UPDATE 1-Tesoro may own BP Calif. refinery as early as June 1 -sources

Thu May 16, 2013 3:36pm EDT
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* Deal will make Tesoro second-largest Calif. refiner

* BP Arco station owners told sale could happen by June 1

By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON, May 16 (Reuters) - Independent western U.S. refiner Tesoro Corp may take ownership of BP Plc's 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) Carson, California, refinery as early as June 1, sources familiar with the transaction said on Thursday.

When the $2.5-billion sale is complete, including an 800-station retail network and distribution and storage assets, Tesoro will become the second-largest refiner in California, the nation's largest gasoline market.

BP's U.S. downstream operation will then be solely focused on refineries in the northern continental United States, where cheaper Canadian crude oil is easily obtained.

In recent days, owners of BP Arco branded retail stations in California have been notified to expect the change to Tesoro as early as the first day of June.

"June 1, that's the date for Tesoro to take over," one of the sources said.

A BP spokesman declined to discuss the transaction, which was first announced in August last year and has been awaiting approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the California attorney general's office.   Continued...