By TAOS TURNER
BUENOS AIRES -- Argentine oil and gas company Bridas Corp.
on Thursday completed its purchase of ExxonMobil Corps
local downstream unit Esso.
The transaction turns Bridas, which runs Argentina's Pan
American Energy, into a fully-integrated oil and gas producer
by adding a refinery and more than 700 gas
stations in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay to its
The former Esso company, now called Axion Energy, will
continue to use the Esso brand at its gas stations, Axion said
in a statement.
Axion said it plans to raise the production capacity of its
refinery by 60% for diesel and 50%
Bridas first announced the acquisition of Esso in March
2011. The deal included a 90,000 bpd oil refinery in Buenos Aires Province
and more than 500 gas stations in Argentina and 220 gas
stations in Paraguay and Uruguay.
At the time it was made public, the deal was expected to
turn Bridas into Argentina's No. 2 oil and gas company after
Bridas didn't disclose the value of the transaction, which
people working in the oil and gas sector have estimated at
between $800 million and $850 million.
Bridas is jointly owned by Argentina's Bulgheroni family,
through Bridas Energy Holdings, and China's Cnooc Ltd.
Dow Jones Newswires