UK union calls on government to save Welsh refinery

Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has called on the UK government to support Welsh industry and ensure secure gasoline supplies by helping to save Murco Petroleum Ltd.’s 135,000-b/d Milford Haven refinery in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The call comes as Murphy Oil Corp., Murco’s owner, announced it was entering into consultation with unions and staff on the future of the Murco plant after a deal to sell the oil refinery to California-based private equity fund Greybull Stewardship LP fell through on Apr. 3, putting 400 jobs at risk, according to a release from Unite.

“Jobs, the economy, and the UK’s security of supply are all at stake,” said Andy Richards, Welsh secretary for Unite, adding that the UK government needs to do everything possible to maintain refining capacity at Milford Haven to meet the nation’s energy needs.

In October 2012, Murphy reaffirmed previously announced plans to divest its UK downstream operations, saying it was reviewing options for certain UK assets, including the Milford Haven refinery (OGJ Online, Oct. 16, 2012).

“The workforce has been under real pressure and worked really hard in a climate of uncertainty over the past four years, while the American owner looked for a new buyer,” Richards said.

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