Rabat - SAMIR, Morocco’s sole oil refinery, plans to restart its 200,000 barrel per day production rate for a period of three months while its administrators appeal a court-ordered liquidation, Reuters reported.
Rabat – SAMIR, Morocco’s sole oil refinery, plans to restart its 200,000 barrel per day production rate for a period of three months while its administrators appeal a court-ordered liquidation, Reuters reported.
The trustee at the helm of SAMIR – which suspended production in mid-2015 after it burned through funds for crude oil purchases – said the Commercial Court of Casablanca and Morocco’s tax administration lifted a freeze on the company’s assets while the appeal lodged by Corral Petroleum Holdings continues.
Creditors – inducing old traders, bankers and others – have been demanding SAMIR to return millions in overdue loans. The Moroccan government, which sold a majority share of Corral in May 1997 – says the company owes authorities MAD 13 billion ($1.35 billion) in unpaid taxes.
Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi owns Corral Holdings, which controls 67.26 percent of SAMIR. Talks between Al Amoudi and the government have failed to find a solution.
Last year, SAMIR reported a loss of roughly $223 million during the first half of 2015, when the value of its inventories plummeted with global oil prices.
Transparency International issued a statement earlier this year demanding the government to investigate the patterned mismanagement of the company since it was acquired by al-Amoudi.
A statement posted on Samir‘s website says the refinery’s trustee wants to restart production as soon as possible, and has been collaborating with “principal partners”, or oil traders, in order to secure crude oil reserves to run the refinery for a short period.
The release added that financial results for 2015 will be released by the end of May, and the company has until its May 4 court date to complete the appeal of its liquidation order.
SAMIR has cargo of 1 million barrels crude oil – enough for five days of work – sitting offshore on the ship Delta Tolmi since the production halt last year. The company issued a tender for the purchase of 8 million barrels of oil for delivery dates between April and June, but whether any oil traders bid for the business remains unclear.