By ROSE MARTON-VITALE
Hovensa completed the previously-announced shutdown of its 350,000 bpd refinery on the US Virgin Island of St. Croix, the company said.
On Jan. 18, the company announced the refinery shutdown and said the complex will be operated as an oil storage terminal going forward.
That plan is subject to the completion of negotiations with the government of the Virgin Islands, the company said.
Hovensa employees will continue working through a transition period. Thereafter, approximately 100 people will remain to work at the oil-storage terminal.
Hovensa said its losses at the refinery totaled $1.3 billion in the past three years and were projected to continue, caused primarily by weakness in demand for refined-petroleum products during the global economic slowdown and the addition of new refining capacity in emerging markets.
The low price of natural gas in the US, it said, also put it at a competitive disadvantage.
In the past three years, these factors have caused the closure of approximately 18 refineries in the US and Europe with capacity totaling more than 2 million bpd of oil.
"We completed the shutdown with zero injuries and zero environmental incidents," Brian Lever, president and chief operating officer of Hovensa, said.
The 350,000-bpd oil-fuel refinery is a joint venture between oil company Hess and Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA), the state-owned oil company of Venezuela.
Dow Jones Newswires