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Trafigura subsidiary buys Chevron's Caribbean assets

Published:Sunday | December 11, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Puma Energy, a subsidiary of Trafigura, the Europe-based commodities trading giant, said last Thursday that it had reached an agreement with US oil company Chevron to buy its Caribbean fuel distribution and storage assets business.

Puma said it will buy Chevron's fuel marketing and aviation business in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island, the company said in a release.

While the price at which Puma will acquire these businesses was not disclosed, it said the acquisition was in a bid to expand its presence in the region.

Chevron's assets in the islands include 192 retail service stations, an aviation fuel supply business in the Virgin Islands and storage tanks in both Puerto Rico and St Thomas in the Virgins Islands.

Together, the storage capacity of the tanks total approximately 430,000 barrels.

Puma said that once the deal is approved by regulators, it intends to expand the facilities, but gave no details on its expansion plans.

Since 2010, Puma has been building its fuel distribution business in the Caribbean and Latin America with the purchase of storage and fuel distribution from Caribbean Petroleum Corporation in Puerto Rico and Exxon Mobil throughout Central America.

Locally, the oil and marketing company has named its Texaco Jamaican assets, which include a network of 52 retail gas stations, a bulk-fuel distributor and its one-third stake in a storage terminal in Montego Bay in a pending sale agreement to GBG Energy Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Gilbert Bigio Group (GB Group).

That sale will also take in assets in the Dominican Republic and St Maarten. It covers 220 Texaco service stations, 10 aviation facilities and three import terminals.

Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. Chevron Texaco's sell-off of its Caribbean businesses is aimed at reinvesting in faster growth markets which could include Latin America and Asia, the company said last year.

Chevron has been on a phased move-out of the Caribbean markets. Its Eastern Caribbean and Central American assets were divested last year to Vitogaz SA.