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    Tesoro Expands West

    Refiner acquires 46 units in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, opens West Coast office.

    Tesoro West Coast Co., a subsidiary of San Antonio-based Tesoro Petroleum Corp., signed an agreement with Seattle-based Gull Industries Inc. to acquire 46 retail fueling facilities, including 37 convenience stores and nine commercial cardlock facilities in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

    Terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, were not disclosed.

    "In accordance with our goal to become the premier refining and marketing company in the western United States, we have established a retail marketing infrastructure that enables us to supply and operate acquired sites such as these in a cost-effective manner and meet our customers'
    needs of convenience, value and customer service," said Richard Parry, Tesoro's senior vice president of retail.

    "In addition, this transaction will allow us to sell more of our own gasoline and diesel production at retail, thus moving product that was being sold at wholesale into a higher-value market channel. We plan to convert these locations to the Tesoro brand," Parry added.

    Tesoro's marketing system includes more than 650 branded retail stations, of which approximately 160 are company-owned.

    As part of its expansion strategy in the west, Tesoro Refining also opened an office in Long Beach, Calif. The current office, which is temporary until a permanent office is opened in December, will administer commercial marketing, supply and trading and retail operations on the West Coast.

    Tesoro, an independent refiner and marketer, last month reached an agreement to acquire BP Plc's Mandan, N.D. and Salt Lake City refineries, pipeline, distribution and gasoline marketing operations. Upon closing, expected over the next few weeks, the company would operate five refineries in the western United States with a combined capacity of approximately 390,000 barrels per day.

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