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BP gasoline no longer used in Detroit Lakes or region

If you've been looking for the aqua and yellow BP service station logo in Fargo-Moorhead, forget it.

As of April 1, BP stopped selling gasoline products in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. Most former BP stations have either changed brand names or have gone unbranded, said Mike Rud, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association.

"I think it affects 34 sites in North Dakota," Rud said. Those service stations combined sold about 35 million gallons of petroleum products annually, he said.

David Oberg is co-owner of former Minnesota-based BP convenience store stations in Hawley and Detroit Lakes. He switched to selling Clark petroleum products in November.

"You didn't have to switch until April 1," when BP quit processing credit cards, he said.

Valerie Corr, a Chicago-based BP spokeswoman, said the company announced in July that it would no longer supply BP-brand gasoline to Minnesota stations served by terminals in Alexandria, Mankato, Marshall and Moorhead.

"They are on the edge of what we call our supply envelope," Corr said.

Signs of an impending North Dakota pullout date back to September 2001 when Texas-based Tesoro Petroleum Corp. acquired refineries in Salt Lake City and Mandan, N.D., from BP-Amoco.

That's when service station owners decided whether to switch brand names to Tesoro or stick with BP, Rud said.

"They had an option for a few years and now that option is gone," he said.

In metropolitan Fargo-Moorhead, most former BP stations are easy to spot.

Many still carry the aqua and gold striping, now topped with new logos such as Cenex, Holiday, All Stop, Tesoro and others.

Brent Nerland manages former BP stations at 4350 13th Ave. S. in Fargo and 1021 West Main Ave. in West Fargo.

"We had to be done by the end of March. Now we're with Cenex," he said.

"Nothing has changed. It's just now we're buying our gas from Cenex. Before, we were buying it from BP."

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502

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