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    Tesoro Closes Deal

    Nella Oil takes control of 23 stores in Northern California.

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Independent refiner/marketer Tesoro Petroleum Corp. completed the sale of 23 retail outlets in Northern California to Nella Oil Co. and its Flyers LLC subsidiary for $23 million.

    This transaction completes the previously announced sale of 70 of the company's Northern California retail outlets for total proceeds of $67 million, of which $33 million will be used to pay down term debt.

    In separate deals earlier this month, Tesoro sold 47 stores to USA Petroleum Corp. and Green Valley Gasoline LLC. Proceeds from the sales, more than $44 million, are also being used to pay down debt.

    Tesoro, which maintains a lucrative marketing alliance with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on the West Coast, operates six refineries in the western United States with a combined capacity of nearly 560,000 barrels per day.

    Tesoro's retail marketing system includes nearly 600 branded convenience stores, of which over 200 are company operated under the Tesoro and Mirastar brands.

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