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NuStar Energy to Sell Local Refinery

By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor

As part of a strategic shift to focus on more stable operations, NuStar Energy L.P. plans to sell its San Antonio refinery while boosting its investment in Eagle Ford Shale. The company announced the intention of buying a crude oil pipeline and related assets, along with natural gas liquid assets, for $425 million. The seller is TexStar Midstream Services L.P.

The refinery sale will contribute to the payment of debt and current expansion projects, NuStar CEO Curt Anastasio told the San Antonio Express-News. The refinery on South Presa Street, which produces 14,500 barrels a day, was bought out of bankruptcy in April 2011 for $41 million. Since then, the company has invested about $49 million in improvements.

Along with the refinery, NuStar will sell a terminal in Elmendorf and a pipeline that connects the terminal to the plant.

NuStar was the first company to move Eagle Ford crude by pipeline and a key player and investor in the area, operating a broad network of pipelines and a large terminal in Corpus Christi’s North Beach. Caller.com notes that the $425 million investment includes a 140-mile pipeline system with a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day stretching from La Salle and Frio counties to Live Oak County, and five storage terminals with combined capacity of 643,000 barrels.

NuStar expects to close the purchase of the crude oil assets in early December, while the acquisition of the natural gas assets should be completed in the first quarter of 2013.

Photo courtesy of NuStar Energy L.P.

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