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Bridas Completes Purchase of Exxon Refinery in Argentina

Bridas Corp., the oil company owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp. and the billionaire Bulgheroni family, completed the purchase of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Campana refinery in Argentina and filling stations in South America.

Bridas’s subsidiary, Axion Energy, will control the assets acquired from Exxon, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. The gasoline stations are in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. No dollar amount was given for the deal announced in March 2011.

Bridas will invest $800 million in the next three years to increase gasoline production at the Campana refinery by 50 percent to 650,000 cubic meters a year and diesel production by 60 percent to 1.2 million of cubic meters a year, Mario Calafell, a Bulgheroni family spokesman, said in telephone interview from Buenos Aires today.

Calafell declined to comment on an Ambito Financiero newspaper report that said the deal was worth $600 million.

Exxon Mobil didn’t respond to a telephone message to its media line about the sale.

Bridas said it will continue using the Esso brand at its filling stations and will be the exclusive distributor of Mobil lubricants.

Bridas is owned in equal parts by Cnooc, China’s largest offshore explorer, and the billionaire Bulgheroni family’s Bridas Energy Holdings. Bridas also owns a 40 percent stake at at BP Plc’s controlled Pan American Energy LLC, Argentina’s second-largest oil producer and the main supplier of crude to Campana, located in Buenos Aires province.

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