(EnergyAsia, August 23 2011, Tuesday) — ExxonMobil said it has agreed to sell off its interest in three businesses operating an oil refinery and retail stations in Malaysia to San Miguel Corporation (SMC) of the Philippines for a total of US$610 million

The agreements includes ExxonMobil’s 65% stake in the publicly traded company Esso Malaysia Berhad (EMB), which operates the Port Dickson refinery, as well as its wholly-owned ExxonMobil Malaysia Sdn Bhd (EMMSB) and ExxonMobil Borneo Sdn Bhd (EMBSB) affiliates which are involved in the retail, industrial and wholesale and aviation fuels businesses.

The companies’ physical assets include the 88,000 b/d refinery, equity interest in 10 fuel distribution terminals, approximately 560 branded retail fuel sites (420 company owned). The Esso and Mobil brands used in the marketing of fuels products, including their associated marketing programs, will remain in the market place for up to three years to facilitate San Miguel Corporation’s transition to a new retail fuels brand.

The US major said the transaction will have no impact on its upstream interests in Malaysia, where it is active in oil and gas exploration and production through affiliate ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc (EMEPMI). Also excluded from this transaction are the marketing and sales of chemicals, lubricants, and asphalt products, and the operations of its business support centre in Kuala Lumpur.

With its long history in Malaysia dating back to 1893, ExxonMobil said the sale of its downstream interests marks a significant refocusing of its operations in the country. The company said it remains committed to Malaysia as a producer and supplier of crude, lubricants, asphalt, waxes and chemical products.

As part of its review of its Asian operations, ExxonMobil is also in talks to sell off its retail business in Thailand and its natural gas assets in Aceh in Indonesia.

San Miguel Corporation is a Philippines business conglomerate and the parent company of Petron Corp, the largest oil refining and marketing company in the Philippines. Its 68%-owned subsidiary, Petron Corp, owns and operates a 180,000 b/d refinery and over 1,700 service stations across the Philippine archipelago.

The agreements with San Miguel Corporation were executed by ExxonMobil International Holdings Inc and Mobil International Petroleum Corporation. Formal change in control of the three impacted ExxonMobil affiliates, subject to regulatory review, is anticipated to occur in the first half of 2012.