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Sonatrach and ESSO Italiana close Augusta terminals transaction

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Tanks and Terminals,

The Algerian hydrocarbons group Sonatrach and ESSO Italiana (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil) closed on 1 December 2018 in Milan, Italy, the transaction on the Augusta refinery, said Sonatrach in a statement.

The scope of this transaction includes the Augusta refinery, Sicily, the three oil terminals in Palermo, Sicily, Naples, Italy and Augusta, as well as interests in pipelines linking the refinery to the various terminals, the source said.

As a result, Sonatrach's Italian refining subsidiary, named Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana Srl, became the owner of these assets from Saturday, 1 December 2018.

The closing of this transaction follows a 6-month transition process that allowed Sonatrach ''to lift all suspensive conditions, including those related to anti-trust agreements'', explains Sonatrach.

Through this acquisition, the Sonatrach refining system will be reinforced with an additional refining capacity of 10 million tpy of treatment and a storage capacity equivalent to an additional autonomy of 3 days of gas oil consumption and 3 days of fuel consumption.

This refining capacity places this refinery second among Sonatrach's capacity positions after the Skikda refinery (16 million tpy).

The same acquisition will allow Sonatrach to close its local gas and gasoline deficit and sell surplus products in international markets.

Capable of processing both Sahara Blend and residual fuel from the Skikda refinery, the Augusta refinery integrates directly into Sonatrach's refining system. It can also directly process products that are surplus in Algeria in order to re-import products that are currently in deficit, such as gas oil and gasoline.

The Augusta refinery is a refinery that processes light crudes such as Algerian Sahara Blend, Arabian Light or Azeri.

The Augusta refinery will cover the Algerian deficits in gasoline and gas oil, even assuming a lag of 2 years in the commissioning of new naphtha reforming projects, the project of hydrocracking fuel in Skikda and the new Hassi Messaoud refinery.

The fuel terminals of Naples, Palermo and Augusta (included in the transaction) offer an additional storage capacity of 565 000 bbls of gas oil and 309 000 bbls of gasoline.

In addition, one of the important elements of ExxonMobil's specifications is the requirement to resume base oil production through a 10-year offtake agreement.

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