BP Refinery Sales CouldFace Antitrust Scurtiny

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BP's plans to sell refineries in Carson, California and Texas City, Texas could come under regulatory scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission if the potential buyer or buyers already have significant refining operations in the U.S. The British oil giant announced it is selling the refineries on Tuesday.

The sale of the refineries is part of BP's to sell $30 billion in assets to raise cash for expenses tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and is expected to bring in over for $4 billion for Europe's second-largest oil company. BP's (BP) Texas City refinery, home to a fatal 2005 blast that killed 15 people, is the third-largest U.S. refinery with daily capacity of 475,000 barrels.

That could give Texas City more prominence on the regulatory radar than other plants, according to Reuters. The Carson refinery has daily capacity up to 265,000 barrels. Texas-based Valero Energy (VLO) could be among the suitors for the BP refineries, according to industry analysts.

The Texas City plant produces 3 percent of the nation's gasoline supply, while the Carson refinery feeds a quarter of gasoline consumption in Los Angeles, Reuters reported. BP is currently on probation for safety violations at Texas City, but that probation would not extend to the refinery's buyer.

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