Abu Dhabi group delays stock offer for 25 percent of Cepsa due to market 'instability'

Oct. 15 (UPI) — The Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala group cited “markets instability” as it on Monday delayed selling a 25 percent stake in the Spain-based oil company Cepsa, a multinational that is highly exposed to crude oil prices — and which coincidentally also suffered a refinery fire on Monday.

“Mubadala has decided to delay the public offer for the sale of shares in progress … as they consider that the instability suffered by the markets affects the valuation of the company,” Cepsa said in a press release Monday about the interruption of plans to list in the Madrid stock exchange as soon as this week.

“As a long-term investor, we will consider returning to the market when we believe conditions are favorable,” said Mubadala CEO Musabbeh Al Kaabi.

The company is highly exposed to crude oil price increases as its crude oil production is only 175,000 barrels per day, with exploration and production assets spread out in Spain, Latin America, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

“The most recent international economic developments have sowed considerable uncertainty in international capital markets. In this scenario, the appetite of international investors has retracted significantly,” the company said.

The company owns three refineries in Spain: Gibraltar San Roque in Algeciras, with capacity of 12 million metric tons per year; La Rabida, with capacity of 9.5 million metric tons per year; and Tenerife, with capacity of 4.5 million metric tons per year, according to Cepsa’s website.

According to the Spanish Association of Operators of Petroleum Products, known in Spain as AOP, the combined refining capacity of Gibraltar San Roque, La Rabida and Tenerife is nearly 500,000 barrels per day once added up.

Brent futures traded on Oct. 16, 2017 at $57.82 per barrel, hitting $86.29 per barrel on Oct. 3. They have remained above $80 per barrel since late September.

In addition, in a report by regional media Diario de Huelva published on Monday, the Cepsa-owned refinery in La Rabida endured a fire that was extinguished by the company’s own personnel before firefighters arrived.

That report said Cepsa had informed that the fire occurred in its lubricants unit, though the fire could not be confirmed with Cepsa itself. Other regional media cited Diario de Huelva as having direct confirmation from Cepsa regarding the fire.

This is the second fire incident in a little more than a month at the same refinery. In early September there was an incident in a crude unit that required the participation of local firefighters, according to ABCandalucia.

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