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Chile Enap Not In Running For Local Shell Assets-Minister

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Chile Enap Not In Running For Local Shell Assets-Minister

“Shell’s local business, meanwhile, has been the object of intense media speculation in the past weeks, as the company has retreated from several markets in the region and the rest of the world.

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

August 31, 2004 1:15 p.m.

Posted 1 September 2004

SANTIAGO — Chilean state energy company Empresa Nacional de Petroleo (ENP.YY) isn’t in the running for Royal Dutch/Shell’s (RD) local assets, Mining Minister Alfonso Dulanto said Tuesday in a press conference.

The company’s joint buy – together with a closely held Peruvian conglomerate – of Shell ‘s distribution assets in Peru earlier this month stemmed from Enap’s search for an export market for its fuels, Dulanto said.

Tight competition in the Chilean market – including open borders for fuel import and export – means Enap needs to look for additional markets for some of its fuels, while at the same time ruling out its entry into the Chilean service station business, Dulanto added.

In its Peruvian deal, Enap for the first time enters the retail fuels business, but similar deals – though possible sometime in the future – won’t happen in the near term, he also said.

Shell ‘s local business, meanwhile, has been the object of intense media speculation in the past weeks, as the company has retreated from several markets in the region and the rest of the world.

Last week, executives of Brazilian state energy company Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR) met industry peers in Chile as Petrobras continued its quest for an asset purchase in the Andean country, one of only three South American countries in which it isn’t yet active and whose energy market is a declared target.

“Any commitment undertaken leading to the acquisition of any asset in Chile will be announced to the market and the shareholders at the appropriate time in accordance with the company’s disclosure practices,” the company said in a statement distributed from its Rio de Janeiro headquarters last week.

The release was titled “Clarification on the acquisition of (Royal Dutch) Shell ‘s assets in Chile,” but didn’t mention Shell in the text.

Petrobras’ overtures to Chilean companies over the past year so far have been unsuccessful.

Local media have speculated that Petrobras and Repsol YPF SA (REP) are the most likely buyers of the Chilean operation.

However, a takeover of Shell gas stations in Argentina would leave Repsol in control of two thirds of the gas stations in that country, which would likely be blocked by competition authorities.

 

Company Web site: http://www.enap.cl

 

Ministry Web site: http://www.minmineria.cl

 

-By Stephan Kueffner, Dow Jones Newswires; +56 2-460-8546

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