Royal Dutch Shell bows out of a troubled refinery in France

City A.M. Reporter
SHELL will not extend its six-month oil processing contract with troubled French Petit-Couronne refinery beyond mid-December, which will make the refinery less attractive for potential buyers, the plant’s union spokesman said.

The refinery stopped production on 10 January, before restarting operations in June under a deal with Royal Dutch Shell, the former owner, to deliver 100,000 barrels per day of products.

“A representative of Shell said the company was not planning to extend the contract,” the judicial administrator’s spokeswoman said after a court hearing in Rouen.

Shell was not immediately available to comment.

The court has authorised activity at Petit-Couronne to continue until 16 January to allow enough time to safely stop the refining units that have an output capacity of 160,000 barrels per day.

Potential bidders have until 5 February to submit offers.

So far only NetOil, a company led by Middle Eastern businessman Roger Tamraz, has submitted an offer while seven others have filled letters of intent to buy France's oldest refinery.

Net Oil’s offer includes an oil supply deal with BP and an agreement with Hyundai to upgrade the plant.