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Park Rapids area will continue to have BP brand stations

The BP service station logo will remain at stations in Park Rapids and Akeley, according to Craig Rossman, jobber and owner of the Park Rapids BP.

Recently, it was reported BP stopped selling gasoline products in northwestern Minnesota, including stations in Detroit Lakes.

Rossman said the supply chain changed in 2001 when BP-Amoco sold its refinery in Mandan, ND to Tesoro Petroleum Corp.

At that time, some service station owners decided either to switch brand names to Tesoro or stick with BP.

Then in July 2007 BP announced it would no longer supply BP-brand gasoline to Minnesota stations served by terminals in Alexandria, Mankato, Marshall and Moorhead.

Rossman said product for Park Rapids is coming from Sauk Centre. "It's the same distance for us to Sauk Centre as to Moorhead," he said.

The petroleum industry is the same as airlines, Rossman explained. "It goes in cycles with mergers or, in this case, refining capacity.

"Refining wasn't profitable in the past. Now it is," Rossman said. Hence, the pipeline construction based in Park Rapids will increase the supply of crude oil from Canada to the Flint Hills Resources refinery in Rosemount and Marathon Petroleum refinery in St. Paul Park.

The Rossman family has been in the business for 37 years and during that time Standard Oil changed to Amoco and then to BP.

"We're very excited to stay with BP," Rossman said. "We didn't want to lose BP Visa," a card that gives consumers rebates on gas purchases.

"It's good for consumers and it's good for us," Rossman said.