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.

In a statement on Monday, Murco said: “As we have 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.”

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. 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.”