March 11, 2020 / 4:24 PM / 23 days ago

Exclusive: Calumet retains bank to sell Montana refinery: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP has retained boutique energy bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co to sell its small oil refinery in Great Falls, Montana, according to two people familiar with the talks.

The refinery has the capacity to process 30,000 barrels per day of crude, according to the company’s website. That puts it below the largest refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast that can process ten times as much.

Still, its location and configuration may command a higher price than would otherwise be expected because the plant can process low-cost Canadian crudes and other types of deeply discounted oil, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

Calumet bought the refinery from Connacher Oil and Gas in 2012 for about $120 million, and has expanded its capacity from about 10,000 bpd at that time.

The company and the bank did not immediately comment.

The plant is the second Montana refinery currently on the block, joining Exxon Mobil Corp’s larger 61,500 bpd plant in Billings. Many U.S. refineries are already for sale, but have struggled to find buyers.

Potential bidders for the Calumet plant could include refiners operating in the region such or smaller independents looking for growth.

Calumet sold its larger 50,000-bpd Superior, Wisconsin refinery to Husky Energy Inc in 2017 for $435 million and last year sold its 21,000-bpd San Antonio, Texas plant for $63 million.

Calumet’s shares have fallen from nearly $40 in 2012 to $2.35 on Wednesday. The company has spent the last few years stabilizing its earnings, selling under performing assets and paying down debt.

The company planned to expand its specialty products business, and to continue to rationalize lower-margin product lines, Chief Executive Tim Go said on a March 5 conference call following the company’s earnings release.

Go plans to resign effective June 1, and board member Steve Mawer has been appointed CEO.

Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault and Laura Sanicola in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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