Phillips 66 finds buyer for Whitegate refinery

Canada’s privately held Irving Oil Ltd., Saint John, NB, has agreed to acquire the 71,000-b/d Whitegate refinery—Ireland’s only—from current owner Phillips 66 Co., Houston.

The companies, which signed a sales and purchase agreement on Aug. 3, plan to conclude the transaction by the end of the third quarter, at which time Irving Oil will take full ownership and continue full operation of the refinery, including maintaining its existing workforce, Irving Oil said.

As part of the agreement, Irving Oil also will acquire Phillips 66’s associated wholesale marketing business in Ireland, Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss told OGJ.

Phillips 66 will continue to operate the business as usual until the transaction closes, Nuss said.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Located in Cork, the Whitegate refinery processes light, low-sulfur crude oil sourced mostly from the North Sea and West Africa to primarily produce gasoline, diesel, and kerosine for distribution mostly in Ireland, with some exports to customers in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Phillips 66 first announced plans to sell its business in Ireland in 2013, which at the time was to include the refinery and associated wholesale marketing business, as well as a crude oil and refined products storage terminal in Bantry Bay (OGJ, Dec. 2, 2013, p. 34).

The company’s local management informed Ireland’s Department of Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources (formerly Communications, Climate Action, and Environment) of its intention to put the refinery and marketing business up for sale in October 2015, DCENR said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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