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Chalmette refinery to be sold to a New Jersey energy company

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A new Jersey energy company, PBF Energy Inc., will buy the Chalmette oil refinery for US$322 million from ExxonMobil and its partner, the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela. ExxonMobil and Petroleos de Venezuela each own a 50% stake in the refinery but will sell 100% share of the refinery to PBF Energy.

PBF Energy Inc., based in Parsippany, New Jersey and one of the largest independent oil refiners in North America, has agreed to purchase the 189 000 bpd refinery and has expressed interest in chemical facilities, pipelines and other assets at the site.

PBF Energy intends to extend offers to all employees

About 530 ExxonMobil employees and 500 contractors work at the refinery, according to figures provided by ExxonMobil. The new owner plans to re-hire refinery employees, though it is not clear how the deal will affect approximately 500 contractors who are currently at the site. PBF spokesman, Michael Karlovich, has said that the company intends to extend offers to all ExxonMobil employees. He said PBF would review the level of contract work needed to support safe operations at the facility.

A statement released by PBF Energy did not detail how the purchase would impact the refinery's workforce, though it appears leadership intends to extend job offers to many current employees. "We are committed to the continued safe and environmentally responsible operations of the facility and look forward to welcoming Chalmette's well-trained and professional workforce to the PBF family," commented CEO of PBF Energy, Tom Nimbley.

The sale comes as a way of covering growing debt

The sale comes as Venezuela's government seeks ways to cover growing debt as low oil prices erode state revenues and a recession looms and if regulators approve the deal, the new owners are expected to take over the Chalmette refinery later this year.

Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn

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