Esso Italiana today announced it has signed an agreement for the sale of its Augusta refinery, three fuel terminals in Augusta, Palermo and Naples, and related pipelines, to the Algerian state oil company SONATRACH. Esso Italiana shareholders approved the agreement prior to signing.
“The decision is the result of a thorough and careful evaluation,” said Gianni Murano, president and CEO of Esso Italiana. “Our commitment to Italy, the country where we have been operating for more than 125 years, is not diminished. Esso Italiana and the companies of the group will continue to serve the market and its customers.”
Esso Italiana and ExxonMobil will enter into multi-year commercial and technology agreements with SONATRACH for refinery products, operation, improvement, and to use the Augusta, Palermo and Naples terminals.
The transaction does not affect Esso branded retail stations, fuels and lubricants customers or distributors, or ExxonMobil’s other operations in Italy.
“SONATRACH is extremely proud to have its first international investment in refining in Italy, and in particular in Augusta”, said Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, SONATRACH Chairman and CEO. “We are committed to maintain the employment, continuity of management, operational excellence and high standard to health, safety and the environment. We look forward to a lasting and safe presence, and are keen to engage with the workforce, authorities and communities.”
Esso Italiana will work with SONATRACH to carefully manage the transition, with continued focus on personnel issues, safety, community relations and environmental protection. Esso Italiana will continue to ensure safe and reliable operations and compliance with commitments made to the authorities.
The sale is expected to close by the end of 2018. About 660 Esso Italiana employees at these facilities will transfer to the buyer after the sale is complete.