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    Conoco, Phillips to Sell Refineries, Stores

    Final federal approval for the companies' merger expected within weeks.

    BARTLESVILLE, Okla. -- Phillips Petroleum Co. and Conoco Inc. are selling refineries in Utah and Colorado as federal regulators near the end of a review of the oil companies' merger plan.

    Phillips is selling its Woods Cross refinery near Salt Lake City and 25 gasoline stations in Utah and southern Wyoming, company spokeswoman Kristi DesJarlais told the Associated Press.

    In preparation of a possible Federal Trade Commission settlement of the merger, Houston-based Conoco is unloading its 60,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Commerce City, Colo., said its company spokeswoman Sondra Fowler.

    The FTC is expected to require both companies to divest gas stations and refineries in the West to ensure competition there before approving the merger, which was announced in November.

    The Woods Cross refinery is small, processing just 25,000 barrels of oil a day, and is one of 10 Phillips refineries in the United States with a combined daily capacity of 1.7 million barrels.

    Shareholders in April approved the deal, which will create the world's sixth largest oil and gas company and the third largest retailer and refiner of gasoline with about 20,000 stations under brand names such as Phillips 66, Circle K, Exxon and Mobil.

    The new company, ConocoPhillips, would be based in Houston, but Phillips shareholders would own a 57 percent stake. FTC chairman Timothy Muris said last week that regulators are nearing completion of their investigation of the deal, which both companies have said should be wrapped up in the year's second half.

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