Some BP gas station owners in the United States want to drop the BP name and return to the Amoco brand to recover business hit by public anger over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.
The executive director of the BP Amoco Marketers Association, John Kleine, said on Sunday his members were discussing the possibility of reverting to the Amoco brand.
BP Plc.'s bought Amoco in 1998 and many current BP distributors used to be Amoco distributors.
Yes, the Amoco question comes up in conversation -- driven by the goal of distributors to recapture fuels leadership in terms of quality, performance and sales, said Kleine said in an e-mail.
Kleine added later in a telephone interview, however, that he has heard of no distributors changing the name of their operations from BP to Amoco.
There is not rebranding to Amoco for sure, because that is a trademark name owned by BP, he said from Savannah, Georgia. With regard to rebranding from BP to another brand, I don't know of a move under way for that to happen.
Kleine said he knew of no move by U.S. distributors to break their contracts with BP or not to renew them.
The association represents and is owned by 475 BP distributors located east of the Rocky Mountains.
Millions of gallons (liters) of oil poured into the Gulf for three months after a rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and triggering the leak from a BP-owned well. The well was temporarily capped last month and BP hopes to seal it permanently this month.
The worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history fouled beaches from Texas to Florida, devastating the Gulf coast fishing and tourism industries. Some environmental groups called for a boycott of BP gas stations.
Kleine said the BP spill has had a psychological impact on distributors. He described it as a time of crisis and triage.
That really comes from being concerned about their business, their livelihood, their investment, seeing every day the news that would tend to make you believe that the business is going to decline, Kleine said.
And their question is how much? So that's a psychological impact, they don't feel very good.
He said he had no sales figures, but anecdotally, he said sales had declined for some distributors, especially along the Gulf Coast.
Distributors began a campaign soon after the spill started, emphasizing that BP fuel stations are locally owned and operated, Kleine said.
(Reporting by Deborah Zabarenko, editing by Anthony Boadle)