The Government is to sell Ireland's only oil refinery at Whitegate in Cork Harbour, to an American independent oil refining company. The Tosco Corporation is also to buy the Whiddy Island oil storage terminal in Bantry Bay. Heads of Agreement for the sale, for £100 million, have been signed between the Corporation and the Minister for Public Enterprise. This allows the company to examine the operations of the refinery before concluding the deal.

Public Enterprise Minister, Mary O'Rourke, said that the American company was willing to make a commitment to operate the oil refinery and the storage terminal for 15 years and to invest in their development. Both are operated at present by the National Petroleum Corporation. The Minister said there would be discussions with INPC staff about the proposed sale.