January 9, 2020 / 5:52 PM / 13 days ago

Exclusive: Royal Dutch Shell seeking buyer for Anacortes, Washington refinery - sources

FILE PHOTO: Filled oil drums are seen at Royal Dutch Shell Plc's lubricants blending plant in the town of Torzhok, north-west of Tver, November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) is looking to sell its oil refinery in Anacortes, Washington, according to three people familiar with the matter.

If completed, this and other asset sales currently underway would reduce Shell’s North American refining operations to large plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast, said the people, speaking on condition of anonymity as the talks are private.

Oil and gas major Shell has publicly committed to selling more than $5 billion of assets per year in 2019 and 2020. The Netherlands-based company is trying to use its global scale to build a power business as the world moves toward cleaner energy.

The refinery, located north of Seattle, has the ability to process 144,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

This is Shell’s third effort to divest a plant in the past year. In June, Shell agreed to sell its Martinez, California, refinery to independent refiner PBF Energy Inc (PBF.N) for up to $1 billion.

The company retained advisers about a year ago to sell its 75,000-bpd Sarnia, Ontario, refinery.

If all three sales are completed, including Anacortes, Shell would operate only three North American refineries: the 340,000-bpd Deer Park, Texas, refinery, a joint venture with Petroleos Mexicanos, and two refineries on the Louisiana coast that together can process almost 500,000 bpd of crude oil.

Shell has also divested refineries in other regions, selling its 50% stake in the SASREF refinery in Saudi Arabia last year.

Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault and Laura Sanicola in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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