Shell has confirmed it is considering selling its major oil refinery at Ellesmere Port. The spokeswoman for the company said the move was part of a review of Shell’s refining business, and that if the Stanlow site was

offloaded, the refinery would be sold as a going concern. She added that there were no plans to close the site in Cheshire, which employs about 900 staff, and stressed that the review did not include any UK retail sites.

In a statement, the company said: "Shell can confirm a review is underway to determine the best long-term ownership options for the Stanlow Refinery and associated local marketing businesses. Employees have been advised.

"Shell has an obligation to ensure best value is being achieved with all its assets and this involves talking with third parties from time to time. This is part of normal Shell portfolio activities and is consistent with Downstream’s strategy to concentrate our refining footprint. All long-term ownership options are being considered for Stanlow, which could include the sale of the refinery. If a deal is pursued, the refinery would be sold as a going concern. If no deal is pursued, Stanlow will be retained in the Shell portfolio. There are no plans to close the refinery or associated local marketing businesses."

The spokeswoman added that the scope of the current review includes Oil Products and Chemicals Manufacturing and distribution terminal, plus the Commercial Fuels Bulk Fuels and local Marine businesses. The review does not include any of the UK Retail sites, the SHOP and Alcohols units, the Lubricant Oil Blending Plant (LOBP), Aviation, non-local Marine business and Commercial Road Transport marketing businesses or Shell Technology Centre Thornton.