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Irving Oil to buy Ireland’s only refinery from Phillips 66

Whitegate refinery near Cork processes up to 75,000 barrels of crude per day.


SAINT JOHN, NB — Irving Oil says it’s struck a deal to buy the Whitegate refinery in Ireland for an undisclosed price.

Privately owned Irving Oil has its main refinery in Saint John, NB, the eastern end of a proposed transcontinental pipeline that would carry Alberta crude to eastern markets if the project is completed.

Irving Oil says the purchase of Ireland’s only refinery from Houston-based Phillips 66 will allow it to expand across the Atlantic.

Phillips didn’t immediately comment on Irving Oil’s announcement but the US company has been working for months on plans to sell Whitegate.

“It’s a good day for our company and we’re looking forward to welcoming the Whitegate team to Irving Oil,” said Arthur Irving, chairman of Irving Oil – one of the main companies in a business empire owned by the Irving family.

Irving’s Saint John Refinery is the largest in Canada and one of the largest in North America, producing 300,000 barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, heating oil, jet fuel, propane and asphalt for domestic and US markets.

The 57-year-old Whitegate refinery near Cork processes up to 75,000 barrels of crude per day – mostly from the North Sea. It has 160 employees plus contract personnel, which Irving Oil says will be retained.

Irving didn’t say whether the Irish refinery will receive crude from Canada. However, Irving Oil has been a supporter of the Energy East pipeline proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp.

Energy East faces opposition from numerous groups and requires various approvals before it can be built.

Last week, environmental groups said increased crude tanker traffic because of the Energy East pipeline would raise the risk of a large spill and jeopardize the environment and marine life between New Brunswick and the US Gulf Coast.

Supporters of the pipeline, however, have noted that crude from Saudi Arabia already is transported by ship to North American refineries and that Canadian energy producers need to be able to sell their products on global markets.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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