BP has now announced over $35 billion toward its goal of $38 billion in divestments.
BP has reached an agreement to sell its Texas City, Texas refinery and a portion of its retail and logistics network in the Southeast U.S. to Marathon Petroleum Corp. for $2.5 billion (which includes $0.6 billion of cash at closing, an estimated value of $1.2 billion for hydrocarbon inventories and a $0.7 billion six year earn-out arrangement based on future margins and refinery throughput).
“Today’s announcement is the second major milestone in the strategic refocusing of our U.S. fuels business,” said Iain Conn, chief executive of BP’s global refining and marketing business. “Together with the sale of our Carson, California refinery, announced in August, the divestment of Texas City will allow us to focus BP’s U.S. fuels investments on our three northern refineries, which are crude feedstock advantaged, and their associated marketing businesses. Marathon Petroleum is a highly respected refiner and marketer. Their ability to take on the responsibilities of this large and complex refinery will be good for the long-term future of the business and its employees. Although largely a merchant refinery, we have decided to also sell certain terminals and marketing assets in the Southeast U.S.”
With the agreement the total value of the divestments that BP has agreed to since the beginning of 2010 is now over $35 billion. BP expects this total to reach $38 billion by the end of 2013.
Subject to regulatory and other approvals, Marathon Petroleum will purchase the 475,000 barrel per day refinery, associated natural gas liquids pipelines, and four marketing terminals in the Southeast U.S. BP will also assign certain branded jobber contracts supplying approximately 1,200 retail sites in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, which could be supplied by the refinery. BP will remain a significant retailer of fuels in the U.S., with approximately 8,000 BP and ARCO-branded sites in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest and along the East Coast. BP anticipates the transaction will close by early 2013.
“This sale will reduce BP’s presence in the Southeast U.S., however BP remains firmly committed to growing and strengthening our BP-branded retail network and the value of the BP brand east of the Rockies in partnership with BP-branded jobbers and dealers,” said Doug Sparkman, president of BP’s East of Rockies fuels business. “A number of valued jobbers are affected by this transaction and we are committed to working very closely with Marathon Petroleum to make this transition as smooth as possible.”
“During the past several years the Texas City Refinery has been transformed through a resolute focus on safe, compliant, and reliable operations and in recent months has returned to profitability. It does not, however, fit with the long-term strategic direction of BP’s global refining portfolio,” said Texas City Refinery manager Keith Casey. “I believe today’s announcement is good for our workers, good for our community, and positions the refinery to achieve its full potential over the long term as part of one of the leading refiner-marketers in the U.S.”
BP continues to invest heavily in its three northern U.S. refineries. The company is in the midst of a multi-billion dollar modernization effort at its Whiting Refinery in Northwest Indiana. The BP Cherry Point Refinery in the state of Washington is being upgraded to produce cleaner-burning diesel fuel and the BP Husky joint venture near Toledo, Ohio is investing to improve its gasoline making capabilities.
“BP remains committed to supplying U.S. customers with the fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals they depend on while at the same time delivering long-term growth and profits to our shareholders and we are pleased to be delivering on the strategy we announced last year,” Conn added. “When we complete these sales and our Whiting Refinery upgrade project next year, we will have a smaller, well-positioned and highly competitive portfolio of refining and marketing businesses in the U.S.”