Mr Denis Naughten, TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, today welcomed the announcement by Irving Oil that it had signed a Sales and Purchase Agreement with Phillips66 for the purchase of the Whitegate oil refinery. Irving Oil is a privately-owned Canadian energy company, which operates Canada's largest refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, as well as wholesale distribution and retail businesses.
The Whitegate refinery in Cork, which is currently owned and operated by Phillips66, is the only refinery on the island of Ireland and currently supplies up to 40% of the main products on the market.
The Government's position on the Whitegate refinery has always been that the continued operation of the refinery on a commercial basis is highly desirable from an energy security and economic perspective. In this regard, the Minister is very pleased with the positive outcome to the sales process.
"Security of energy supply is important to ongoing economic growth and development and a pillar of our energy policy", the Minister said. "I am delighted to hear that the sale process, which started some months ago, has resulted in an agreement between Phillips66 and Irving Oil for the sale of the refinery. This is very positive, not just in relation to maintaining oil refining on this island, but also for Cork and for the country in general. The continued operation of the refinery at Whitegate on a commercial basis is an important part of our security of supply""
The Whitegate refinery was privatised as a result of its sale by the State in 2001 to Phillips 66.
The local management of Phillips66 informed the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in October 2015 of the company's intention to put the refinery and marketing business up for sale.
A Sales and Purchase Agreement between Phillips66 and Irving Oil was signed today, 3 August 2016.