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Cablegate: Exxonmobil Sells Shares in Moroccan Affiliate

VZCZCXRO4207
PP RUEHTRO
DE RUEHCL #0282 0291706
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291706Z JAN 08
FM AMCONSUL CASABLANCA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7952
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 2957
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0254
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0845
RUEHRY/AMEMBASSY CONAKRY 0029
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0274
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0047
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0337
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 3769
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 2314
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 8201
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0022
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 2077
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0621
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0087

UNCLAS CASABLANCA 000282

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2018
TAGS: ECON EPET ENRG EFIN MO
SUBJECT: EXXONMOBIL SELLS SHARES IN MOROCCAN AFFILIATE


This message is sensitive but unclassified. It contains proprietary
information, not for public release.

REF: 06 TUNIS 02970

1. (SBU) Summary: ExxonMobil will announce on January 30 a strategic
decision to sell its shares of Mobil Oil Maroc to Libya Oil Holdings
Limited, a Libyan-government entity. The sale's impact on Morocco is
expected to be minor. End Summary.

---------------------------------------------
EXXONMOBIL SELLS MOBIL OIL MAROC TO LIBYA OIL
---------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Henri Soudan, Lead Country Manager for Mobil Oil Maroc,
informed the CG on January 29 that ExxonMobil will announce on
January 30 an agreement signed last week to sell its shares in Mobil
Oil Maroc to Libya Oil Holdings Limited, a company owned by the
Libyan government.

3. (SBU) The sale's impact on Morocco is expected to be minor.
Contractual obligations to customers and employees will remain in
force, and Libya Oil will maintain the existing work contracts and
benefits held by Mobil Oil Maroc's 120 employees. Soudan estimates
the transition from Mobil Oil Maroc to Libya Oil will take about two
to three months, and he anticipates that it will be calm and, in his
words, "quieter than in other African countries." As part of the
changeover, ExxonMobil will stipulate a phase-out period for Oil
Libya to rebrand Mobil Oil Maroc's service stations, as well as
change the fuel and lubricants sold.

4. (SBU) Soudan said ExxonMobil's decision to sell its shares of
Mobil Oil Maroc does not reflect the quality of the Moroccan
workforce, the situation of ExxonMobil itself or the economic
environment in Morocco, which he deemed safe and attractive for
investment. Rather, the company has made a strategic decision to
withdraw from non-integrated markets in Africa, where other operators
can give higher value to the smaller markets that exist there. In
the past eight years, ExxonMobil has divested its shares in
downstream operations in all but two of its Africa-based affiliates,
while Libya Oil is now present in 15 African countries. ExxonMobil
will retain its significant upstream operations in Africa, which are
expected to reach production of one million oil-equivalent barrels
per day by 2010.

GREENE

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