Firms to Buy Stakes Shed by ChevronTexaco

From Bloomberg News

Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Saudi Refining Inc. agreed to pay $2.26 billion for ChevronTexaco Corp.'s stakes in two refining ventures, making Shell the biggest U.S. fuel retailer in the U.S.

ChevronTexaco put the stakes into a trust in October as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators that allowed Chevron Corp. to buy Texaco Inc. and become the No. 2 U.S. oil company. Shell and Saudi Refining will pay $2.26 billion in cash and assume about $1.6 billion in debt, Shell said.

Shell has said it expects to save more than $400 million in annual costs on the ventures by 2004 by eliminating duplicated processes and improving its trading and procurement operations, said Shell spokeswoman Marty Erickson.

The trust had been given eight months to dispose of Texaco's stakes. Shell and Saudi Refining in October agreed in principle to buy them.

Shell, the second-biggest publicly traded oil firm, will own Equilon Enterprises, which owns 4,800 Shell stations and 8,200 Texaco stations, mostly in the eastern U.S.

Shell and Saudi Refining will each own 50% of Motiva Enterprises, which has 4,500 of both Shell and Texaco stations, mostly in the U.S. West.

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