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Oil major Royal Dutch Shell halted gasoline production at its Convent, Louisiana, refinery between Thursday and Friday, Reuters reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the refinery’s operations.
As of Friday morning, it was not immediately clear how long the gasoline producing unit with processing capacity of 92,000 bpd would remain offline, according to Reuters’ sources.
The gasoline-producing unit of the 227,586-bpd Convent refinery was scheduled to undergo a major overhaul this summer, after Shell dropped its plans to decommission it.
Shell plans to shut for a planned overhaul the gasoline producing unit at Convent for some six weeks starting in June, sources familiar with the refinery’s plans told Reuters last month.
The gasoline-producing fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at the Convent refinery, as well as the alkylation unit with 16,500 bpd capacity, are planned to be shut for an overhaul this summer, after Shell scrapped plans in November last year to permanently close the gasoline-producing unit at Convent.
Shell decided not to permanently close the gasoline unit in early 2018, opting instead to overhaul it to extend its production life for at least another four to five years, Shell spokesman Ray Fisher told Reuters at that time.
“Shell re-evaluated the cat cracker end-to-end economics and determined that the business case was strong to run the FCCU for another cycle,” Fisher said.
Initial plans were to permanently decommission the gasoline unit as part of a project to integrate the Convent plant with the 225,800-bpd refinery in Norco, Louisiana, through a network of pipelines.
Shell became the sole owner of the Convent refinery in May 2017 after it completed the transaction for the separation of assets, liabilities, and businesses of Motiva Enterprises LLC with Saudi Aramco. Under that deal, Aramco got the biggest refinery in the U.S., Port Arthur in Texas, while Shell received the Norco and Convent refineries in Louisiana.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.