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    Utah Texaco Locations Converting to Shell

    Changeover of 50 locations to be complete by end of 2004.

    SALT LAKE CITY -- About 50 Texaco stations along the Wasatch Front, a region in Utah that includes Salt Lake City, will be rebranded as Shell stations under what is being billed as one of the largest corporate brand conversions in U.S. history, The Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune reported.

    Renovation of canopies, buildings, fuel pumps and landscaping of the stations to reflect Shell's trademark yellow and red color scheme will be completed by the end of next year, according to Johan Zaayman, Shell Oil Products US spokesman. "They will have a completely different look," he said.

    The stations will remain open for most, if not all, of the renovation work, he said, according to the newspaper.

    More than 42,000 Texaco credit cardholders in Utah will receive replacement Shell credit cards, the company said, according to the news report.

    Shell Oil Products US, which operates refineries and a pipeline and terminal system, has a network of nearly 8,000 branded gasoline stations throughout the West.

    Nationally, Shell will spend approximately $530 million to convert 13,000 Texaco stations in more than 75 metropolitan areas nationwide to its own format and market the new Shell stations to the public.

    Shell, which already operates about two dozen stations in Utah, primarily in rural areas, acquired the Texaco stations as part of an agreement that assured regulatory approval for Chevron and Texaco to combine to create the nation's second-largest oil company, ChevronTexaco.

    The gas-station divestitures were designed to protect consumers who may have had to pay higher gas prices as a result of less competition in the wake of Chevron and Texaco merging their operations.

    The last time a large number of gas stations along the Wasatch Front changed names was when Tesoro Petroleum Corp. purchased a Salt Lake City oil refinery operated by BP Plc, the world's third-largest publicly traded oil company, formerly known as BP Amoco, The Tribune reported.

    As a result of the purchase, more than 24 Amoco stations were rebranded as Tesoro stations.

    The Utah petroleum marketing industry changed further earlier this year when Mike Peterson Oil Co. of Provo acquired 12 Chevron Texaco Corp. stations in Salt Lake County.

    Mike Peterson Oil already had owned seven Chevron-branded convenience stores in Utah County that operate under the Extra Mart name.

    The company is in the process of rebranding the stations it acquired from ChevronTexaco to include the Extra Mart name, said Dave Schiller, field manager, The Salt Lake Tribune.

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