June 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm #2243
FACTBOX-European oil refineries for sale or closure
2011-06-01 17:08 (UTC)
LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) – Many European oil and chemical firms have been looking to sell domestic refineries as rival fuels have replaced oil demand and weighed on profit margins.
The following are the refineries around Europe that have been sold or are up for sale:
FRANCE – BERRE
* LyondellBasell Industries NV said at the end of May 2011 it was seeking a buyer for its 105,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery at Berre, France.
* The site also has a steam cracker and world-scale polypropylene and polyethylene plants, but it is not looking to sell the olefins and polyolefins units at Berre.
* Says refinery, acquired in 2008, has not fulfilled economic projections made at the time.
FRANCE – DUNKIRK
* A French court in late October 2010 authorised oil major Total to permanently close its refinery at Dunkirk on the north coast and proceed with plans to develop non-refining activities on the site.
* President Nicolas Sarkozy said in early May 2011 that a promised liquefied natural gas terminal in northern France would be built despite delays that had cast doubts on the project.
* Total, France’s biggest company by market value, signed an agreement with EDF to invest in the Dunkirk project after closing a low-margin refinery in the region, causing public and political uproar.
FRANCE – REICHSTETT
* Swiss-based independent refiner Petroplus Holding said it would convert its 85,000 bpd Reichstett refinery in eastern France, the least profitable of all its plants, to a terminal after it failed to find a buyer.
* The plant was closed early in the second quarter 2011.
GERMANY, SWEDEN – HARBURG, HEIDE AND GOTHENBURG
* Shell in August 2010 agreed to sell Heide to billionaire Gary Klesch and Gothenburg in Sweden to Finland’s St1.
* Shell plans to shut its 110,000 bpd German Harburg refinery and convert it into a storage site after failing to find a buyer, it said in January 2011.
* Shell was previously in non-exclusive talks to sell its German Harburg refinery to Essar.
ITALY – CREMONA
* Libya’s Tamoil shut its 90,000 bpd Italian refinery at the end of March 2011 and said it would pursue plans to convert it into a storage site.
LITHUANIA – LIETUVA
* PKN Orlen is mulling a full or partial exit from the Lithuanian refinery it bought for over $2 billion it said in August 2010, as the plant has failed to generate expected profits due to oil supply troubles, that have raised its costs.
ROMANIA – ARPECHIM
* State-owned chemicals firm Oltchim made an offer to oil and gas company Petrom at the end of May to buy its Arpechim refinery.
* Petrom had said it planned to close the Arpechim refinery late this year after failing to find a buyer.
SCOTLAND – GRANGEMOUTH, LAVERA
* Located in Scotland, the plant processes about 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Current operator British chemicals maker INEOS bought it from BP in 2005.
* Chinese oil giant PetroChina agreed to buy into two refineries in France and Scotland of British firm INEOS, expanding its global refining foothold.
* INEOS will retain 50 percent of the Grangemouth and Lavera refineries, with a combined capacity of 420,000 barrels per day.
* Grangemouth is a moderately complex refinery equipped with both hydrocracking and catalytic cracking systems, giving it flexibility to produce gasoline and middle distillates, such as diesel, according to market demand.
* The plant is connected to the North Sea Forties pipeline, which delivers about 650,000-700,000 bpd of crude oil, roughly half of the UK’s daily production.
* Morgan Stanley has a deal with INEOS for product marketing and some crude oil purchase through to 2012-13.
UK – HUMBER
* Conoco said in an earnings conference call in October 2010 it had not ruled out sale of Humber refinery, saying ‘for the right price and/or the opportunity for joint venturing, these are things that we have to consider.’
UK – LINDSEY
* French major Total is looking to sell the 221,000 barrels per day refinery, Britain’s third-largest, which began operation in 1968 and employs about 500 people.
* Total said it was in talks with a prospective buyer and hoped to complete the sale of the plant by the end of 2011, after previously saying a deal would be completed by the end of 2010.
* Total invested 200 million pounds ($303.1 million) in the HDS-3, or hydrodesulphurisation unit, to make ultra low sulphur diesel.
* Construction had been planned to complete in spring 2010. But works have been suspended following a fire in late June.
UK – MILFORD HAVEN
* U.S. oil firm Murphy Oil Corp said it would sell its three refineries, including the Milford Haven plant in Britain, to focus on oil and gas exploration and its U.S. retail business.
* Milford Haven started operation in 1973. After debottlenecking works early in 2010, it can process about 130,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
* Its complexity is moderate, with a well balanced yield of light products and middle distillates.
* In 2007, Murphy’s UK subsidiary, Murco Petroleum, bought a 70 percent stake from France’s Total to become the 100 percent owner. The value of the deal was about $256 million.
UK – PEMBROKE
* Valero Energy Corp said in March it will pay $730 million for Chevron’s Pembroke refinery in Wales and other assets, and $1 billion for the plant’s inventories, giving the U.S. refiner its first foothold in Europe.
* Valero, the third-largest refiner in the United States behind Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips, has long sought to buy a plant in Europe.
* It was shut out of a deal to buy Total’s stake in a Dutch refinery in 2009 when Lukoil stepped in.
* Chevron put its 220,000 bpd Pembroke refinery up for sale last year to lower its exposure to the refining business.
* The plant came on stream in 1964.
UK – STANLOW
* India’s Essar Energy agreed to buy Royal Dutch Shell’s Stanlow refinery in northwest England for $350 million.
* Built by Mobil Oil between 1973 and 1976, it is a simple refinery and can process about 260,000 bpd of crude oil.
* ConocoPhillips bought the plant from Louis Dreyfus in 2005 and it has remained shut since October 2009.
UK – TEESSIDE
* Petroplus idled that plant in April 2009, and took a $110 million impairment charge later that year.
* Teesside’s full capacity was 117,000 bpd, almost 40 percent higher than Reichstett’s, so any writedowm against the latter would likely be smaller.
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