Gas Station Shuffle

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The Texaco star is dimming on many street corners as result of the series of oil mergers in recent years.

Industry giants such as Exxon Mobil and ChevronTexaco quickly combined the exploration and refining business of different companies.

Those changes took place out of consumers' view, but now the mergers are forcing changes at the service station level.

The green-and-gold BP "Helios" symbol is erasing Amoco's torch-and-oval signpost, and the Shell logo is replacing thousands of black-and-red Texaco stars across the country.

The Shell makeover of many Texaco stations can be traced to Texaco's 2001 merger with Chevron. Antitrust regulators forced Texaco to sell its U.S. gas stations.

Shell Oil became the supplier for 21,000 Shell and Texaco stations in the U.S., but Shell wanted to supply only 15,000 stations.

Shell is selling some company-owned locations and telling some independent Texaco operators it doesn't want them to fly the Shell flag. Some Texaco operators are turning down Shell.

The surviving Texaco stations can move under the ChevronTexaco umbrella as early as June 2004.