Exxon Mobil Corp is urging the Australian government to start releasing aid to the country39;s oil refineries by January after a decision last week by BP plc to shut the nation39;s biggest refinery.
Exxon owns Australias oldest refinery at Altona near Melbourne, which can process 90,000 barrels per day of oil, the smallest of the nations four refineries. The site supplies about half of the fuel for the state of Victoria, which has been subject to one of the worlds longest and tightest coronavirus lockdowns.
Exxon said the prolonged lockdown has placed unprecedented pressure on Altona, causing the plant to run at a loss.
Victorias government only last week eased restrictions limiting people to a 5 km 3 mile zone around their homes and allowed shops and restaurants to reopen for the first time since Aug 2.
The Australian government is in talks with the refining industry on an offer of A2.3 billion 1.6 billion in incentives over 10 years to keep refineries open to bolster of national fuel security.
The country39;s two other refiners, Viva Energy and Ampol, are considering shutting their refineries.
Exxon said the proposed sixmonth time frame for talks with the government was too long given the near term challenges faced by all refineries and it was working with the refiners industry group and the government to get the first part of the fuel security package released by January 2021.
The Maritime Union of Australia MUA said the government should take over BPs plant at…