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Shell may be primed for a Mobil takeover

theage.com.au

Shell may be primed for a Mobil takeover

Saturday 24 May 2008
SPECULATION has surfaced that Exxon Mobil plans to sell Mobil, its Australian oil refinery and marketing business.

There was talk three months ago that a deal for the sale was about to be cut with Shell. But that was denied at the time and nothing eventuated.

According to the Business Spectator website, the sale process is being handled by Exxon Mobil’s headquarters in New York and the buyer would most likely be foreign. Exxon Mobil did not return calls to BusinessDay on the speculation.

Mobil’s main interests are 800 retail sites and the Altona oil refinery and two oil terminals, one of which is in Yarraville. It also owns the Port Stanvac oil refinery in Adelaide that was mothballed in 2003 because it was too small to compete with the super-sized refineries in Singapore.

The website also said Wesfarmers was believed to be considering its role in the petrol retailing business that it acquired along with Coles. Coles has 600 sites around Australia.

Exxon Mobil’s Australian operations posted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) from Bass Strait oil and gas production for 2007 of $948 million.

The downstream business — operating under the Mobil Australia banner — posted EBIT for 2007 of $320 million, up from $313 million in 2006.

The combined business achieved consolidated EBIT of $1.23 billion.

http://business.theage.com.au/shell-may-be-primed-for-a-mobil-takeover-20080523-2hpj.html

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