Chemical Banking Corp. is moving ahead with its plan to acquire Shell Oil Co.'s credit card portfolio.

The latest evidence: Chemical bankers are scouting properties cast of New York City in Queens and on Long Island to house a combined Shell-Chemical card operation, sources said.

The banking company currently runs its card business from the Long Island community of Hicksville. But it would outgrow that facility with the purchase in October of Shell's four million credit card accounts, the sources said.

The new digs will house several hundred new customer service and collections staff members that Chemical will have to add to its current payroll in Hicksville of 1,300 people.

Chemical, which plans to issue a MasterCard or Visa card cobranded with Shell, could add up to $1 billion of receivables to its $5.78 billion card portfolio, industry experts said.

The exact amount depends on how many current Shell customers would opt for a Chemical-issued card.

If the deal goes through, the biggest loser is likely to be First Data Resources, which was hired by Shell last year to perform data processing, card issuance, and customer service functions.

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