Potential sale of Irving Oil could have costly effects on Maine

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 9:16 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MAINE (WABI) - Canada’s largest oil refinery, Irving Oil, may be up for sale.

Irving announced on Wednesday that a strategic review of the company is underway, and a series of options are being evaluated regarding the company’s future, including the potential sale or partial sale of the company.

Irving Oil produces 330,000 barrels of oil per day, supplying 80% of that production to U.S. states in the northeast.

Here in Maine, the privately held refinery has about 150 stations and, in turn, supplies roughly two-thirds of the state’s gas, diesel, and heating oil.

Canadian gas analyst Dan McTeague says the announcement should cause major concern for consumers in the northeast and here in Maine.

“It completely dominates as far as its ability to meet the needs of this critical market, not just for gasoline and aviation fuel but also for diesel and home heating fuel, which many of us still use here in the northeast,” said Dan McTeague.

McTeague said any effects felt in our state will result from Irving Oil that is imported or isn’t imported into the New York Harbor, which is the benchmark for oil and fuel prices for other states, Canada, and the rest of the world.

“If that benchmark is facing tightness and future uncertainty as to one of its biggest suppliers, that is something that, from an economic and political point of view, most people will have to take note of and very quickly,” McTeague said.

McTeague believes the company’s announcement is related to the recent clean fuel standards set forth by the Canadian government.

“This is a company that rarely shares anything publicly. For it to have done so, I think it is a direct response to the federal government’s decision to impose a second carbon tax on Canadians,” McTeague added.

According to the American Petroleum Institute, the natural gas and oil industry supports over 37,000 jobs in Maine, contributing over $4 billion to the state’s economy.

Irving hasn’t set a date for when the review will be completed but continued their statement saying, “As we evaluate our options in the coming months, our focus remains on our team and continuing to safely deliver quality products and reliable energy for our customers and communities.”