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DUBLIN, April 13 U.S. independent refiner
Phillips 66 has pulled the sale of its Irish refinery
after receiving limited interest since putting it on the block
last year, Chief Executive Greg Garland was quoted as saying on
Garland said last September that potential buyers were
interested in the 71,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Whitegate plant -
the only refinery operating in the country - but said on Sunday
that Phillips had told the Irish government that it had "laid
down" the sales process.
"In Whitegate, we gave it a good try. We had the asset on
the market for more than a year and I would say we've got
limited to negative interest in that facility," Garland was
quoted as saying in the Sunday Independent newspaper.
Garland said that the company would continue with the sale
of a nearby refined products storage terminal, adding that it
was committed to running the Whitegate refinery in the southern
county of Cork until mid-2016.
Phillips 66 could not be immediately reached for comment.
Analysts had speculated that buyers would be hard to find.
Europe's refineries have struggled because of overcapacity and
as cheap U.S. fuel imports and more competitive plants in Asia
and the Middle East erode their margins.
Ireland's energy minister said last year that given the
country's complete reliance on oil imports, the continued
operation of a single refinery was "highly desirable" to give it
flexibility in the event of an oil supply disruption.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Keiron Henderson)