KARACHI, Dec 6: Byco Petroleum Limited (Byco) joins the race to acquire Pakistan operations of Chevron Pakistan Limited (formerly Caltex Oil Pakistan Limited). Attock Petroleum Limited (APL) and Nishat Group have already started due diligence for the acquisition.

The Pakistani companies are attempting to buy Chevron’s downstream fuel assets in Pakistan and Egypt as Chevron Corporation headquartered in San Ramon California was believed to have decided to walk out of Egypt, Pakistan and Australia in March this year.

Downstream assets consist of refining, marketing and retail sales outlets.

Byco did not release a notice at the Karachi Stock Exchange, which could show its interest in buying out Chevron. But traders said the word was doing the rounds in the market. Analyst, Syed Abid Ali at Arif Habib Limited also quoted his sources as saying that Byco had jumped on the bandwagon.

The analyst noted that Byco was a relatively new entrant into the oil marketing business as its operations started in 2007.

The latest annual accounts of the company showed a network of 219 retail outlet.

“Amalgamation with Chevron’s 522 retail outlets should give Byco increased market penetration,” said the analyst and added that it should strengthen its vertical integration as the company already owns a 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery and the group has recently commissioned another 120,000 bpd refinery, which would take the accumulated capacity to 150,000 bpd.

“With this aggressive growth in refining sector, further expansion into marketing should yield operational efficiency, greater market penetration and help the company to lessen the intensity of circular debt from its refining segment," analyst at Arif Habib Limited wrote in his Thursday research note.

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