French oil giant Total has announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its 70% stake in the Milford Haven oil refinery in Wales, UK to its partner in the facility, Murco Petroleum. Although Total did not reveal the financial details, Murphy Oil, Murco's US-based parent company, said that the firm would purchase the stake for $250 million.

<p>Murco already owns 30% of the refinery and, following the completion of the transaction, which is expected to occur by the end of 2007, Murco will be the sole owner of the refinery, which has a yearly refining capacity of 5.3 million tons, and a daily refining capacity of 108,000 barrels. Murco will also be the sole employer of the refinery&#0039;s workforce.<br /><br />According to Murphy Oil, the transaction includes the land, refinery complex, jetty and pipeline connection to the mainline pipeline. The refined oil products will continue to be marketed through Murco&#0039;s existing network of both company- and dealer-operated petrol stations in England and Wales. <br /><br />Total said that the divestiture will allow it to focus on its UK refining operations at its wholly owned Lindsey oil refinery, which has a capacity of 10 million metric tons and matches Total&#0039;s marketing needs in the UK. Total recently embarked on a E300 million capital investment program to meet growing demand for low-sulfur diesel.<br /><br />Claiborne Deming, president and CEO of Murphy Oil, said that the acquisition would allow the company a unique opportunity to expand its presence in the UK market via a strategic asset with which it is already well acquainted. Murco has been a partner in the facility for over 26 years and plans to work on optimizing its operations in the future.</p>