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ExxonMobil seeks buyer for Montana refinery

November 15/2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp is seeking a potential buyer for its roughly 60,000 barrel per day Billings, Montana refinery, reported Reuters with reference to three sources familiar with Exxons plans.

Representatives for large refiners, including Valero Energy Corp and Marathon Petroleum Corp, have toured the refinery, two of the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the process is private.

Ultimately a smaller refiner could be a more likely buyer of the plant, one of the sources said.

Exxon and Valero could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesman for Marathon declined to comment, but pointed to recent comments from Chief Executive Gary Heminger that the company is mulling portfolio optimization and divestitures.

Exxon was said to discuss plans to sell the plant to PBF Energy in 2016, Reuters reported at the time. In those talks, Exxon wanted to unload both the Billings plant and its Joliet, Illinois refinery to PBF, but the smaller refiner wanted only the Billings plant, scuttling the deal, according to people familiar with the plans.

Four years ago, Exxon was asking about USD500 million for Billings. The plant is still expected to fetch the same amount, the sources said.

Exxon is looking to unload the refinery to direct investment towards its three Gulf Coast refineries at Baytown and Beaumont, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

As MRC informed before, ExxonMobil Corps Baytown, Texas, chemical plant returned to normal operations on Tuesday after a malfunction in the polypropylene (PP) production area.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and PP.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,589,580 tonnes in the first nine months of 2019, up by 7% year on year.  Shipments of all PE grades increased. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 976,790 tonnes in January-September 2019, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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