Sonatrach closes ESSO Italiana refinery transaction

ALGIERS - The national hydrocarbons group Sonatrach and ESSO Italiana (a subsidiary of the US group ExxonMobil) closed Saturday in Milan (Italy) the transaction on the Augusta refinery, said Sonatrach in a statement.

The scope of this transaction includes the Augusta refinery (Sicily), the three oil terminals in Palermo, Naples and Augusta, as well as interests in pipelines linking the refinery to the various terminals, the source said.

As a result, Sonatrach's Italian refining subsidiary, named Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana Srl, became the owner of these assets from Saturday, December 1, 2018.

The closing of this transaction follows a 6-month transition process that allowed Sonatrach '' to lift all suspensive conditions, including those related to anti-trust agreements '', explains Sonatrach.

Through this acquisition, the Sonatrach refining system will be reinforced with an additional refining capacity of 10 million tons of treatment per year and a storage capacity equivalent to an additional autonomy of 3 days of gas oil consumption. and 3 days of fuel consumption.

This refining capacity places this refinery second among Sonatrach's capacity positions after the Skikda refinery (16 million tonnes / year).

The same acquisition will allow Sonatrach to close its local gas and gasoline deficit and sell surplus products in international markets.

As a reminder, when Sonatrach signed the agreement with Esso Italiana in Rome in May 2018 for this acquisition, it then announced that the transfer of the property of the refinery and its assets would take place at the end of 2018, subject to compliance with certain conditions, including the approval of this sale by the authorities in charge of competition.

Sonatrach, after obtaining the agreement of the Algerian authorities, had responded favorably to the consultation launched by ExxonMobil at the end of August 2017 for the sale of this refinery whose market share in the Mediterranean is 25%.

Capable of processing both Sahara Blend and residual fuel from the Skikda refinery, the Augusta refinery integrates directly into Sonatrach's refining system. It can also directly process products that are surplus in Algeria in order to re-import products that are currently in deficit, such as gas oil and gasoline.

The Augusta refinery is a refinery that processes light crudes such as Algerian Sahara Blend, Arabian Light (Saudi Arabia) or Azeri (Azerbaijan).

In the Mediterranean, Augusta is best known for being the leading producer of base oils in this region.

During the 90s, this refinery regularly obtained from Sonatrach in Zarzaitine (Illizi) which offers a good yield in base oil.

Until 2009, this refinery also sourced low-sulfur fuel from the Skikda refinery.

The Augusta refinery will cover the Algerian deficits in gasoline and gas oil, even assuming a lag of 2 years in the commissioning of new naphtha reforming projects, the project of hydrocracking fuel in Skikda and the new Hassi Messaoud refinery.

The fuel terminals of Naples, Palermo and Augusta (included in the transaction) offer an additional storage capacity of 565 kb (565,000 barrels) of gas oil and 309 kb (309,000 barrels) of gasoline.

This will allow, given their proximity to Algeria, to provide 3 additional days of storage autonomy compared to the autonomy that exists in Algeria through the capabilities of Naftal and Sonatrach.

In addition, one of the important elements of ExxonMobil's specifications is the requirement to resume base oil production through a 10-year offtake agreement.

ALGIERS - The national hydrocarbons group Sonatrach and ESSO Italiana (a subsidiary of the US group ExxonMobil) closed Saturday in Milan (Italy) the transaction on the Augusta refinery, said Sonatrach in a statement.

The scope of this transaction includes the Augusta refinery (Sicily), the three oil terminals in Palermo, Naples and Augusta, as well as interests in pipelines linking the refinery to the various terminals, the source said.

As a result, Sonatrach's Italian refining subsidiary, named Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana Srl, became the owner of these assets from Saturday, December 1, 2018.

The closing of this transaction follows a 6-month transition process that allowed Sonatrach '' to lift all suspensive conditions, including those related to anti-trust agreements '', explains Sonatrach.

Through this acquisition, the Sonatrach refining system will be reinforced with an additional refining capacity of 10 million tons of treatment per year and a storage capacity equivalent to an additional autonomy of 3 days of gas oil consumption. and 3 days of fuel consumption.

This refining capacity places this refinery second among Sonatrach's capacity positions after the Skikda refinery (16 million tonnes / year).

The same acquisition will allow Sonatrach to close its local gas and gasoline deficit and sell surplus products in international markets.

As a reminder, when Sonatrach signed the agreement with Esso Italiana in Rome in May 2018 for this acquisition, it then announced that the transfer of the property of the refinery and its assets would take place at the end of 2018, subject to compliance with certain conditions, including the approval of this sale by the authorities in charge of competition.

Sonatrach, after obtaining the agreement of the Algerian authorities, had responded favorably to the consultation launched by ExxonMobil at the end of August 2017 for the sale of this refinery whose market share in the Mediterranean is 25%.

Capable of processing both Sahara Blend and residual fuel from the Skikda refinery, the Augusta refinery integrates directly into Sonatrach's refining system. It can also directly process products that are surplus in Algeria in order to re-import products that are currently in deficit, such as gas oil and gasoline.

The Augusta refinery is a refinery that processes light crudes such as Algerian Sahara Blend, Arabian Light (Saudi Arabia) or Azeri (Azerbaijan).

In the Mediterranean, Augusta is best known for being the leading producer of base oils in this region.

During the 90s, this refinery regularly obtained from Sonatrach in Zarzaitine (Illizi) which offers a good yield in base oil.

Until 2009, this refinery also sourced low-sulfur fuel from the Skikda refinery.

The Augusta refinery will cover the Algerian deficits in gasoline and gas oil, even assuming a lag of 2 years in the commissioning of new naphtha reforming projects, the project of hydrocracking fuel in Skikda and the new Hassi Messaoud refinery.

The fuel terminals of Naples, Palermo and Augusta (included in the transaction) offer an additional storage capacity of 565 kb (565,000 barrels) of gas oil and 309 kb (309,000 barrels) of gasoline.

This will allow, given their proximity to Algeria, to provide 3 additional days of storage autonomy compared to the autonomy that exists in Algeria through the capabilities of Naftal and Sonatrach.

In addition, one of the important elements of ExxonMobil's specifications is the requirement to resume base oil production through a 10-year offtake agreement.

vThis condition not only allows for a guaranteed source of income for the base oils, but above all to have ExxonMobil as a de facto partner for at least ten (10) years. (APS)

This condition not only allows for a guaranteed source of income for the base oils, but above all to have ExxonMobil as a de facto partner for at least ten (10) years. (APS)

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