Morocco’s Samir plans to restart oil refinery for three months

 28 Apr 2016 - 0:00

Morocco’s Samir plans to restart oil refinery for three months


LONDON: Morocco’s only oil refinery Samir is planning to restart its 200,000 barrel per day complex for three months while it appeals a court-ordered liquidation.


The trustee controlling Samir, which shut down in August 2015 when it ran out of cash to finance crude oil purchases, said the Commercial Court of Casablanca and the tax administration had lifted a freeze on its assets while the appeal by the company itself, controlled by Corral Petroleum Holdings, proceeds.

The company has been battling creditors ranging from oil traders to banks who are owed millions by the group, and the Moroccan government, which said the company owes them 13 billion dirham ($1.35 billion) in taxes.

Samir reported a first-half loss of roughly $223 million last year, following losses on inventories due to the crude oil price plummet.

In a statement posted on Samir’s website, the trustee said the refinery was working to restart as quickly as possible, and that it was working with “principal partners”, notably oil traders, in order to source crude oil and run the refinery for a set period. It said its financiers and creditors were consulted regarding the plan.

It said it intends to release financial results for 2015 by the end of May, and it has a May 4 court date for its liquidation order appeal.

Samir has one cargo of 1 million barrels crude oil that has been sitting offshore aboard the Delta Tolmi since August last year. It issued a tender to buy 8 million barrels of oil to be delivered from April until June, but it was unclear whether any oil traders bid for the business.

($1 = 9.6450 Moroccan dirham)

(Reporting By Libby George and Ahmad Ghaddar, additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; editing by Susan Thomas)