The Strategist

Exxon to get rid of another oil refinery

08/31/2016 - 10:30

The American oil giant ExxonMobil started to look for a possible buyer for a refinery in the city of Billings, Montana. The facility is one of the company's refineries, not integrated in its petrochemical business.

Mike Mozart
Mike Mozart
At least one potential buyer has already visited the plant, which capacity amounts to 60 thousand barrels per day. According to some sources, the refinery can cost $ 500-700 million.

The company noted that its managements regularly reviews portfolio of assets and opportunities for growth, restructuring and sale, taking into account overall strategic business objectives.

The refinery don’t have a petrochemical unit, and manufactures gasoline and diesel fuel by recycling oil from Canada and Wyoming.

Last month, Exxon sold another refinery in California. The buyer was PBF Energy, previously bought a refinery in Louisiana. The latter was owned jointly by Exxon and Petroleos de Venezuela.

The company is experiencing difficult times. Net profit of the American oil and gas giant in the first half of 2016 decreased by 2.6 times compared to the same period last year. Thus, it was 3.51 billion dollars, according to the company’s statements.

Diluted earnings per share were $ 0.84 versus $ 2.17 in the first half of 2015. ExxonMobil's revenue decreased by 25% - up to 106.401 billion dollars.

In the second quarter the company recorded a drop in net profit by 2.5 times, to $ 1.7 billion. Diluted earnings per share were $ 0.41 versus $ 1 in the second quarter of 2015. Analysts expected the index at the level of $ 0.64. ExxonMobil's revenue decreased by 22% - up to 57.694 billion dollars.

ExxonMobil’s production of hydrocarbons in oil equivalent in the first half rose slightly - by 0.6%, to 4.141 million barrels per day. The figure for the second quarter, on the contrary, decreased by 0.5% - up to 3.957 million barrels per day.

In April, Standard & Poor's lowered credit rating of Exxon Mobil from AAA to AA +. The leading American petroleum corporation had hold the maximum possible S&P rating since 1949.

«Exxon Mobil has significantly reduced investment and, most likely, will soon derive benefit of its production as work on the major projects is nearing completion. Despite the favorable effect of lower service costs and increased efficiency, we believe that maintaining level of production and compensation reserves will certainly require higher costs, - says S&P in its comment. -Therefore, we expect that level of leverage in the company will be weaker than that, which corresponds to the AAA rating. We believe that appropriate rating is AA +. We also believe that the company can provide shareholders with the net cash proceeds instead of accumulating funds or reducing level of debt which, according to our criteria, reduces opportunities for improving condition of the company after commodity prices begin to recover".