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Oil refinery in Gallup planning to close by end of this year

GALLUP, N.M. — An oil refinery that halted operations when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit New Mexico plans to permanently close by the end of this year.

Albuquerque TV station KRQE reports Marathon Petroleum, which owns the oil refinery and employs about 220 people, told workers of the pending closure last Friday.

A spokesperson with Marathon Petroleum said in statement that “the Gallup refinery and terminal will be idled indefinitely with no plans to restart normal operations” and a phased reduction of staffing levels is expected to begin in October.

Gallup Mayor Louie Bonaguidi said it’s a devastating blow for the city of some 22,000 people since the refinery has been around for 65 years.

“It’s going to have an effect on us,” Bonaguidi said. “It’s going to affect the housing market for sure. But it’s going to affect all the businesses too.”

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association officials said they couldn’t comment on how the closure will impact the state’s gas and oil industry.

But with the closure, the state will be down to one oil refinery, that being in Artesia.