In buying Exxon’s 190,000 b/d Sicily refinery, Algeria’s Sonatrach is admitting that plans to end products imports by beefing up its domestic fleet are going nowhere fast.

Algerian state oil giant Sonatrach on 9 May agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for Exxon’s 190,000 b/d (9.5mn t/y) Augusta refinery in Sicily.

Sonatrach’s first ever overseas downstream purchase “will be integrated directly into Sonatrach’s refinery system,” the company says,...