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Friday, April 11, 2008

LUKOIL Sells American Filling Stations

Apr. 11, 2008 - Kommersant - LUKOIL had decided to sell some of the filling stations in the United States that it bought in 2004 from its strategic partner ConocoPhillips. The company wants to sell of 162 low-profit stations in southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania for $138 million. That is mote than twice the price it paid for them. The company stated that it would continue to provide the stations with gas for the next 15 years. LUKOIL has been in business in the U.S. since 2000, when it bought a chain of about 1300 filling stations from Getty Petroleum. In 2004, it paid $269.5 million for another 795 stations to ConocoPhillips, which had become the owner of 7.6 percent of LUKOIL the same year and later raised its stake to 20 percent. According to the company's 2007 annual report, where the sale of the stations was announced, LUKOIL has a total of 6100 stations. American filling stations have a very low profit margin, which is why major oil companies prefer to sell contracts for gasoline delivery to stations rather than run them themselves. LUKOIL did not identify the buyer of its stations, which it stated made 50 percent less profit than the average for the rest of its stations, but mentioned that the buyer was not a Russian company.

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