BP, Tesoro deal raises questions

Aug. 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM

SACRAMENTO, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A consumer advocacy group in California expressed concern over plans by Texas oil company Tesoro Corp. to acquire California refineries from BP.

Tesoro, through the $2.5 billion deal with BP, said it plans to acquire a California refinery that can process 266,000 barrels of oil per day, an associated pipeline network and retail market networks in the southwest. The deal is subject to federal and California state regulatory approval.

Consumer advocacy groups expressed concern that Tesoro was taking on a larger portion of the retail gasoline market in California.

Charles Langley, an advocate with the Utility Consumers' Action Network in San Diego, was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying the deal "is not good for consumers" and "should not be allowed."

Tesoro, through the acquisition, would control 27 percent of the refining market in California.

Market analysts, however, said the deal would be beneficial for all parties involved, including BP, reeling financially from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Tesoro knows the business and they know how to make California gasoline," Phil Flynn, a Chicago analyst for the Price Futures Group, told the Times. "They do it as well or better than anyone."

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