July 13, 2020 [Oil Price.com] – Shell is considering selling its 240,000-barrels-per-day refinery in Convent, Louisiana, as part of a broader strategy to reshape its refining portfolio, the supermajor’s spokesman Curtis Smith told Reuters.
Sources with knowledge of the Louisiana refinery operations told Reuters that Shell’s executive vice president of manufacturing, Robin Mooldijk, had told employees that Shell might put the refinery up for sale.
Shell became the sole owner and operator of the Convent refinery in 2017 when the supermajor and Saudi oil giant Aramco separated the assets of Motiva Enterprises. Shell ended up owning the Norco and Convent refineries, while Saudi Aramco assumed full ownership of the Motiva Enterprises LLC entity and the largest U.S. refinery in terms of crude processing capacity, Port Arthur in Texas.
Shell is now implementing a new downstream strategy to reshape its refining business towards a smaller, smarter refining portfolio focused on further integration with Shell Trading hubs, Chemicals, and Marketing.
As part of this strategy, Shell sold earlier this year the Martinez Refinery in California to PBF Holding Company for US$1.2 billion.
At the time of the finalization of the transaction in February, Shell said:
“By 2025 we expect to have interests in a smaller, core set of refineries. A key advantage of these core sites will come from further integration with Shell trading hubs, and from producing more chemicals and other products resilient in a lower-carbon future, such as bitumen and base oils.”
Shell also announced in March that it started marketing the sale of the Mobile refinery in Alabama and the Puget Sound refinery near Anacortes in Washington as part of its new downstream strategy. At the time, however, Shell said that the U.S. Gulf Coast would remain a key manufacturing hub for the company, along with Rotterdam and Singapore.
After the plunge in oil prices in Q1, Shell slashed its dividend by 66 percent—a first cut to the company’s dividend since World War II to preserve cash and value in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment.
Shell reportedly plans to announce by the end of the year a significant restructuring to reflect its net-zero emissions goal for 2050 and to align itself with a green recovery from the pandemic.
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