<FYI – few qestions around Rumor that Hess was closing Hovensa again – Just out from Argus that it is true.>
Hess, PdV to close Hovensa refinery
18 Jan 2012 13:39 GMT
Houston, 18 January 2012 (Argus) The 350,000 b/d Hovensa refinery in St. Croix, a 50:50 joint venture between US integrated energy producer Hess and Venezuela’s state-owned PdV, will shut down and become an oil storage terminal after piling up $1.3bn in losses in the past three years.
Slumping fuel demand and the addition of new refining capacity in emerging markets have made the facility uneconomic to operate, Hess said today. Losses were projected to continue, even after the shutdown of older processing units last year cut the refinery’s capacity by 30pc. Hess said costs recorded to reflect the closure of Hovensa on its balance sheet cut fourth-quarter profit by $525mn.
The companies completed a two-month turnaround at Hovensa in December.
A plunge in US natural gas prices put Hovensa at a competitive disadvantage because the St. Croix refinery is fueled by oil, Hess said.