TransMontaigne ( TMG) hired UBS to assist the oil services company in evaluating its strategic alternatives.

The Denver-based refined petroleum products distribution and supply operator disclosed the decision in a midday press release Friday. Its shares rose 3% on the announcement.

The move comes at a tumultuous time in the red-hot oil business, what with Mideast unrest and rising global demand pushing up the value of many energy-related assets.

TransMontaigne operates in the Gulf Coast, Midwest and East Coast regions. The company focuses on terminal, pipeline, and tug-and-barge operations, along with supply, distribution and marketing, and supply management services.

On Friday, shares of the American Stock Exchange-listed company rose 15 cents to $5.44.

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