LyondellBasell to Keep Houston Refinery

09.01.2017 -

Olefins and polyolefins giant LyondellBasell has decided against selling its 268,000 bbl/d refinery at Houston, Texas, USA. Saudi Aramco and its US refining joint venture Motiva Enterprises had being touted as the front-runner to buy the facility, but the Saudi company consistently denied being interested. Valero and Suncor Energy, Canada’s blue chip oil producer, were also believed to be in the race.

The refinery, which was plagued by multiple outages throughout 2016 has been estimated to be worth $1-1.5 billion in an asset sale. LyondellBasell is said to have toyed with the idea of unloading the facility – its only refinery – due to weakening profitability. As reasons for the just announced withdrawal of the sale plans, analysts see rising fuel prices and the prospect that the fossil fuel-friendly stance of incoming president Donald Trump’s administration could boost profit margins in 2017.

LyondellBasell, headquartered in the Netherlands and managed from the US, said late last week it sees “tremendous value” in the refinery going forward. The news agency Reuters reported in mid-December, that two top refining executives were quitting the company ahead of the sale.