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California

Shell to Put Its Name on Texaco Stations

Energy: Customers in Southern California should notice the switch in the next few months.

September 06, 2002|NANCY RIVERA BROOKS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The red star will become a yellow seashell at about 75 Texaco service stations in Southern California over the next few months.

Houston-based Shell Oil, a unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group, announced in February that it would spend more than $500 million to put its name and logo on most of the 13,000 Texaco gasoline stations it bought last year from ChevronTexaco Corp. Southern California is one of the places where Shell is starting the conversion, which should be completed nationwide by late next year, Shell spokesman Cameron Smyth said Thursday.

"Customers should start to notice a change soon," Smyth said.

Before Chevron Corp. and Texaco Inc. merged and were forced to divest the Texaco stations, the Shell and Texaco brands were owned by two joint ventures: Equilon in the West and Motiva in the East. Shell bought out Texaco's stake in the two ventures.

Shell owns slightly more than 700 Texaco stations and nearly 1,300 Shell stations in California, selling about 10% to 12% of the state's gas, Smyth said. Texaco will linger for a few years on a small number of stations where the dealers with contracts to use the Texaco name chose not to switch to Shell, he said.

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