UPDATE 2-Hess, PDVSA receive offer for Virgin Islands Hovensa refinery -sources
* Facility could process U.S. light sweet crudes
* PDVSA tries to sell most of its foreign refining assets (Adds reaction from PDVSA, Duff & Phelps)
By Marianna Parraga
HOUSTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Hess Corp and Venezuela's state-run PDVSA have found an interested buyer for their 350,000 barrel per day (bpd) Hovensa refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, sources close to the deal told Reuters on Wednesday, confirming a local news report that could open the doors for the facility to run cheap U.S. crudes.
Refining at the plant, owned 50 percent by Hess and 50 percent by PDVSA, has been halted since 2012 but its owners have been using it as a terminal.
The operation would be part of a broader attempt by PDVSA to sell its foreign refining assets, including its unit in the United States, Citgo Petroleum; its stake in Chalmette jointly owned with Exxon Mobil ; and a specialized network operated by Neste Oil.
The Virgin Islands Daily News quoted Governor John deJongh Jr. as saying he would like to see the sale done before he leaves office in January.
The Islands' government has been trying to find a buyer interested in restarting the facility since it was converted into a terminal in early 2012. It had set August as deadline to receive a proposal. That was later extended.
Venezuela's PDVSA and Duff & Phelps, a financial advisory company hired by the Virgin Islands' governor, declined to comment. Continuación...