Saudi Aramco-Motiva May Buy Lyondellbasell Refinery

Saudi Aramco and its US refining joint venture Motiva Enterprises are being touted as the front-runner to buy the Houston, Texas refinery that LyondellBasell has put up for sale. According to the news agency Reuters, an announcement is expected later this week. Lyondellbasell has retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help with the sale, which only last week was first mooted to be on the horizon. CEO Bob Patel had said earlier this year the refinery was likely to go on sale but did not name a time frame.

Suncor Energy, Canada’s blue chip oil producer, is also believed to be in the race. Both the Alberta-based company and Aramco-Motiva group are said to have exchanged proposals with the Netherlands-headquartered, US-managed petrochemicals giant in the past few days. The 263,000 bbl/d facility, which has been plagued recently by fires and shutdowns, has been valued at around $1.5 billion, Reuters said, based on an average price of $5,000 to $6,000 per barrel of refining capacity paid in recent US refinery transactions.

Reports sad the refinery was restoring production on the morning of Sept. 6 after a power outage on Sept. 1.

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