ChevronTexaco Buys Shell Sites


ChevronTexaco acquired a Bluefield, W.Va., lubricant blending plant and a lubricants training center in Houston from Shell Oil Co. late last year under an agreement that was part of Texacos 2002 divestiture of stakes in the Equilon and Motiva joint ventures, ChevronTexaco and Shell confirmed last week.

The blending plant and training center had both been closed before ChevronTexaco bought them, and the company said it has no plans to reopen them.

Shell also has an option to require ChevronTexaco to buy 10 more plants and sales centers by 2007. These properties include blending plants in Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, River Rouge, Mich., Charleston, S.C., and Norfolk, Va., along with direct sales offices in Oklahoma City, Okla., Doraville, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., and Marrero, La.

ChevronTexaco spokesman Michael Barrett said his company does not plan to reopen the Bluefield plant or the Houston center. Asked if ChevronTexaco expects to acquire the other 10 facilities, he referred the question to Shell.

Shell declined to speculate on the likelihood that it will sell the remaining facilities to ChevronTexaco. At this time, we are continuing to evaluate our options, Shell Oil Products US spokeswoman Karyn Leonardi-Cattolica said Friday.

ChevronTexaco did not say exactly when it acquired the Bluefield plant and Houston training center but referred to the transaction in a March 9 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the filing, Shell sold the facilities under a clause in Texacos sale of its 44-percent stake in Equilon and its 32.5-percent stake in Motiva. The divestitures – required by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as a condition of its approval of Texacos merger with Chevron – made Shell sole owner of Equilon while Motiva became a 50-50 joint venture between Shell and Saudi Refining Inc.

The March 9 SEC filing said ChevronTexaco, as part of the divestiture, provided indemnities for contingent liabilities, agreeing to cover certain losses if they materialized. The agreement called for ChevronTexaco to compensate Shell through cash payments and by purchasing up to 12 lubricant facilities by 2007.

The Bluefield plant and Houston training center were among those facilities. According to the SEC filing, ChevronTexaco paid a de minimis price for them.

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