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Murphy Oil confirms Milford Haven refinery sale negotiations on track

30 June 2014

After reports on June 29 that a deal was close, a spokesman for Murphy Oil told Reuters: "Murphy feel that solid progress has been made in negotiations, but caution that substantial work remains to done. If the past has taught us anything, it is that these sales are especially challenging and we are not assured of success."

The potential buyer is the commodity investment firm Klesch Group, which is based in Switzerland.

"I am delighted with the breakthrough in negotiations over the sale of the Murco oil refinery in Milford Haven," Stephen Crabb, MP for the area in south west Wales where the refinery is located, told the Western Telegraph.

He added that the buyer wants to keep the site as a refinery which would safeguard jobs.
"There remain challenges ahead, and a due diligence process to be completed, but I am just so pleased that we have reached this point. I am very optimistic that the sale can be completed, “ Crabb said.

A source told Reuters that any deal would likely value the plant at close to zero, but any sum paid for the plant would include oil inventories.

The future of the plant has been in doubt since Murphy announced it was no longer buying crude oil to be processed at the site, which followed the collapse of a £300m deal in April. Some 450 jobs at the plant could be saved if the deal goes ahead.

Refineries in Europe are being squeezed by high crude prices and low refining margins due to weak demand for fuel.

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