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Lotos faces fight for Neste's gas stations -paper

WARSAW, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Polish refiner Lotos may have to fend off its larger domestic rival PKN Orlen to acquire Finnish Neste's 106 gas stations in Poland, the two groups said.

"The sale process has launched. The subject is being analysed by us," Lotos' deputy head Mariusz Machajewski told daily Parkiet.

PKN, state-controlled like Lotos and leading the market with 1,758 stations in the country, is "observing the oil market situation, with a view to potential takeover possibilities," the daily quoted PKN's spokeswoman Beata Karpinska.

PKN, the country's top refiner, said in July it was considering buying the chain of Polish fuel stations.

Neste's network, valued by analysts at 200 million zlotys ($63.28 million), would help Lotos, which has 368 stations in the country, move ahead of Royal Dutch Shell and BP

into the No.2 spot in the domestic market.

($1=3.1604 Polish zlotys)

(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; editing by Mike Nesbit)

((adrian.krajewski@thomsonreuters.com)(+48 22 653 97 09 Reuters Messaging: adrian.krajewski.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: LOTOS NESTE/