April 25, 2018 / 7:35 AM / a year ago

Total interested in exploring Saudi petrol station market with Aramco

The logo of Total is seen on the headquarters tower of French oil giant Total at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie, near Paris, France, December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS/RIYADH (Reuters) - French oil and gas major Total said on Wednesday it was interested in Saudi Arabia’s petrol station market and had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state energy giant Saudi Aramco to look at options.

The MoU was signed on April 10 during a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Paris, a spokesman said, a trip that saw the signing of preliminary agreements with French companies including Total worth about $12 billion.

The spokesman declined to give further details.

Total and Aramco are considering the joint acquisition of petrol station operators in Saudi Arabia, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

One of the sources said a deal worth between 2 billion and 3 billion riyal ($533 million to $800 million) was being discussed.

Aramco did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co acquired a license this week to operate petrol stations in Saudi Arabia, the company’s retail fuel unit said.

Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Co also operates petrol stations in Saudi Arabia.

($1 = 3.7499 riyal)

Reporting by Bate Felix and Rania El Gamal; additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Dale Hudson

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