News

European Oil Refineries Sold And Up For Sale

26.07.2010 -

Many European oil and chemical firms have been looking to sell domestic refineries since last year as demand for fuels and petrochemical products has fallen more sharply in Europe than in most other parts of the world, hitting profit margins.

At least nine refineries are looking for buyers, and five of them are based in the UK. Following are the refineries around Europe that have been sold or are up for sale:

Milford Haven, UK
• U.S. oil firm Murphy Oil said on Thursday it would sell its three refineries, including the Milford Haven
plant in the UK, 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 well balanced yield of light products and middle distillates.

• In 2007, Murphy's UK subsidiary, Murco Petroleum, bought a 70% stake from France's Total to become the 100% owner. The value of the deal was about $256 million.

Wilhelmshaven, Germany
• U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips is considering either selling its Wilhelmshaven refinery or turning it into a terminal. It cancelled a plan to upgrade the refinery.

• It is a simple refinery and can process about 260,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

• Built by Mobil Oil between 1973 and 1976.

• ConocoPhillips bought the plant from Louis Dreyfus in 2005.

• Shut since October 2009. Caught fire in May, in process of restarting.

Lindsey, UK
• French major Total is looking to sell the 221,000 barrels per day refinery.

• In May, Total said it had received several bids and would hope to reach a deal after the summer.

• Swiss refiner Petroplus said it has proposed buying it.

• It is Britain's third-largest refinery, which began operation in 1968. Employs about 500 people.

• A relatively simple refinery, with an undersized gasoline-making catalytic cracking unit relative to its crude
processing capacity.

• Has high middle distillate yield.

• The plant can process 40 different types of crude oil, while North Sea crude accounts for 85-95% of its crude
oil slate, according to the corporate website.

• Total invested $303.1 million in the HDS-3, or hydrodesulphurization unit, to make ultra low sulphur diesel.

• The construction had been planned to complete in spring 2010, but works were suspended by a fire in late June.

Harburg, Heide, Germany
Stanlow, UK
Gothenburg, Sweden

• Royal Dutch Shell said about 560,000 bpd, or 15% of its global total refinery capacity was under review.

• Shell has been in talks with India's Essar Oil on the sale of the three refineries. But Essar lost exclusivity,
Shell said in April.

• It was thought that Essar would buy them in May or June after its planned initial public offer in London. But it said it had no proposal to use the $2.5 billion to be raised from the IPO to buy them.

• Harburg has the capacity to process 5.2 million tons of crude oil a year (roughly 110,000 bpd). It is moderately complex and its key units are a catalytic cracker for gasoline making and lubricant systems.

• Heide can process 4.5 million tonnes a year (93,000 bpd). It is an integrated, petrochemical oriented plant.

• Stanlow has a capacity to process 267,000 bpd.

• Gothenburg has a capacity to process about 78,000 bpd.

Pembroke, UK
• U.S. major Chevron said it would sell the 210,000 barrels per day plant in Wales.

• The plant came on stream in 1964.

Grangemouth, UK
• Located in Scotland, the plant processes about 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

• Current operator British chemicals maker Ineos bought the plant from BP in 2005.

• Chinese oil firm PetroChina is in talks to invest in the Grangemouth refinery. Sources had said the deal
might be reached early in 2010.

• 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.

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