A task force to secure the future of Murco’s refinery at Milford Haven has been set up by the Welsh Government following the collapse of the deal to buy Murco, included its filling station business.

Economy minister Edwina Hart announced today (Friday, April 11) the establishment of a high-level task force to support Murco Petroleum Limited secure the future of refinery operations in Milford Haven and safeguard the long-term future of around 400 jobs at the plant.

Announcing the task force, the minister said: “As a government, we are determined to do all that we can to support the employer and its workforce at this time. This is why, I am now establishing the task force to marshal support to the company for the maintenance of refinery operations at the site for the future.

“The Murco refinery is integral to the fabric of the oil and gas infrastructure in Wales and the Welsh economy. The Welsh Government is fully aware of the challenges facing the refining sector and has worked very closely with Murco over the past four years to try and secure the ongoing operation of the refinery and protect the jobs at the Milford Haven site.

“The task force will have one clear objective - to engage partners in high-level dialogue to support the company in maintaining the future of refinery operations at the site.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones met Murco managing director Tom McKinlay and the senior management team on a visit to the Milford Haven refinery on Monday. Murphy Oil, the refinery’s American owners, announced last week that it would be consulting on future options for the facility after takeover talks with a London-based private equity fund broke down.

Lord Bourne, chair of the task force, said: “The Murco oil refinery is a very important employer for the local economy in Pembrokeshire and for the energy sector in Wales as well as being of strategic importance to the UK as whole. I am very encouraged by the backing of the Welsh Government for this task force and the goodwill among everyone involved to ensure a positive outcome. I am under no illusions about the work ahead but I will be asking the task force to meet as soon as possible to explore all options for a sustainable future for the refinery.”