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Shell's (RDS.A) Deer Park Refinery Sale to Pemex Gets Deferred

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The divesture of Royal Dutch Shell's majority stake in the Deer Park refinery joint venture to its partner Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has been postponed, pending clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

While RDS.A had hoped to complete the sale of the Deer Park refinery faster in the CFIUS review process, after the regulatory delay, the transfer of its stake in the refinery is now scheduled to close in late 2021.

Earlier in May, RDS.A’s subsidiary Shell Oil Company inked a deal to divest its 50% stake in the Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership to Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex.

Texas-based Deer Park refinery is a joint venture, equally shared between Shell Oil Company and P.M.I. Norteamerica, S.A. De C.V., a unit of Pemex.

The base consideration for the deal is valued at $596 million, which includes cash and debt as well as the value of hydrocarbon inventory. Post completion of the deal, Shell's shareholding in the partnership and full ownership of the refinery will be handed over to Pemex.

Shell’s another arm Shell Chemical L.P. will continue running its completely-owned Deer Park Chemicals factory, adjacent to the refinery property. Shell will be able to focus on its refining footprint even further while keeping integration flexibility and keeping value from its Chemicals and Trading business as a result of this deal.

Employees from Deer Park will be sent to the refinery or the chemical plant. When the agreement concludes, personnel assigned to the refinery assets will be offered jobs by Pemex in light of the divestment while workers directed to the chemical plant assets not anticipating any sale will continue to work for Shell.

The crude oil capacity of the Deer Park Refinery is 340,000 barrels per day. Crude oil from Mexico, Canada, the United States, Africa and South America is processed at the refinery. The refinery produces gasoline, aviation fuels, diesel fuels, ship fuel and petroleum coke among other things. The Deer Park refinery divestment is part of RDS.A's $4-billion annual divestiture strategy.

Shell is on track to meet its medium-term divestment goals as it recently announced plans to sell off its Permian holding to ConocoPhillips (COP - Free Report) for $9.5 billion.

This deal with COP unlocks a significant value for Shell after examining numerous strategies and portfolio choices for its Permian assets. Upon closure, proceeds worth $7 billion from the transaction will be utilized to support additional shareholder dividends with the balance going toward debt reduction.

The above-mentioned divestitures signify Shell’s receding refinery footprint as part of a larger effort by oil giants to minimize their hydrocarbon emissions and adapt to lower-carbon fuels. This will turn them into high-value energy and chemical parks, thus allowing production of additional low-carbon fuels.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Shell currently has a Zack Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the energy sector might look at the following stocks worth considering with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Range Resources Corporation (RRC - Free Report) , based in Fort Worth, TX, is an independent energy company that engages in exploring, developing and acquiring of oil and gas properties, primarily in the Appalachian Basin and North Louisiana. RRC is among the top 10 natural gas producers in the United States. It is among the top NGL producers in the domestic market. As of 2020 end, RRC’s total proved reserves were 17.2 trillion cubic feet equivalent.

In the past year, shares of Range Resources’ have increased 169.7% compared with the industry’s growth of 102.3%. In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for RRC's 2021 earnings has been raised 24%. RRC’s 2021 earnings are expected to surge 2,511.1% year over year. RRC has witnessed five upward estimate revisions in the past 30 days.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY - Free Report) is an integrated oil and gas company with significant exploration and production exposure. OXY is also a producer of a variety of basic chemicals, petrochemicals, polymers and specialty chemicals. As of 2020 end, Occidental Petroleum's preliminary worldwide proved reserves totaled 2.91 billion BOE compared with 3.9 billion BOE at the end of 2019.

In the past year, shares of Occidental Petroleum have surged 99% compared with the industry's growth of 96.6%. OXY's 2021 earnings are expected to soar 151.4% year over year. Occidental Petroleum has also witnessed eight northward estimate revisions in the past 60 days. In the third quarter, OXY achieved its planned divestiture target of $10 billion by inking a deal to sell its interest in two offshore Ghana assets for $750 million.

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