International News: LUKOIL Purchasing 376 European ConocoPhillips Stations

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International News: LUKOIL Purchasing 376 European ConocoPhillips Stations

MOSCOW -- Not even a week after reporting that they were finalizing plans, LUKOIL and ConocoPhillips announced that they've reached a definitive agreement for LUKOIL to purchase 376 ConocoPhillips fueling stations in six European countries.

The agreement covers 156 stations in Belgium, 49 in Finland, 44 in the Czech Republic, 30 in Hungary, 83 in Poland, and 14 in the Slovak Republic. The stations are among the most efficient in their respective markets, the parties said. At present, all the facilities are branded Jet stations and will be re-branded as LUKOIL stations within two years.

"This deal is in support of the company's downstream strategy, which among other things envisages LUKOIL's plans to considerably expand its retail chain in Europe and sell products with added value," said Vagit Alekperov, LUKOIL president.

"Today's announcement represents a significant step in achieving our asset disposition program, and we are pleased the transaction supports the business direction of both companies," said Jim Mulva, ConocoPhillips' chairman and chief executive.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007 following review by the relevant authorities. ConocoPhillips plans to increase its interest in LUKOIL to 20 percent by the end of the year as part of a strategic alliance announced in 2004.

LUKOIL is the second largest private oil company worldwide by proven hydrocarbon reserves. ConocoPhillips is an integrated petroleum company with interests around the world.