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European oil refineries sold and up for sale

Reuters India

LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Many European oil and chemical firms have been looking to sell domestic refineries as demand for fuels and petrochemical products has fallen more sharply in Europe than most other areas of the world, hitting profit margins.

A private equity fund, Chinese and Indian companies have shown interest in buying some refining assets in Europe, while most market analysts believe oil demand in Europe has already peaked.

Following are the refineries around Europe that have been sold or are up for sale:


* Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) said earlier in September it was in preliminary talks with UK private equity fund Klesch & Co to sell its Livorno refinery. [ID:nL1634701]

* Livorno is an 85,000 bpd simple refinery.


* Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has been looking to sell its German Harburg and Heide refineries.

* In August, sources said India’s Essar Oil (ESRO.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) submitted bids for both refineries, as well as Stanlow, another refinery of Shell’s in the UK. [ID:nLI304164]

* Essar has been talks with UBS, Citigroup and JPMorgan for a loan of up to $750 million if it wins the bidding for the three refineries, sources said. [ID:nBMA005648]

* Harburg has a capacity to process 5.2 million tonnes 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.


* Sources said Essar submitted bids for Royal Dutch Shell’s Stanlow.

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


* Located in Scotland, the plant processes about 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day and supplies fuels to the area.

* Current operator British chemicals maker Ineos [INEOSP.UL] bought the plant from BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) in 2005.

* Chinese oil firm PetroChina (601857.SS: Quote, Profile, Research) is in talks for an investment in the Grangemouth refinery. [ID:nSP350411]

* Grangemonth is a moderately complex refinery equipped with both hydrocraking 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.


* Russia’s Lukoil (LKOH.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) bought a stake in the Vlissingen refinery in the Netherlands from French major Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) in June, blocking a bid by U.S. refiner Valero (VLO.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

* The refinery’s capacity is about 153,000 barrels per day (bpd). [ID:nLR73458]

* Total will retain a 55 percent stake in the plant. Lukoil has acquired 45 percent, which was previously held by Dow Chemical (DOW.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

* U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) owns 20 percent of Lukoil.

* Lukoil is likely to pay about $725 million, matching the price Valero was expected to pay Dow.

* Vlissingen is a moderately complex, diesel-oriented plant. It is equipped with a hydrocracker, which typically allows a refiner to process relatively heavier, cheaper crude oil such as Russian Urals.


* Swiss-based refiner Petroplus (PPHN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) said earlier this year it would sell its Teesside refinery in the UK by the end of June or turn it into a storage site if no buyer can be found.

* The 117,000 bpd simple plant stopped production in March 2009, when the company stopped buying crude for the plant.

* Petroplus chief executive Thomas O’Malley sold his previous venture U.S. refiner Premcor Inc to Valero in 2005.

* Valero said earlier in June it was not interested in buying Petroplus.

(Reporting by Ikuko Kurahone)

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