Imperial Oil will explore selling its 88,000 bpd Dartmouth refinery in Nova Scotia, citing rising global competition and lower demand for refined products.
The company, which ExxonMobil holds a majority stake (69.6%) in, said it will market the refinery and related supply terminals to prospective buyers in the coming months.
It will also consider conversion to a terminal, as well as other alternatives.
This is a difficult decision, said Bruce March, Chairman, CEO of Imperial Oil. We hope to make a decision about the sale or other alternatives by first quarter 2013 depending on the response to marketing efforts.
In the meantime, safe, reliable, environmentally responsible operations remain our key focus, he added.
The Dartmouth refinery operates amid significant global competition in the highly-competitive Atlantic basin region, the company said.
Imperial Oil noted that demand for refined products in the basin had declined in recent years, and the refinery did not meet expected financial returns.
The refinery began production in 1918. At present, approximately 200 employees and 200 contractors are employed at the refinery and related terminals.
The refinery produces a wide range of petroleum products including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating fuel, marine fuel, heavy fuel oil and asphalt.
Elsewhere in Canada, Imperial has two refineries in the province of Ontario and another in Alberta. The company also has petrochemical units in Sarnia, Ontario.