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Chevron given ok to purchase Texaco

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Commission said Thursday it has given legal clearance to the combination of U.S. oil giants Chevron Corp. and Texaco Inc.

San Francisco-based Chevron agreed to buy Texaco last October for $35.1 billion in stock plus assumed debt of $7.5 billion. The deal is expected to close this summer pending review by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

"Although the operation will create the world's fourth largest company in oil and gas production, the number of areas where the companies' activities overlap in Europe are limited and, where they are, the combined market shares remain below 15 percent," the EU Commission said in a statement.

Chevron sold off most of its European operations to Texaco in 1984, and the rest to Royal Dutch/Shell Group in 1997 and Petroplus in 1998. Texaco is based in White Plains, N.Y.