Failed sale leads to closure of Welsh refinery

A deal intended to prevent Murco Petroleum Ltd.’s 135,000-b/d Milford Haven refinery in Pembrokeshire, Wales, from closing has been unsuccessful, according to Murphy Oil Corp., Murco’s owner.

The sale of the Milford Haven refinery and terminal assets to Klesch Refining Ltd., a subsidiary of Klesch & Co. Ltd., Geneva, by an Oct. 31 deadline could not be completed, Murphy said.

The refinery, currently shuttered, will be decommissioned and operated solely as a petroleum storage and distribution terminal, the company said.

Murphy said it will now seek a buyer for the converted refining terminal as well as three associated inland terminals.

The company did not disclose a reason for the failed sale.

Murphy announced it was entering into consultation with unions and staff on the future of the Murco plant after a deal to sell the refinery to California-based private equity fund Greybull Stewardship LP fell through in April (OGJ Online, Apr. 3, 2014).

Klesch announced its bid to acquire the Milford Haven refinery in late July, according to a July 31 release from the company.

The refinery’s planned sale and now closure comes as part of Murphy’s previously announced intention to divest its UK downstream operations, (OGJ Online, Oct. 16, 2012).

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