FF leader warns of strategic importance of Whitegate oil refinery

Micheál Martin says proposed sale by owners Phillips 66 should be examined by Government

Michéal Martin: “Whitegate provides one-third of all our transportation fuel and is a long-term principal supplier to the National Oil Reserves Agency. The threat to its future has serious implications for Ireland’s energy supply and consequently for our economy.”
he said.
 Photograph: Eric Luke

Michéal Martin: “Whitegate provides one-third of all our transportation fuel and is a long-term principal supplier to the National Oil Reserves Agency. The threat to its future has serious implications for Ireland’s energy supply and consequently for our economy.” he said. Photograph: Eric Luke

Sat, Jun 8, 2013, 01:00

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin yesterday warned the proposed sale of Ireland’s only oil refinery at Whitegate in Cork Harbour could have serious implications for the State’s energy supplies.

Mr Martin said Whitegate oil refinery was “a strategic asset” and that its proposed sale by owners Phillips 66, along with the sale of the Whiddy Island oil depot in Bantry Bay, should be examined carefully by the Government.

“Whitegate provides one-third of all our transportation fuel and is a long-term principal supplier to the National Oil Reserves Agency. The threat to its future has serious implications for Ireland’s energy supply and consequently for our economy.”

Mr Martin noted that the company was an important local employer, employing 185 directly as well as up to 100 contractors on an ad hoc basis.

His comments came after Phillips 66 confirmed that it had appointed Deutsche Bank to handle the sale of both Whitegate oil refinery and the Whiddy oil depot, with the aim of finding a buyer and completing the sale by the end of the year.

Whitegate processes 71,000 barrels of oil a day.