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Shell to sell Laos operations to PetroVietnam

Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it plans to sell all its Laos fuel operations to PetroVietnam Oil Corp., as part of a global strategy to focus on exploration and production, along with some profitable downstream operations. The deal comes amid Vietnam’s falling dependence on imported fuel with the start of its new Dung Quat refinery and a global economic downturn that has hurt demand for oil products. Shell has retail and commercial fuel as well as lubricant business operations in Laos. The deal will require approval from Vietnamese authorities. (December 17, 2009)