BP's announcement Monday about the sale of the Carson, Calif., refinery and other West Coast assets to Tesoro Corp. doesn't change plans to add new positions at the Cherry Point refinery near Ferndale.
In November 2011, BP officials announced they were moving between 60 and 80 new positions from Carson to Cherry Point. Those jobs are mostly non-traditional refinery positions, including finance, administration support and marketing, said Mike Abendhoff, a spokesman at BP Cherry Point.
The process of transferring the positions to Cherry Point should be completed by the end of the year. At this point, about half of the positions are being filled by workers moving to this area from the Carson facility.
Cherry Point is also adding about 15 positions as the new hydrogen unit project is completed in early 2013. The project, estimated at around $400 million, will help the company meet stricter air quality regulations as it refines ultra-low-sulfur diesel.
Abendhoff estimates the Cherry Point facility will employ between 900 and 950 people by the end of the year.
Tesoro is paying $2.5 billion cash for the refinery, pipelines, storage terminals, marine terminals and about 800 Arco-branded retail outlets in southern California, Arizona and Nevada, the British company said. BP is also selling the Arco brand rights for northern California, Oregon and Washington and will lease them back from Tesoro.
"This transaction is a unique opportunity for Tesoro to combine the best aspects of two West Coast refining and marketing businesses resulting in a more efficient integrated refining, marketing and logistics system," said Greg Goff, Tesoro's president and CEO.
As for the sale of the Arco brand stations, Abendhoff said he doesn't expect to see changes to the stations in Whatcom County. All the stations in this area are franchise operated, and he expects the Arco name to remain.
Earlier Monday, BP announced it was selling two gas processing plants in Texas to Eagle Rock Energy Partners for $227.5 million in cash for the Sunray and Hemphill gas processing plants in Texas.
BP says it has now sold or agreed to sell assets worth $26.5 billion since 2010. The company has a target of $38 billion in disposals by the end of next year to help pay the costs of the Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tesoro, based in San Antonio, Texas, said the $2.5 billion purchase price includes about $1.3 billion for the oil and refined products on the site at the time of closing.
The Carson refinery, with a capacity of 266 million barrels per day, is adjacent to Tesoros Wilmington refinery. Combining the two is expected to cost $225 million but yield annual savings of about $250 million, Tesoro said.
Tesoro also will acquire BPs 51 percent stake in a 400-megawatt gas cogeneration facility which supplies electricity to the Carson refinery and the local area.
BP shares were down 0.2 percent at 447.85 pence in early afternoon trading in London.
Associated Press contributed to this report
Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at email@example.com or call 715-2269. Visit his business blog online at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or get updates on Twitter at twitter.com/BhamHeraldBiz.