NONCORE U.S. REFINING ASSETS FINDING BUYERS

Tosco Corp.'s purchase of Exxon Co.'s Bayway, N.J., refinery prompted consulting firm Kidder Peabody & Co., New York, to question current wisdom that money losing or nonstrategic refining assets must shut down. Tosco has shown with the Bayway purchase, as have Saudi Refining Inc. with its 50% interest in Star Enterprise and more recently Petroleos de Venezuela SA and Petroleos Mexicanos, that downstream assets deemed marginal by one company can be centerpiece holdings for another (OGJ,

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