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Phillips Petroleum Agrees to Buy Tosco

Oil: The latest in a wave of industry mergers would create the nation's second-largest refiner and fifth-biggest retailer.

February 05, 2001|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Tosco acquired the refinery and retailing assets of El Segundo-based Unocal Corp. for about $2 billion in 1997. Unocal was among the first oil companies to slim down by pruning such assets to focus on oil exploration and production.

Indeed, Phillips had tried for the last several years to combine its refining and marketing assets with a partner. It came close to a potential deal with Conoco Inc. in 1996 and then again with Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corp. in 1999.

Meanwhile, Phillips has formed a pipeline and natural gas joint venture with Duke Energy Corp., and a year ago, Phillips and Chevron agreed to a 50-50 joint venture of their chemical businesses, creating a company with assets of more than $6 billion.

Sunday's announcement is the second major deal for Phillips in the last year.

In April, it purchased Atlantic Richfield Co.'s Alaska production assets for $6.7 billion. The deal increased Phillips' oil and gas production by 70%. Los Angeles-based Arco was acquired by BP Amoco last year.

Mulva said the acquisition will also help put Phillips in a better position to expand its oil exploration and production operations.

"Going forward, we have the platform to develop all of our business lines," he said.

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