Whitegate, Ireland's only oil refinery, up for sale again

LONDON (Reuters) - Phillips 66 has put Ireland's Whitegate refinery up for sale, the company said on Tuesday, more than a year after taking the country's only refinery plant off the market having failed to find a buyer.

The U.S. oil refiner tried to sell the plant near Cork last year amid low refining margins, but failed to attract strong enough bids.

“Phillips 66 has decided to seek a buyer for its 71,000 barrel-per-day Whitegate Refinery and associated wholesale marketing business in Ireland," Dennis Nuss, director of media and external relations, said.

"We will run a rigorous process to find the best purchaser for the business. We expect this process to last into 2016."

Refining margins have improved this year as demand has picked up and the cost of crude oil has fallen.

"We’ve seen a stronger margin in the Atlantic Basin this year and Whitegate has been performing well in this environment,” a Phillips 66 spokesman was quoted as saying by the Irish Examiner.

(Reporting by Simon Falush; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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