While we have been puffed up feeling good about our new energy finds, the continued eroding of its control and ownership has been slipping away. I first started reporting on the story when the major refineries closed in Philadelphia, once known as a major hub. What I found several years ago was chilling. We may have lots of oil, but between the EPA bearing down, and the sale to foreign entities, mainly China, we have much to be concerned about, particularly our refineries.. First the update, then we take a look at the industry as a whole.
Aug 5 (Reuters) – Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will sell North American unit Citgo Petroleum if it receives a good offer, Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters on Tuesday in what would be its biggest pullback ever from the U.S. refining market.
Citgo has three U.S. refineries with combined capacity of some 750,000 barrels per day. They are in Lemont, Illinois, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Corpus Christi, Texas.
Separate from Citgo, PDVSA has a stake in the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana with Exxon Mobil. The Venezuelan company also owns the Merey Sweeny unit of the Sweeny, Texas, refinery with Phillips66, which was spun off from ConocoPhillips.
Ramirez did not directly address the possible sale of PDVSA’s other refining assets in the United States, although bankers have said Chalmette is for sale. Ed:(Anyone want to bet China will step up?) More over atReuters
I decided to scout around to see what was going on with our refineries and our energy specifically. Here is what I came up with in just a bit of time back in 2012.
The Philadelphia company, which owns two refineries in Pennsylvania, announced plans to sell those refineries and focus on its pipelines and retail gas stations that provide a steadier cash flow.
“We have made progress in increasing the efficiency of our refineries over the last several years, but given the unacceptable financial performance of these assets, it is clear that it is in the best interests of shareholders to exit this business,”
Sunoco’s refineries in Philadelphia and Marcus Hook, Pa., can process a combined 505,000 barrels of oil per day. If it cannot sell its refineries, the company will shut down its main processing units in July 2012.
The move is one more step in a major transformation for U.S. refining. Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips decided to distance themselves from refining, announcing plans earlier this year to spin off their downstream businesses. CNS News
Earlier, we have Valero:
Then we have this unpleasant business of China involved in Texas”
China stakes claim to S. Texas oil, gas
HOUSTON – State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC is buying a multibillion-dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields, potentially testing the political waters for further expansion into U.S. energy reserves.
With the announcement Monday that it would pay up to $2.2 billion for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy assets, CNOOC lays claim to a share of properties that eventually could produce up to half a million barrels a day of oil equivalent.
As part of the deal, the largest purchase of an interest in U.S. energy assets by a Chinese company, CNOOC has agreed to pay about $1.1 billion for a chunk of Chesapeake’s assets in the Eagle Ford, a broad oil and gas formation that runs largely from southwest of San Antonio to the Mexican border.
CNOOC also will provide up to $1.1 billion more to cover drilling costs.
The deal represents China’s second try at making a big move into the U.S. oil and gas market, following a failed bid five years ago to buy California-based Unocal Corp.
Let us check out Wyoming:
China’s Niobrara Shale deal part of complex U.S. relationship
CHEYENNE — It’s more about greenbacks and less about the Red Menace.
China’s recent deal for assets and exploration in the Niobrara Shale should be viewed as part of a complex energy relationship between China, the United States and the rest of the world, some Wyoming energy experts say.
“It’s part of the mix. To me, that is the reality we’re working in, it’s a mutual dependency,” said Jean Garrison, director of international studies and professor of political science at the University of Wyoming. “These are people we’re going to be dealing with in a business setting.”
China’s $1.3 billion Niobara Shale deal with Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy is just one of many cooperative deals recently inked between the country’s state-owned oil companies and businesses in the U.S., Canada, Australia and South America.
Mark Northam, director of UW’s School of Energy Resources, said he would be more concerned if Chinese state-owned firms tried to buy companies such as Chesapeake outright.
Read more: Trib Com News
Check out what Mexico and Citgo were up to decades ago, and who knew?
State-run Oil Company Mexico’s PEMEX Looking into Purchase of Oil Refineries in U.S.. By Carlos Navarro. The state-run oil company PEMEX is exploring the possibility Repository UNM EDU
Between 1986 and 1989, PDVSA, through its subsidiary CITGO Petroleum Corporation, acquired the Lake Charles and Corpus Christi refineries in the USA with a refining capacity of 485,000 b/d. The investment was made to enhance the value of Venezuela’s heavy crudes which, with a high sulphur and metal content, had been selling at a considerable discount to light crudes. http://www.petroleumworld.com/sati10061201.htm
China Enters California Oil Market With 50% Purchase of Coastal Corp. Refinery
China agreed Wednesday to buy half of a Hercules, Calif., oil refinery in a move that will put Chinese crude oil into competition with Alaska and California oil. The investment is the first of its kind by China’s state-owned oil industry and mimics recent actions by several OPEC nations.
The joint venture with Coastal Corp. of Houston, owner of the small refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area, also signals a move by Coastal into California’s huge gasoline and convenience-store market, the U.S. company said. http://articles.latimes.com/1988-08-04/business/fi-10283_1_oil-markets
Then we have Israel:
ALON USA acquired ownership of the Big Spring, Texas refinery in August 2000, when ALON Israel Oil Company Ltd. purchased the U.S. fuels marketing and refining assets of Atofina Petrochemicals, Inc. (FINA). The 70,000-barrels-per-day Big Spring refinery delivers products to our customers from Ft. Smith, Arkansas to Phoenix, Arizona via owned/operated and third-party pipelines. Alon USA
China and our Oil Leases
China’s state-owned energy firm just closed a deal to buy interests in four development leases on the American Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico.
The deal, which requires approval of the U.S. government, is between Norway’s Statoil and China National Off-Shore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). This is the same CNOOC that would have bought Unocal four years ago for $18.5 billion but for pressure from Congress, according to The New York Times, quoting an energy industry trade publication.
Because it must be approved by the U.S. government, the Statoil/CNOOC deal puts President Obama and Ken Salazar, his Secretary of the Department of the Interior, which controls OCS leasing, in a difficult position.
UPDATE: Bishop says Obama policy aids foreign nations, not U.S.
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-UT, says the Statoil/CNOOC deal is indicative of the Obama administration’s failure to protect U.S. consumers from foreign nations seeking to tap into this country’s abundant energy resources:
“Unemployment will continue to exceed acceptable levels and the economy will continue to suffer until this administration reverses its anti-energy policy. China and other foreign countries are gaining access to the abundant natural resources located in the American OCS, meanwhile an energy starved U.S. continues to experience the detrimental effects of Secretary Salazar’s decisions to place special-interests before the American people. Since taking office this administration has made great strides in helping countries gain access to American energy resources, it’s just too bad the U.S. isn’t one of them
Read more at the Washington Examiner: Washington Examiner
BONUS INFO! Just to make our heads spin.
Recall: Russians to Control Uranium Mines in Wyoming?
Two uranium mines in Wyoming are on their way to control by a Russian company now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved transferring the mines’ licenses.
The NRC last week approved the license transfer to a Russian company known as ARMZ which expects to obtain a controlling interest in Canadian-owned Uranium One by year’s end. Uranium One holds the licenses for a proposed uranium mine and an existing uranium mine in northeast Wyoming.
The transfer raised concern from Wyoming’s congressional delegation, who said the uranium could in theory go overseas and serve against U.S. interests.
So who has the interests of the United States? Do not count on our government.