A deal to sell the Milford Haven, UK, refinery and terminal to Klesch Refining Limited collapsed after Murphy Oil Corporation’s subsidiary Murco Petroleum Limited was unable to complete the sale by the 31 October deadline.
The refinery is currently in a period of shut-down, and will be decommissioned and operated solely as a petroleum storage and distribution terminal. Murco will seek a buyer for the terminal facility along with three inland terminals. The sale of the company’s retail assets is unaffected by the inability to sell the refinery. One of just seven remaining refineries in the UK, Milford Haven is the latest victim of the slump in the European refining industry.
Klesch Refining Ltd, run by Swiss billionaire Gary Klesch, had agreed to buy the idled plant in July, but the deal was contingent on a combination of government support and private financing from banks, which failed to be agreed by the deadline.
Murphy has been trying for more than two years to sell the plant, which had been singled out as a candidate for closure as its location on the far west of Great Britain is remote from large demand centres.
Klesch previously bought the small Heide refinery from Shell Germany Oil in 2010 and succeeded in turning it around, building a reputation as a financially prudent operator that could succeed where bigger oil majors fail.