Oil major to sell off half its US refineries

BP REVEALED yesterday that it plans to sell off half its US refinery business, including the Texas City refinery that was the site of an explosion in 2005 that killed 15 workers.

BP said several interested buyers have already enquired about the operations, which the firm plans to sell off before the end of 2012.

While the sale is part of BP’s drive to divest of assets worth $30bn to help fund the Gulf of Mexico clean-up, new chief executive Bob Dudley said the firm will consider selling more assets even after it meets this target.

“We are past the point where we need to make divestments – we are making them because we think it unlocks value,” he told reporters yesterday.

Dudley said the plants had few marketing and storage benefits for BP.

BP has sold off $17bn-worth of assets since the Gulf spill, knocking three per cent off the firm’s total production in the three months to February.

It plans to open 32 new exploration sites in the next five years to try and rebuild its production capabilities.