Marathon Buying BP’s Texas City Refinery

November 2012, Vol. 239 No. 11

Marathon Petroleum Corp. will buy BP’s Texas City refinery, one of the largest and most complex in the U.S., in a deal that could reach $2.5 billion. The refinery was the scene in 2005 of a fatal fire and explosion.

Marathon will pay $598 million for the refinery itself and other nearby pipelines and fuel terminals. It will pay $1.2 billion for the plant’s inventory of oil and petroleum products and may have to pay another $700 million over six years if certain unspecified conditions are met.

BP PLC been trying to sell refining and other assets to help cover costs associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. Since 2010, BP has agreed to sell $35 billion worth of assets, and the company expects that to rise to $38 billion by next year.

The 2005 explosion killed 15 workers and injured nearly 200 others. In 2009 more than 700 violations were discovered at the plant by government inspectors. The company has paid more than $2 billion to settle lawsuits and fines stemming from the explosion. It also has spent more than $1 billion on safety and infrastructure improvements and $500 million to make fixes under a 2010 agreement with OSHA.