The closure of a ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) refinery in Pennsylvania, which could increase energy prices in the U.S. Northeast, may be avoided as bidders line up to buy the company's idled plant.
Since the oil company idled its Trainer refinery near Philadelphia in September, it has received at least five bids for the plant, which refines up to 185,000 barrels of oil a day, Reuters reported.
The Trainer refinery is one of several facilities near Philadelphia scheduled for shutdown. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has said the closures will spark a shortage of heating fuel in the Northeast, and that fuel prices will likely increase due to the loss of refining capacity in the region.
Sunoco also idled two of its refineries in the region, and it is trying to exit the refining business altogether.
Citing sources close to ConocoPhillips' attempts to sell its refinery, Reuters said four of the bids envision transforming the facility into a gasoline and diesel storage facility. One promises to keep it functioning as a refinery.
ConocoPhillips announced in September it was idling the refinery because it was no longer economically feasible to keep it running.
Refineries on the U.S. East coast depend on crude oil imports from abroad, but lately the price of international oil is so high that refineries are losing money for every barrel they buy and refine.