ExxonMobil, Venezuela to Sell Chalmette Refinery

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — ExxonMobil and its partner, the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, will sell the Chalmette oil refinery on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast for $322 million to a New Jersey energy company.

Multiple news outlets report Friday that PBF Energy Inc., based in Parsippany, NJ, and one of the largest independent oil refiners in North America, has agreed to purchase the 189,000 bpd refinery as well as interests in chemical facilities, pipelines and other assets at the site.

About 530 ExxonMobil employees and 500 contractors work at the refinery.

PBF spokesman Michael Karlovich said the company intends to extend offers to all ExxonMobil employees. He said PBF would review the level of contract work needed to support safe operations at the facility.

The sale comes as Venezuela’s government seeks ways to cover growing debt as low oil prices erode state revenues and a recession looms.

ExxonMobil and Petroleos de Venezuela each own a 50% stake in the refinery.

Chalmette Refining, built in 1915 on the site of a former plantation, is one of the largest employers in St. Bernard Parish. ExxonMobil operates the plant, though about a third of the oil refined there is produced in Venezuela.

The deal is PBF Energy’s first refinery purchase on the Gulf Coast, expanding its refining capacity by 35% to more than 725,000 bpd.

PBR Energy operates refineries in Delaware, New Jersey and Ohio.

If regulators approve the deal, the new owners are expected to take over the Chalmette refinery later this year.

PBR Energy operates refineries in Delaware, New Jersey and Ohio.