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RE: LyondellBasell to Close French Refinery Berre-L'Etang

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Charles Randall

Here is update on Lyondell’s French Refinery plans to sell Berre. The Simple (Nelson Complexity =6.7) Berre-L’Etang Refinery had its capacity dropped from 125MBD to 80MBD in 1998 ( could been delayed regional impact from 1973 oil crisis).

The area French Lava port and South European Pipeline supply 12 refineries in Germany, France, & Switzerland. But refining production capacity for the 4 French refineries (Berre, La Mede, Lava, and Fos ) was significantly reduced due 1973 oil crisis & focus switched to petrochemicals.

Shell sold it in 2007 to LyondellBasel for ~$700 million and it became thier 2nd refinery in France. LyondellBasel had announced synergy (especially raw material + site advantages for its olefin group) as reason for the 2008 purchase – but it looks like it may not have been worth the price tag. Shell and several other majors have ongoing effort to sell several European refineries and recent French labor strike has not enhanced economics for the French refineries.


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