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Mexico's Pemex to start exporting Olmeca crude to Europe in February

Mexico City, Jan 24 (EFE).- Mexican state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos says it will not begin exporting high-quality Olmeca crude to Europe until the second half of February. Pemex had said in a statement on Jan. 6 that exports of that extra-light variety would begin in January, but it announced Thursday on Twitter that the start date had been pushed back. The company added that the first shipment to Europe would be sent to the Cressier refinery in Switzerland.

MPs to investigate decline of refining industry

LONDON (Reuters) - A committee of MPs will examine the decline of the country's refining industry and its potential implications on the security of energy supplies, it said on Friday. High costs, foreign competition and declining margins have led in recent years to a dramatic consolidation in Europe's refining industry, which today counts around 130 plants. Just seven refineries remain in Britain after Coryton in Essex, eastern England, closed last year.

French state investment bank chose not to rescue refinery, steel mill

France's new state-backed investment bank BPI said Wednesday it chose not to help save a refinery and steel mill, the closures of which has been considered a failure of government efforts to save the nation's industrial base. The BPI looked into possible efforts to revive production at a mill owned by steel-giant Arcelor Mittal "we would have lost a lot of money and it wouldn't have been good business," said the bank's director Nicolas Dufourcq. Arcelor Mittal announced last week that it would begin shutting down the blast furnaces at its Florange facility.

French refinery headed for closure as court rejects bids

A commercial court on Tuesday decided to end the near 85-year-old saga of a troubled French refinery by rejecting final bids to save it, saying that the proposed business plans were simply not strong enough. "Unfortunately, the investors have not been able to eliminate all the ambiguities and doubts in the offers. As a consequence, the court had no choice but to reject the offers presented today," works committee lawyer Jean-Pierre Valentin told reporters. The Petit-Couronne refinery said in a statement that lay-offs of the 470 staff would start "in the coming days".

Two bids accepted for bankrupt French refinery

Bankruptcy administrators for the Petroplus oil refinery in Normandy have accepted bids from two firms to rescue the plant and have passed them on to a court, union sources said on Tuesday. The bids from Panama-registered NetOil and Libya's Murzuq Oil are expected to be considered in the coming days, ahead of an April 16 deadline. Unions representing the plant's 470 workers hailed the decision. "This is very good news," said Jean-Luc Broute of the CGT union following a meeting of the plant's works council.

Europe oil refining crisis to last: lobby

The European oil refining industry is in deep crisis and governments should brace for more problems, a top French oil industry lobbyist said on Wednesday as France scrambled to find a buyer for a site faced with closure. "European refineries are going to continue to suffer, it is something that leaders should understand," said Jean-Louis Schilansky, head of France's UFIP oil business lobby at a news conference. The stark warning came as a French administrators began considering five offers to save a bankrupt oil refinery northwest of Paris from closure.

UPDATE 2-Five bids received for French ex-Petroplus refinery

* Two "serious" bids among five received * Some 500 jobs at risk, test for French president * Industry minister says govt ready to take minority stake * Court decision not before Thursday By Michel Rose

Bankrupt French refinery attracts five bids: government

A bankrupt oil refinery northwest of Paris has attracted five offers, with the two most serious bids coming from Egypt and Switzerland, the French ministry of industrial regeneration said on Tuesday as the Petroplus site that employs 470 people focused French anxiety over plant closures. "Five offers were officially registered with the court administrator. Industrial Regeneration Minister Arnaud Montebourg considers that two seem serious and financed," a statement said. "They are the Swiss investor Terrae and the Egyptian power company Arabiyya lel Istithmaraat," it added.

French refining site Petroplus awaits fate

A bankrupt oil refinery northwest of Paris called Petroplus employing 470 people is the latest focus of French national anxiety over factory closures and the role of investors and the state, with bidders facing a deadline on Tuesday to propose new investment to keep the plant alive. There has been vague talk of the French state taking a minority stake, and of possible bidders from Dubai, Libya or Iran.
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