Curacao signs agreement with Klesch to operate Isla refinery

Dec 24 (Reuters) - Curacao’s state-run refining company Refineria di Korsou (RdK) said it has signed an agreement with industrial commodities conglomerate Klesch Group to operate the refiner’s 335,000-barrel-per-day Isla refinery and other oil facilities.

The asset purchase and sale agreement, signed on Sunday, entails the sale of the facilities with the land on long lease.

RdK has been searching for a replacement to Venezuela's Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) as operator of the refinery and in September entered into exclusive talks with Klesch.

The search began after a dispute last year between the Venezuelan firm and U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips left the plant idled amid attempted asset seizures.

PDVSA’s contract as operator of the refinery expires at the end of the year.

RdK said it aims to sign two remaining agreements with the privately held Klesch over the next year. Klesch, which owns and operates the Heide refinery in Germany, has offices in London and Geneva. (Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru and Sailu Urribari; Editing by Arun Koyyur)