Alexa

Exxon Mobile refuses comment on report of plans to sell Argentine unit

Exxon Mobile refuses comment on report of plans to sell Argentine unit

Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday it had no comment on a newspaper report that it is in talks to sell its Argentine unit for an asking price around US$200 million (euro147 million).
Clarin, South America's biggest-circulation daily, said Exxon Mobil was seeking to sell all of its Argentine assets, including 90 directly operated service stations, more than 500 franchise stations, a refinery, a lubricants plant and gas fields in two provinces.
Thomas Hess, a Buenos Aires-based spokesman for the company, told The Associated Press by telephone he had no comment on the report.
"This is a confidential and strategic question" Hess said in a follow-up e-mail. "As a matter of practice, Exxon Mobil does not comment publicly on market rumors or speculation."
"We are continuing to run our business in Argentina as usual, developing and executing initiatives and projects as planned," he added in the e-mail.
Exxon Mobil, through its local unit Esso, is reported to control about 12 percent of the Argentine fuel market and operates two gas fields, one in the northern province of Salta and the other in the Patagonian province of Neuquen.
Clarin cited unnamed sources close to the negotiations as saying Exxon Mobile advisers had begun contacting potential buyers.
Officials in the government of President Nestor Kirchner and the local unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC have been feuding, with the government accusing Shell's local unit of failing to fully supply domestic fuel demands as required by law.
Recently, Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno fined Shell, but a judge has rejected government efforts to imprison local Shell representatives in the dispute.