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Turkey may get $2.6 billion for Tupras

Turkey may get $2.6 billion for its stake in oil refiner Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS in a sale today as rising prices for gasoline and heating oil increase
interest in the auction, according to a survey of analysts. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Hungarian Mol Rt and Eni SpA are among nine bidders for a 51% stake in Tupras. At current prices, the shares are worth $2.3 billion. The difference between the cost of crude and the price of refined products, have more than doubled from a year ago, climbing further in the past week after Hurricane Katrina shut refinery operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Tupras also benefits from Turkey's access to oil from Iraq, just across its southeastern border, and its location on the Mediterranean, which simplifies shipping products. The profit for turning three barrels of Brent crude oil into two of gasoline and one barrel of heating oil is $19.59, more than double the level a year ago. Tupras refined about 492,000 barrels of oil a day last year, more than Exxon Mobil Corp.'s refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With two-thirds of Turkey's market for refined oil products, Tupras reported $8.6 billion of sales.