ConocoPhilips announces sale of major plant

ConocoPhillips is looking to sell a 185,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Philadelphia. ConocoPhillips say they will shut the plant down in six months if no sale occurs. Willie Chiang, senior vice […]

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By Tom Gibson

ConocoPhillips is looking to sell a 185,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Philadelphia. ConocoPhillips say they will shut the plant down in six months if no sale occurs.

Willie Chiang, senior vice president of Refining, Marketing, Transportation and Commercial said: “After exploring a wide range of alternatives for the refinery, the decision to sell is based on the level of investment required to remain competitive. Product imports, weakness in motor fuel demand, and costly regulatory requirements are key factors in creating this very difficult environment.”

The announcement has caused union members to react with dismay. United Steelworkers Union International Vice President Gary Beevers said: “Our union stood ready to discuss product imports and received no response from ConocoPhillips or any of the other refiners. We were prepared to tackle this problem head on so we could save American jobs. ConocoPhillips blames product imports for its refinery’s difficulty, yet it buys those same imports. That does not make sense.”

Mr Beevers issued this demand to ConocoPhilips: “We challenge ConocoPhillips to aggressively seek a buyer for the Trainer facility. The future of a lot of hardworking men and women, their families, and their community is at stake, as well as the future of many East Coast families who depend on home heating oil and other products from this refinery.”

ConocoPhilips expects to recognize a non-cash asset impairment of approximately $300 million after tax in its third-quarter financial results.