Did you know:

we sell more than 18 million hot dogs every year – enough to build a railroad across the state of Washington

we dispense more than 1,800 tons of ice yearly

am/pm sells 1/3 gallons of cold dispensed beverages per California resident (that’s 7.2 million gallons)

we sell enough hamburger patties (2 million pounds) to provide each resident of La Palma, Calif., with 125 pounds of meat.

Carson refinery

BP operates the Carson refinery, the largest in California. The refinery opened in 1938 as a pioneer in the production of 100-octane aviation gasoline and played a crucial role in meeting the military needs of World War II.

Today, the refinery leads the nation in the production of low-emission gasoline, setting the standard for other refineries and for the State of California. Our 1,100 employees process 275,000 barrels of oil per day into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, petroleum coke and other products. The refinery, located on 630 acres, supplies about 25 percent of the Los Angeles gasoline market.

Lubricants for the west

Richmond, BP Lubricants’ West Coast manufacturing and distribution facility, supplies Castrol, BP and ARCO®-branded lubricants to markets west of the Rockies. The facility employs 40 fulltime staff.

Clean Cities

BP is a leading advocate for the removal of lead and the reduction of sulfur in fuel. We introduced EC-1, the world’s first emission-controlled gasoline. In 1999, we launched our Clean Cities initiative to tackle emissions problems where they are most acute. By the end of 2002, BP’s cleaner fuels were available in 119 cities around the globe.

Also located on the site is a 400 MW co-generation facility that provides power to both the company’s Carson refinery and the California electrical grid. One of the cleanest and most efficient co-generation plants, the BP facility generates enough power for more than 400,000 Southern California residents.

Moving products

To supply the California and West Coast markets, BP operates two terminals in Long Beach, which receive crude shipments from Alaska, South America and the Middle East. BP is spending $2 million to retrofit two of its new oil tankers to ‘cold-iron’ in the Port of Long Beach. When docked, the tankers will be powered by electricity – a decision that could cut 50 tons of harmful air emissions from the thousands of tons emitted by the diesel ships that call in Long Beach each year. BP also is paying electricity and maintenance costs.

The company also operates a marine terminal in Richmond as well as several inland terminals for crude supplies. In Vinvale, BP operates the largest truck terminal in the world in terms of products.

In San Diego, BP is investing nearly $1 billion in building new Alaska Class double-hulled tankers. These state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly tankers are “double-double” – double-hulled, twin engines, twin propellers, and twin rudders. The ships also have water-cooled propeller shafts (instead of oil), and piping below decks to guard from freezing.

Beyond petroleum

In addition to supplying traditional fuels, BP has been a leader in supporting development of new energy alternatives.

For example, in 2004, BP dedicated California’s first retail-designed hydrogen demonstration refueling station at a BP-branded site at Los Angeles International Airport. The station, which will provide hydrogen for fuel cell cars, has been designed to run like a public retail site in order to enhance BP’s understanding of how it might develop solutions to supply hydrogen to existing retail stations in the future.

In addition, BP is a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), which operates a hydrogen demonstration station in Sacramento. The California Fuel Partnership, a unique collaboration of auto manufacturers, oil companies, fuel cell technology companies and the state of California, is dedicated to advancing new automobile technology that could move the world toward practical and affordable environmental solutions.

BP Solar: Leading the way

With 30 years of experience in solar power, BP Solar is one of the largest and most respected solar energy companies in the world. BP Solar is the market leader in California where homeowners and businesses are using solar power to lower their electric bills and increase their energy independence.

The BP Solar Home Solution™ program allows Californians to call 1-866-BPSOLAR for a total solution to their solar energy needs: financing, permitting and installation of a complete system. The company also has launched a partnership to bring BP Solar to Home Depots to a majority of California.

BP Solar also designed and installed solar systems at two Staples, Inc. distribution facilities in Rialto and Ontario.

In addition, BP has introduced the BP Solar Neighbors™ Program, a California community initiative to promote the benefits of solar energy and help low-income families. Every time an invited celebrity purchases a BP Solar system for their home, BP donates a system to be installed on a low-income family’s home in south Los Angeles.

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