BP to sell its Texas City and Carson refineries in US

01 February 2011 10:46  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--BP plans to find buyers for its Texas City and Carson refineries as it focuses on units in the US able to process heavy crude and produce more diesel, the energy giant said on Tuesday.

The company expected to complete the sale of the refineries - one is in Texas and the other is close to Los Angeles - together with its associated integrated marketing business in southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, by the end of 2012.

The divestment would halve BP's refining capacity in the US, it said.

"The US remains a very important market for BP's fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals businesses and the moves we have announced today will give BP a smaller but well-positioned and very competitive portfolio of refining and marketing businesses," said Iain Conn, BP chief executive for refining and marketing.

BP said it planned to focus future downstream investment in the US on further improving its other, more advantaged refining and marketing (R&M) networks in the country based around the Whiting, Indiana, and Cherry Point, Washington, refineries and its 50% interest in the refinery at Toledo, Ohio, which have greater flexibility to refine a range of crude oils, including heavy grades.

The Carson refinery has a refining capacity of 265,000 bbl/day and supplies around 25% of Los Angeles' gasoline demand, while the Texas City refinery has a production capacity of 475,000 bbl/day and is the third-largest refinery in the US.

BP added that it intended to retain the Texas City Chemicals complex adjoining the refinery.

Earlier on Tuesday, BP reported that its R&M business posted a replacement cost profit before interest and tax of $964m (€704m) in the fourth quarter of 2010, reversing a $1.94bn loss incurred in the previous corresponding period, on the back of a stronger overall refining environment.

In March 2005, an explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery - which occurred on the restart of an isomerisation unit at the facility - killed 15 workers and injured 170.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Franco Capaldo
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