PetroChina eyes idled Valero refinery in Aruba

PetroChina is in talks to buy Valero Energy’s shuttered 235,000 bpd refinery in Aruba, news agency Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Valero said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it had received an offer of $350 million for Aruba refinery it has been trying to sell for years.

However, the company did not identify the potential buyer, saying only that it had “experience in the refining and marketing industry.

"Due diligence process is currently ongoing and no final agreement has been reached to sell the refinery," Valero said in the filing.

Citing anonymous sources, Reuters reported that PetroChina was indeed the potential buyer, noting that it was the second time in two years that the Chinese company had discussed the purchase of the plant.

The Aruba plant, which only partially refines crude oil, has repeatedly posted losses for Valero.

However, Chinese energy majors are pushing into overseas operations after struggling at home due to state-controlled oil products prices, Reuters said.

After a January restart, Valero suspended operations at the Aruba refinery in March, citing poor economics.

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