Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petrobras, Venezuela's PDVSA and two Argentine groups are all interested in buying US oil corporation Esso (a subsidiary of American Exxon Mobil) assets in South America, reports Buenos Aires business newspaper El Cronista.
Brazil and Venezuela's oil corporations will be tendering mainly for the South American assets of retreating Esso and Pampa Holding and Eduardo Eunerkian have opted for assets in Argentina, according to industry sources quoted in the press.
Sources also indicated that Argentina's government owned energy company, Enarsa has leaked that whoever finally takes over Esso assets "will have us as an associate in the enterprise."
Apparently Petrobras is favored to keep Esso's refinery and 500 gasoline stations in Argentina given the "good relations with Exxon Mobil", and with the Argentine government. This opens the door to other proposals in the rest of the continent.
Venezuela's PDVSA is also interested but has "strained relations" with Exxon given the nationalization process launched by President Hugo Chavez and is proposing an exchange for one of its Citgo refineries, the international name under which PDVSA operates in United States.
Pampa Holding which belongs to Argentine businessman Marcelo Mindlin and with interests in the energy industry has offered US$ 325 million for Argentina's Esso's assets.
The Eurnekian group commands Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, which manages 32 air terminals in Argentina, Uruguay's main airport Carrasco and is an associate in Milan's Malpensa. But the group is also involved in a bio-fuel plant in the Argentine province of Santa Fe and has tendered for oil leases in Chile.
The Esso bidding process is in the hands of JP Morgan bank.