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    Conoco Purchases Gulf Canada

    Deal increases company's international oil reserves.

    In a deal that will increase its total oil reserves by almost 40 percent, Houston-based Conoco Inc. today acquired Gulf Canada's resources, including proven reserves of more than 1 million barrels worldwide, for $4.3 billion in cash.

    "Gulf Canada's growth initiatives in Canada and Southeast Asia add further strength and balance to our significant Gulf of Mexico deepwater and Venezuelan positions and programs in the Middle East, Caspian Sea and West Africa," Conoco's chairman and CEO Archie W. Dunham told the Associated Press.

    The deal is expected to increase Conoco's North American natural gas reserves by more than 50 percent.

    The acquisition will also transfer to Conoco Gulf Canada's 72 percent interest in Gulf Indonesia Resources Ltd., a company which, in conjunction with Syncrude Canada Ltd., converts heavy tar sands into light, sweet crude, establishing Southeast Asia as a new core business area for Conoco.

    Conoco agreed to pay about $8.02 for each share of Gulf Canada ? almost 35 percent more than Gulf Canada's closing share price on Friday ? and will assume about $2 billion in Gulf Canada's debt. The transaction, subject to U.S. and Canadian regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the third quarter.

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