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    Sunoco Acquires Eagle Point

    Independent refiner-marketer acquires refinery for $130 million.

    PHILADELPHIA -- Sunoco Inc.'s aggressive buying-and-selling spree continued when the independent refiner-marketer yesterday signed a letter of intent to acquire the Eagle Point refinery and related assets from Houston-based El Paso Corp. for $130 million plus inventory. Pending regulatory approval, the deal is scheduled to close by second or third quarter.

    The refinery, among the very few to sell from some 20 refineries on the market in the U.S., is based in Westville, N.J. and boasts a working capacity of 150,000 barrels per day.

    "Like our Northeast refineries, the Eagle Point refinery processes light, sweet crude oils into high-value products for sale into the large Northeast U.S. product market," said Sunoco Chairman and CEO John Drosdick.

    "As part of our refining center, we can further optimize crude oil purchases, reduce transportation costs, share product streams, more efficiently utilize processing units and logistical infrastructure and further improve our ability to meet our customers' needs," Drosdick said.

    Fitch Ratings said the deal would not impact Sunoco's credit quality, which remains stable. The Eagle Point refinery is located across the Delaware River from Sunoco's Marcus Hook and Philadelphia refineries. Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P., a 75 percent owned subsidiary of Sunoco, will likely acquire the pipeline and logistics assets included in the transaction.

    The deal continues Sunoco's active wheeling-and-dealing. In recent months, the company acquired nearly 200 Speedway SuperAmerica locations along Interstate 95 into Florida. More recently, Sunoco said it would pull out of the Michigan and Southern Ohio market over the next 18 months, divesting 190 stations.

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