WYNNEWOOD — A decades-old Oklahoma refinery that employs 272 people is on the block once again.
The Wynnewood refinery was acquired by Texas-based CVR Energy Inc. in December, but now that company is for sale after activist investor Carl Icahn acquired about 80 percent of the company's stock in April. The 60-day sale window will run through late July.
The refinery could be sold on its own if a buyer does not emerge for CVR over the next two months.
Wells Fargo Securities analyst Roger Read said the Wynnewood refinery should draw interest, as part of CVR or on its own.
“The Mid-Continent of the U.S., where this unit is located, is the most profitable refining area in the world right now, if you measure it by crack spread. It's a unit that certainly would have prospective buyers,” Read said. “If you were somewhere else where you don't have a relatively low input or feedstock cost, you might have a different scenario.
“But with all that's going on in the shale plays, the logjam or bottlenecks there in Cushing, you've got a situation that for a significant period of time that is going to be favorable to refiners in the middle part of the country.”
The refinery has been a fixture in Wynnewood for more than 70 years.
“At one time, it was the biggest employer around here,” Wynnewood City Clerk Beverly Badgley said. “It's been part of our community forever.”
The Wynnewood refinery can handle up to 70,000 barrels of crude a day, turning it into gasoline, diesel fuel, military jet fuel, solvents and asphalt.
Badgley said the refinery is outside Wynnewood's city limits, but it does purchase water from the city.
She said it remains an important part of the community.
“We still want it here. It's just a part of our lives,” Badgley said. “It always has been.”
Badgley said her son and her niece work at the refinery, but neither seems too concerned about it being for sale again.
CVR Energy acquired the Wynnewood refinery in December with its $525 million purchase of Gary-Williams Energy Corp. The Texas-based company also owns another refinery in Coffeyville, Kan., with a marketing network and gathering system that serves five states.
Denver-based Gary-Williams Energy bought the refinery in 1995 from Kerr-McGee Corp., which had owned it since 1945.