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Trafigura consortium in talks to buy Exxon oil refinery in France

(Reuters) - Rhone Energies, a consortium of commodity trader Trafigura and Entara LLC, is in exclusive negotiations with Exxon Mobil's ESSO SAF to acquire the Fos-sur-Mer refinery in southern France and the Toulouse and Villette de Vienne terminals.

Trafigura said in a statement on Thursday it would enter into a minimum 10-year exclusive crude oil supply and product offtake agreement, including ownership of crude oil and product stocks in tank.

Fos-sur-Mer refinery has a crude oil processing capacity of 140,000 bpd.

Trafigura added that Rhone Energies would continue to supply ESSO SAF in the region.

The deal's "completion is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected by the end of 2024. The financial terms of the proposed transaction are confidential," the company said.

This is the second major acquisition by Trafigura this year following an agreement to buy the European business of Greenergy, a UK-based supplier of road fuels and a biodiesel producer.

Trading firms like Trafigura and rival Vitol are looking for acquisition opportunities globally after they raked in billions over the last two years due to the European energy crisis and market volatility caused by sweeping western sanctions on Russia.

Trafigura posted a record net profit of about $7.4 billion for last year, up 5% from 2022.

ESSO shares are up 9.2% on Thursday, the highest since July 2008.


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