Morocco’s oil refiner, Samir, has lodged an appeal against a recent court decision that placed it into liquidation and named an independent trustee to run the company, the refiner’s lawyer said, Reuters reported.
Samir, controlled by Corral Petroleum Holdings, halted production last August due to financial difficulties.
Although Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi, owner of Corral Holdings, which controls 67.26% of Samir, has been negotiating with the Moroccan government to find a compromise to end the company’s crisis, talks have failed and Morocco’s tax administration has frozen the company’s bank accounts in pursuit of a $1.34b tax claim, Zawya reported.
The company warned at the beginning of March it expected to report a wider loss for 2015 after the production halt and its bank accounts were frozen. Nevetheless, it said it was still paying salaries and social contributions for its 1,200 workers.
The trustee, running the operation pending the appeal, is preparing to resume production at the company’s 200,000b/d Mohammedia refinery, located on the Atlantic coast near Casablanca, sources from the company said. Samir being Morocco’s only refinery, its closure would make the country entirely reliant on imports.