If you buy your gas at a Texaco station, better do it quick: Most Texaco stations will be going away:
Shell Oil Co. plans to transform about 370 Houston-area Texaco stations into Shells by the middle of next year. The process started this week.
Although the number of Texaco stations will be greatly reduced -- going from the brand in Houston with the most stations to one of the least -- a handful that don't fit Shell's criteria will be allowed to sell under the Texaco brand.
Origins of the switch go back to when Shell acquired the exclusive rights to the Texaco brand in the United States as the result of a Federal Trade Commission decision requiring divestiture as a condition to letting the October 2001 merger between Chevron and Texaco proceed. The merger had been announced a year earlier.
By last February, Shell had decided that a two-brand strategy wouldn't work. The changeover will cost it about $530 million nationwide, with the cost per station running $40,000 to $80,000.
Ultimately, Shell expects to convert the bulk of its 13,000 Texaco stations nationwide.