LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) -- Gas station giant Arco says the news of its demise in Southern California has been greatly exaggerated, and that the chain is not disappearing from the region.

Arco spokesman Scott Dean told KTLA that there are 1200 branded Arco stations on the West Coast, including 800-900 in Southern California.

BP, which owns Arco, has 240 leases with Thrifty Gas that are set to expire soon. Of those leases, 100 are Arco branded.

According to Dean, BP has decided to allow those leases to expire over the next two years, and they will switch hands at some point.

Thrifty has has contracted with Texas refiner Tesoro Corp. to operate those sites under the USA Gasoline brand.

However, there will still be 700-800 Arco stations in Southern California that are not affected by this decision.

Separately, BP is "actively marketing" the 630-acre Carson refinery and other local gasoline operations, including service stations owned by BP and operated under the Arco name, Dean said.

Last year, the company said that it had hoped to sell the Carson plant and its refinery in Texas City, Texas, by the end of 2012 as it refocuses on cheaper sources of crude oil and raises money to pay for the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

At the Carson refinery, about 1,200 employees and 500 contractors process 265,000 barrels of oil a day into gasoline, diesel and other products, supplying about 25% of Los Angeles' gasoline.

The future owner of the refinery and service stations may want to keep the Arco and AM/PM convenience store brands, Dean said.