Global oil majors Chevron and Shell are putting small refineries on the auction block as they look to trim lower-margin assets in the face of headwinds from rising crude oil prices. Kirsty Basset reports.
This oil refinery, with its picturesque setting in British Columbia is, reportedly, up for sale. Chevron said to be hoping to find a buyer for this site in Burnaby. And Shell believed to be seeking a buyer for one of its refineries - in Martinez, California. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST JASPER LAWLER SAYING: "I think part of it may be that they're actually starting to find investors interested in the sector again. When prices were rock bottom, no one wanted to touch anything. Now the sector's looking a little more stable around the $50 mark and they're probably more able to get a price that's more reasonable, more historically appropriate for what they're actually worth." Profit margins have come down from highs seen in 2015. And the oil majors may be keen to offload the asset while margins are still reasonably high. Refining has remained a profitable sector, despite a two year rout in the price of oil. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST JASPER LAWLER SAYING: "I think probably we could be in for some more weakness as we try to edge back to that 50 again and probably find ourselves in that $40-50 range." The two companies have been investing in other areas of their business - Shell bought BG Group earlier this year - while Chevron has been investing in large-scale liquified natural gas projects.