Gulf Oil Buys Petromin


Indias Gulf Oil International Group announced Monday that its joint venture in Saudi Arabia has acquired Petromin, that nations largest lubricant supplier. Gulf officials said the transaction is part of its broader strategy to expand in the region. Terms were not disclosed.

Gulf has been very keen to consolidate its position in the Middle East, spokesman Richard Hoare said. It isa market thatGulf views as having significant potential for its products.

Since its formation in1968, Petromin had been a joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco and Mobil Investments S.A., now part of U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil. Aramco owned 71 percent of the shares of the company, which was formally named Saudi Arabian Lubricating Oil Co. It operates lubricant blending plants in Riyadh and Jubail.

Now the business is owned by Advance Petroleum Services Ltd., a joint venture between National Scientific Services Limited, a member of the Saudi firm Dabbagh Group, and Gulf Oil International Group, which is part of the Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group.

Gulf noted that it recently consolidated its presence in the United Arab Emirates by acquiring 100 percent ownership of a blending plant in Jebel Ali.

Advance Petroleum Services is exclusive marketer of Gulf-branded lubricants in Saudi Arabia and already claimed 8 percent of the market on annual sales volume of 30,000 metric tons. The size of that business multiplied overnight, however, as Petromin sells 100,000 tons of finished lubes per year and holds 30 percent of the domestic market.

Hinduja is a trading, banking and energy conglomerate headquartered in Chennai, India. Gulf Oil International is an offshore company headquartered in the Cayman Islands. Dabbagh is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and has interests in industrial and agricultural businesses.

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