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Refinery sales, purchases and future plans

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Big West refinery
The US bankruptcy court has approved the sale of the Flying J. Big West refinery, Bakersfield, California. Alon USA Engineering is now the owner of the facility after making a US$ 40 million cash bid. The 68 000 bpd refinery was shutdown in 2009 after a bankruptcy filing in 2008.

Alon are going to reopen the facility to process gasoil and other intermediates from Alon’s Paramount plant, Los Angeles. The plant will no longer process crude and only a portion of its existing facilities will be in operation until Alon decide whether or not to expand and integrate the refinery into its existing California network.

Paulsboro refinery
In an announcement at the NPRA Annual Meeting, PBF Investments confirmed that they are interested in bidding for the Paulsboro refinery, New Jersey. The 195 000 bpd facility is currently owned by Valero and PBF have also bid for Valero’s Delaware city refinery, Delaware after the 210 000 bpd plant closed at the end of 2009.

Delaware City refinery
PBF Investment’s bid for the Delaware City refinery is expected to be finalised by the end of March. Plans to reopen the terminal, for imported gasoline, at the site have been announced, as Petroplus (one of PBF’s controlling parties) has an interest in gaining a foot in the East Coast market. There are no set plans to reopen the refinery portion just yet.

PetroChina is working towards boosting its overseas portfolio even further with the acquisition of Arrow Energy Ltd., Australia. PetroChina joined with Royal Dutch Shell for the US$ 3.2 billion purchase. In 2009 alone, PetroChina spent US$ 5 billion on acquisitions in Canada, Kazakhstan and Singapore and is now the world’s most valuable company, despite a 9% drop in full year profit. However, the company is expected to post a 28% profit increase this year.

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