The Come By Chance oil refinery is for sale, but who will buy it and what will happen to it remains anyone's guess.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says owner Harvest Energy has at least one potential buyer.

Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley says he'd like to a seemless transition to a new owner.


Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley says the owners of the Come By Chance oil refinery are exploring all options, including closing the facility. (CBC )

"Sale is one, it's the main one that we're concerned about," Dalley said. "We want the refinery to be operational in the province."

But Dalley warns the company hasn't ruled out other plans for the 40-year-old refinery.

"Whether it's a downsizing, retooling, or an actual closure, I guess there's a number of options they're reviewing that are in the best interests of their company."

The refinery has operated under the North Atlantic brand for more than a decade.

Calgary-based Harvest Energy Trust purchased North Atlantic Refining for $1.6 billion in 2006.

Three years later the company was purchased by the state-owned Korea National Oil Corporation of South Korea.

But in an oversaturated market where refineries are closing in other parts of the country, Come By Chance is in tough, with its remote location and limited routes or pipelines to ship oil in and out of the province.

Meanwhile, its Korean owners have put the refinery up for sale as part of a larger stategy to unload all of their Canadian assets.

The facility has also lost $106 million in the first six months of 2013.

There's no word on when a decision will be made on the next chapter in the life of the refinery.