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ROGUE RIVER, Ore. -- Shell Oil Co. cut the flow of gasoline to 16 Oregon stations -- 11 in the Eugene area -- because the stations' operator is behind in its payments, a Shell spokeswoman said Friday, according to a report in the Oregon-based Register-Guard.
Convenience markets at some of the locations remained open on Friday, but the gas pumps were closed and taped off with yellow ribbon.
The stations were closed, but could reopen under a new operator in "days or weeks," according to Alison Chassin, spokeswoman for Shell's Western region.
Chassin said Shell's products were cut off from the stations after operator, Rogue River Ore.-based CLC Investments, violated its contract by falling behind in payments to Shell.
"We notified CLC of the breach, and that this could adversely affect their status as an operator," Chassin said. "In order to avoid increased financial losses, we stopped the fuel supply at these locations as of (Thursday afternoon)," the newspaper reported. "We advised them several times over the past several months, and they have been noncompliant."
CLC Investments is headed by President Carl Curry and Secretary Linda Stewart-Curry, according to records in the Corporation Division of the Oregon secretary of state's office, the report stated.
"I've heard from others' (false rumors) that Shell is shutting down in Oregon," said Chassin. "But Shell has 280-plus retail sites around Oregon. We are not shutting down our operations in Eugene or in Oregon."
The company is currently negotiating with a new operator, she said, explaining she did not know whether the new operator runs other stations for Shell, or if all of the closed stations would be shifted to this operator, according to the report.
"We are currently in discussions," Chassin said. "We're talking days to weeks (before the stations reopen), hopefully not anything longer than that.
And we apologize to the consumers for any inconvenience."
In other Shell news, the company announced Marion Banowski of Chicago as the winner of $10,000 worth of free Shell gasoline from Shell Oil Products U.S.
The company held the giveaway as part of its sponsorship of the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, where it displayed the winning Daytona 500 No. 29 Shell/Penzoil car being raced by Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
Twenty finalists each drew a Shell gas card and inserted it into the credit card reader at the display gas pump to activate the pump. Banowski was the 11th finalist to insert his card.
The remaining finalists walked away with a complimentary pass for themselves and a guest to attend the Chicago Auto Show, and also received a $100 Shell gasoline gift card.