British Jewish Industrialist Buys Shell Oil Interests in Israel

Isaac Wolfson, British industrial magnate, has completed negotiations for purchase of the Shell Company of Palestine at a price believed to be substantially less than the Shell asking price of 5,000,000 pounds sterling at the start of the transaction, the Jewish Observer, organ of the Zionist Federation in Great Britain, reported here.

The purchase, believed to involve not more than 3,500,000 pounds, makes Wolfson Israel’s most important single supplier, the newspaper reported, disclosing that the acquisition includes all Shell installations in Israel, gasoline stations and a bulk depot with stocks worth an estimated one million pounds. The Haifa refinery and the Shell name were not included.

Coming at a time when shifts in world oil markets have produced surpluses of both crude oil and tankers which have caused a drop in the current cost of oil imports of nearly $10,000,000 a year, the sale reportedly was equally satisfactory to Wolfson and the Israel Government.

The properties became available for sale when Shell interests announced last year they were ending sales operations in Israel. The move was widely interpreted as a yielding to Arab economic boycott pressures.

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