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Total Petroleum to take over Esso's fuel business in V.I.
By CHRISTINE LETT
Tuesday, March 11th 2008


Esso Virgin Islands Inc. announced Monday that Total Petroleum Puerto Rico Corp. will acquire all of its fuel operations and marketing assets in the territory.

According Esso Virgin Islands president Richard Lee, the sale agreement with Total Petroleum Puerto Rico, which is still pending final approval, covers all motor fuels and aviation operations, including a network of seven retail stores. The sale is expected to become final in six to seven months.

Lee declined to comment on how much the Esso stations were sold for, saying that "the purchase price is confidential."

Total Petroleum Puerto Rico has also purchased Esso stations in Jamaica and Puerto Rico, according to Lee.

Esso Virgin Islands currently employs nine workers, all of whom will be retained to work for Total Petroleum, he said.

Lee also said that consumers should expect "no changes in supplies" of gasoline and other products.

Esso is a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, whose parent company is Exxon Mobil Corp. ExxonMobil is the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company and is also the world's largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, according to its website.

However, Esso Virgin Islands buys gas from HOVENSA via a contracted rate and then supply their brand stations in the St. Thomas-St. John District. The contracted rate is based on the U.S. national average.

Total Petroleum Puerto Rico Corp. is a division of the French-based Total Petroleum.

In 2005, Total Petroleum Puerto Rico opened the first of its re-branded gasoline stations, 100 of which the company acquired when it bought GPR-Citgo in 2004. The convenience stores at the stations became Bon Jour stores, convenience and fast-food outlets operated to the Total quality standards.

Total currently exports large quantities of gasoline from refineries in Europe to the U.S., and subsequently to Puerto Rico.

At Puerto Rico, Total Petroleum wholly owns and operates 30 percent of the gasoline stations, with the rest being owned and operated by dealers.

It has operations in more than 130 countries and 110,000 employees worldwide.

- Contact Christine Lett at 773-4428 or e-mail clett@dailynews.vi.













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