HOUSTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - A U.S. national security review
has delayed the sale of Royal Dutch Shell's controlling
interest in a Texas refinery to Mexico's national oil company,
Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Shell said on Tuesday.
Shell in May disclosed an agreement to sell its 50% interest
in the 302,800-barrel-per-day (bpd) Deer Park, Texas, refinery
outside Houston to partner Pemex for about $596 million https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/shell-sell-interest-deer-park-refinery-partner-pemex-2021-05-24.
The closing was expected as early as Wednesday.
Approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the
United States (CFIUS) is the last hurdle to the transfer of full
control of the Texas refinery to Pemex, said people familiar
with the matter.
"While we were hopeful we could conclude the sale of the
Deer Park refinery earlier in the CFIUS review process, we're
still targeting late 2021 as a closing date for the transfer of
Shell's interest in the refinery," Shell spokesperson Curtis
A spokesperson for CFIUS declined to comment.
One person close to Pemex said CFIUS approval could happen
A person who works at Deer Park said, however, there is no
certain closing date. "Could be next week. Could be early next
year," the person said.
U.S. Representative Brian Babin, a Republican representing
southeast Texas, called on Tuesday for the U.S. government to
block the sale, saying "Pemex lacks the technical expertise,
safety record, and business practices needed to operate a
facility of such scale in the United States."
"Allowing a foreign company run by an administration that is
hostile toward American energy producers access to our critical
infrastructure endangers my constituents and threatens our
national security," Babin said in a statement.
Babin has openly criticized the sale since June, when he
requested a review by the U.S. Treasury and Energy departments.
Under the sale agreement announced in May, Shell would
retain control of the Deer Park facility's chemical plant and
the company will have only one refinery in the United States,
the 230,611-bpd plant in Norco, Louisiana.
(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Additional reporting by Alexandra
Alper in Washington and Adriana Barrera and Stefanie
Eschenbacher in Mexico City; Editing by David Evans and Peter