Murco has revealed that it has stopped buying crude oil to be processed at its Milford Haven refinery in South Wales, as talks about its future continue, but insists this will have no impact on its retail and wholesale operation.

In a statement Murco said: "We are actively engaged with certain third parties that have expressed an interest in acquiring the refinery. These third parties are aware that Murco’s crude purchasing has now ceased. We will be providing further updates in due course."

In an additional statement it added: "The decision to stop buying crude oil for Milford Haven will have no impact on the ongoing operation of our inland wholesale and retail network. Our terminals will continue to supply our company stations, dealer stations and commercial customers as normal. The situation continues very much business as usual."

Earlier this month, Murphy Oil, the refinery’s American owners, said that it would be consulting on future options for the facility after takeover talks with a London-based private equity fund broke down.

A week later the Welsh Government announced it was setting up a task force aimed at securing the future of the refinery. Economy minister Edwina Hart said: "As a government, we are determined to do all that we can to support the employer and its workforce at this time."