Published: Jul 30, 2010 6:08 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 30, 2010 3:08 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - BP gas station owners across the country are divided over whether the oil giant stained by its handling of the Gulf spill should rebrand U.S. outlets as Amoco or another name as part of efforts to repair the company's badly damaged reputation.

Some who saw their sales plunge after the spill say BP has already sought a fresh start by naming an American to replace its British CEO, so why not change the name on gas station marquees to Amoco, which once stood for American Oil Co.?

There is precedent for such a move. Think AirTran after the ValuJet crash and Xe Services after the killing of civilians by Blackwater Worldwide guards in Iraq.

But others worry that a name change is risky given all the marketing dollars already spent building up the BP brand.

After the spill, set off by an April 20 offshore drilling rig explosion, some BP-branded gas stations reported sales declines of 10 to 40 percent from Florida to Illinois. BP responded by offering distributors cash, reductions in credit card fees and help with more national advertising.