MRC -- Czech oil pipeline operator MERO is in the final stages of talks to buy Shell Deutschland's 32.5% stake in the Mineraloelraffinerie Oberrhein refinery in Karlsruhe, daily paper Hospodarske Noviny reported without citing sources, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
The purchase by state-owned MERO should be approved by the Czech government within weeks, the paper said. "We constantly evaluate opportunities to reshape our portfolio, in line with our business strategy," a Shell Germany spokesperson said.
"Commercial sensitivities prevent us from commenting on portfolio activities that we may or may not currently be engaged in."
A MERO spokesperson said the company is "working on strengthening energy security and evaluates opportunities to achieve that" but does not comment on ongoing business negotiations or development plans.
The Czech industry and finance ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The MiRO refinery is connected to the TAL pipeline from Italy, in which MERO has a stake.
TAL also supplies the Czech Republic and is expected to be the sole Czech source of crude after its MERO-sponsored capacity expansion this year and expected shutdown of the Druzhba pipeline from Russia.
MiRO has processing capacity of 15.8 million metric tons per year. The Czech government has bought gas storage and transit networks while a state-owned company has taken over a network of petrol stations in a drive to increase national energy security since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.
We remind, shares of Finland's Neste plummeted after the biofuels producer and oil refiner posted fourth-quarter operating profit below expectations and forecast a lower 2024 renewable products sales margin than last year's. With its Singapore plant extension finally up and running, Neste expects 2024 renewables sales volume to grow to around 4.4 million metric tons with a comparable sales margin of $600-800 per ton, well below 2023's average of $863.