Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


SEATTLE - April 13, 2000 - Washington state, Oregon, California and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today filed settlement papers that clear the way for the merger of BP Amoco and ARCO.

The states and the FTC challenged the proposed merger of the two oil giants, alleging that it could have led to higher crude oil prices or tightened supplies for refiners in the western states by reducing the number of suppliers of Alaskan crude oil. The states’ concern was that this could lead to higher consumer prices for gasoline.

Today’s settlement was reached after the companies made major concessions, including the sale of all of ARCO’s interest on Alaska’s North Slope to Phillips Petroleum.

With the divestiture of all of ARCO’s Alaskan assets, the status quo in Alaska is maintained and competition in the production and sale of Alaskan crude oil is preserved.

"Because of those concessions, we now feel confident that refiners in Washington will continue to have a competitive source of supply," said Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire. "We believe this is great news for Washington’s gasoline consumers."

The state in February filed suit to block the merger by arguing that, if combined, BP and ARCO would control 75 percent of the crude oil produced on the Alaskan North Slope, where Washington’s five refineries get the vast majority of their supply. Those refineries supply most of the gasoline consumed in Washington and Oregon.

State officials were also concerned that a combined BP-ARCO would control the majority of oil tankers used to transport Alaskan crude to the state.

The settlement papers were filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.