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Vitol, Shell jv starts fuel distribution in Africa

LONDON | Thu Dec 1, 2011 6:32am EST

Dec 1 (Reuters) – Vivo Energy, the joint venture between the world’s biggest oil trader Vitol, Royal Dutch Shell and Helios Investment Partners, has started a fuel distribution business in Africa, the joint venture said in a news release on Thursday.

The joint venture was announced in February, when oil major Shell sold its African downstream business to Vitol and Helios.

Refined fuels will be distributed via Vivo Energy, in which Vitol and Helios each own 40 percent. Shell holds the remaining 20 percent.

Lubricants are distributed by Shell and Vivo Lubricants, which is 50 percent owned by Shell. The rest is owned by Vitol and Helios.

Top independent trading houses have been expanding African downstream business this year, mostly picking up assets divested by oil majors.

Vitol’s rival Trafigura agreed in September to buy Chevron’s fuel marketing business in Namibia.

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