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Saudi Aramco to become sole owner of largest US refinery

Published: March 7, 2017
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Source: Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will pay Royal Dutch Shell Plc $2.2 billion including debt to finalize the breakup of a 19-year refining partnership known as Motiva Enterprises LLC.

Saudi Aramco’s Saudi Refining unit will take full ownership of the Motiva Enterprises name and legal entity, including the largest refinery in the U.S. at Port Arthur in Texas, and 24 distribution terminals, according to a joint statement. Shell will take sole ownership of the Norco and Convent refineries in Louisiana and 11 distribution terminals.

Aramco will make a $2.2 billion balancing payment, split between debt and cash and subject to adjustments including working capital, Shell said in a separate statement. Aramco will assume almost all of Motiva’s $3.2 billion of net debt, including $1.5 billion of Shell’s share. A cash payment will cover the balance, Shell said. The arrangement will also take the Anglo-Dutch company closer to its target of selling $30 billion of assets in the three years to 2018.

“Motiva is a strong competitor among U.S. refiners, and we value this important link with the dynamic U.S. energy sector,” said Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, senior vice president of Aramco’s downstream business. “Our intent is to continue providing Motiva with strong financial support as it transitions into a stand-alone downstream affiliate.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the second quarter, the companies said. Shell and Aramco agreed last year to end the Motiva venture, which oversaw the three oil refineries as well as fuel terminals and fuel-branding rights in multiple U.S. states.

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