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    Williams to Produce Cleaner Fuel

    Oil company reaches a deal with Unocal on gas patents.

    Unocal Corp. signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams Cos. Inc. to produce and blend cleaner burning gasolines using formulations patented by Unocal.

    The licensing agreement allows Williams to use Unocal's five patents for Williams fuel production from its 180,000 barrel per day refinery in Memphis, Tenn.

    "With the numerous blends of gasoline in the marketplace today, having this licensing agreement enables us to maximize flexibility within our gasoline pool, agilely change our production slate, and cost-effectively blend reformulated gasolines to better meet our customers' needs," said, Nelson Christian, director of operations and technical services, Williams refining and marketing operations.

    In addition, Williams' ethanol business benefits from the Unocal agreement as the company plans to continue using ethanol as one of the major components in its reformulated gasoline blends.

    "The licensing agreement will allow Williams to better leverage our numerous petroleum production streams and blending assets with our ethanol business," said Jim Redding, Williams? director of marketing and logistics. "This agreement demonstrates Williams' continued commitment to supply cleaner burning fuels to the marketplace."

    The licensing agreement with Williams is the fifth such contract issued by Unocal since the company unveiled its licensing program in March. Last month, Unocal signed licensing agreements for its cleaner burning gasoline patents with CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Tesoro Petroleum Corporation and two other unnamed companies.

    "Our licenses enable refiners, blenders and importers to cost-effectively maximize their supplies of cleaner burning gasolines," said Unocal CEO Charles Williamson. "Companies are not likely to utilize the Unocal patents for all of their RFG volumes. As such, the licenses should add only a fraction of a cent per gallon to the industry's cost structure for its nationwide RFG production."

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