MOBIL TO BUY ESSO UNIT IN AUSTRALIA

Mobil Oil Australia Ltd. has reached preliminary agreement to buy Esso Australia Ltd.'s downstream business unit for a reported $500 million (Australian). Pending expected approval by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board, the deal is to be complete by yearend. The acquisition will cut the number of refiner/marketers in Australia to five, boosting Mobil to a tie for second in market share with BP Australia at about 21% each. Market leader Shell Australia Ltd. has about 25% of the

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