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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 5 December 2021

Ireland's only oil refinery is being sold to a huge Canadian company

Canada’s Irving Oil is to buy the facility, sold by the government for €100m, for an undisclosed amount.

Image: Isado

IRELAND’S ONLY OIL refinery at Whitegate in Cork is set to be sold to Canadian operator Irving Oil.

The facility’s current owner, Phillips 66, put the refinery up for sale last year but had been struggling to find a buyer. There had been several reports of a deal being closed in recent days.

Irving Oil announced today that it has reached an agreement with Houston-based Phillips 66 to buy the refinery.

Financial details of the sale were not revealed by Irving. The company said that it “ looks forward to sharing more information on this acquisition upon the close of the purchase and sale agreement”.

It said that the transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter “once all conditions of the sale have been met”. Once the deal is complete Irving will assume full ownership of the refinery.

There had been fears for the future of the refinery and its staff as a contract to keep the facility open was due to end.

However, Irving said that it will continue to oversee the “full operation of the facility, including maintaining its existing workforce”.

State owned

Whitegate was state owned until it was sold by the then-Fianna Fáil government in 2001 to US refining firm Tosco for €100 million. Tosco was later taken over by Phillips 66.

The Whitegate facility is Ireland’s sole refinery, processing up to 75,000 barrels of crude oil per day and producing transportation and heating fuels such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

Built in 1959, it has a workforce of 160 employees as well as many contract personnel.


Irving chairman Arthur Irving said that the company was “pleased” to buy the refinery.

“It’s a good day for our company and we’re looking forward to welcoming the Whitegate team to Irving Oil,” he said.

Irving Oil was founded in 1924 and is a privately owned regional refining and marketing company.

It operates Canada’s largest refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, which is located 65 miles north of the US border and has produced more than 320,000 barrels per day.

Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ie

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