Murphy Oil Looks to Grow Biofuels Business

Joanna Schroeder

One of the country’s most touted, and failed, ethanol concepts may be sold. Last year, Hereford Biofuels, the first commercial scale plant in the country intended to operate using methane from cattle operations, went belly-up. Construction was halted when owner, Panda Energy, an energy firm based in Dallas, Texas, sold the plant to creditors earlier this year for a reported $25 million.

The reported suitor is Murphy Oil Corporation, an international oil and gas company based in El Dorado, Arkansas. Their plans to increase their stake in the biofuels market comes on the heels of a July 22, 2010 announcement that the company will be exiting the refinery business as early as first quarter of 2011. The move was approved by the Board of Directors and now their refineries in Meraux, Louisiana; Superior, Wisconsin; and Milford Haven, Wales along with the retail system in the United Kingdom are now up for sale.

In a company statement made earlier this month by President and CEO David Wood, “Murphy’s Upstream and U.S. Retail businesses have demonstrated marked growth and financial performance over the last several years. By exiting the refining business, we can fully focus our attention and resources on continuing that growth, developing a premier international upstream business and a top quartile U.S. retail franchise.”

biofuels, Ethanol, News