New England BP Stations on 'E'

Company terminates Green Valley Oil contract, working to identify new distributors

BOSTON -- Many BP gas stations in New England have run out of fuel. The company has taken action to address supply disruptions faced by a number of independent gas station operators in the greater Boston area, the company said in a statement issued late Thursday, by informing regional distributor Green Valley Oil LLC that it will terminate its contract with Green Valley effective April 13.

BP announced in late 2009 that it was expanding its retail brand presence in New England through a supply agreement with East Providence, R.I.-based Green Valley Oil. East Meadow, N.Y.-based Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. (GPMI) subleased some of the sites to Green Valley Oil.

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GPMI filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December last year after withholding some rent payments to offset what it said were environmental cleanup obligations at the stations. Jericho, N.Y.-based Getty Realty then terminated GPMI's master lease of the sites.

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"BP supply and logistics staff are working around the clock to identify new distributors and make the necessary changes to arrange for fuel deliveries to the 218 BP-branded sites supplied by Green Valley Oil," the BP statement said. "We hope to have this process completed by the end of the month. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause motorists during this transition period and sincerely hope consumers will continue to support the local gas station operators in their community who market BP-branded fuels."

The 218 sites supplied by Green Valley Oil are in Massachusetts (122), Connecticut (55), New Hampshire (22) and Rhode Island (19).

The problem is isolated to BP stations, reported the Boston Globe. Gasoline supplies are plentiful in the region, it said.

"It appears there's financial difficulty with Green Valley Oil and that financial difficulty may have caused problems for Getty Petroleum," Matthew LeLacheur, executive director of the New England Service Station & Auto Repair Association Inc., told the newspaper. "Green Valley isn't talking. Nobody has been able to find out exactly why they are in as tough a shape as they are ... [but] they've been doing half loads, intermittent loads. They haven't been able to get gasoline to these guys."