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German refinery changes hands

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A privately owned Dutch company based in Amsterdam has announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase the Wilhelmshaven oil refinery, tank farm and marine terminal from an affiliate of ConocoPhillips.

Hestya Energy B.V. was established in order to acquire and operate businesses within the European midstream energy sector, including the oil refining and storage sectors. The company planned to restart the complex as soon as possible.

The 260 000 bpd Wilhelmshaven refinery is located on the German North Sea coast and includes a deep water port. Its large capacity makes it one of Europe’s leading refineries in terms of scale.

However, the plant had been seen as a candidate for permanent closure due to the simple nature of the refinery and its relatively high yield of fuel oil, a product that is usually made in Europe at a loss.

ConocoPhillips had been considering transforming the plant into an oil distribution terminal after balking at plans to upgrade processing equipment, which would have increased the output of high value products, such as motor fuel diesel.

The transaction, the price of which was not disclosed, is expected to close later this year.

In other European refinery news, Lukoil’s Bulgarian refinery has been cleared to proceed with operations following licensing issues.

A Bulgarian court ruled that the damages to state and public interests would be greater from the immediate execution of the Custom Agency’s decision to suspend refinery operations.

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