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EU probes Statoil-ConocoPhillips deal

May 14, 2008
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The Associated Press is reporting that the European Union opened an antitrust investigation recently into ConocoPhillips''s proposed sale of hundreds of gas stations in Scandanavia to Norway''s state-controlled oil company.

The probe was initiated after a review suggested the deal could diminish competition in retail gas markets in Sweden and Norway, according to the European Commission

Norway''s Statoil ASA announced in September that it would buy 274 automated Jet brand gasoline stations from Houston-based ConocoPhillips.

Statoil said 163 of the stations are in Sweden, 72 are in Denmark and 39 are in Norway.

The deal must be approved by the European Commission.

Statoil is a key producer in the offshore fields that make Norway a major oil and gas producer, and has refineries and services stations in the Nordic and Baltic regions, as well as in Russia and Poland.

ConocoPhillips is the third-largest U.S. oil company.
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