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Shell restarting Deer Park, Texas, joint-venture refinery: sources

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 / 12:36 AM

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc began restarting its 325,700-barrel-per-day (bpd) joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery on Sunday for the first time since it was shut three weeks ago by Tropical Storm Harvey, said sources familiar with plant operations.

The refinery’s largest crude distillation unit, the 270,000-bpd DU-2, restarted on Sunday morning and was on circulation by midday, the sources said. Other units are being brought up to operating temperature and readied to resume production following the restart of DU-2.

Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said the Deer Park refinery was “still in startup. Nothing to add.”

Shell began saying on Sept. 8 that the refinery was in startup mode.

DU-2, along with the 70,000-bpd DU-1 CDU, does the initial refining of crude oil coming into the Deer Park refinery and provides hydrocarbon feed for all other production units.

DU-2 is the workhorse of the refinery and has been out of production since an Aug. 17 fire. Shell had been preparing to restart the CDU when the refinery’s production was shut down by flooding from Harvey.

The large crude unit was ready by Friday to resume production, but the restart was delayed by a day because of a transformer outage at the refinery, the sources said.

The sources said Shell began preparing the 70,000-bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), 45,900-bpd CR-3 Reformer and 30,000-bpd Platformer 2 reformer last week for restart.

Energy industry intelligence service Genscape said on Sunday night that increased activity was seen from the FCCU, CR-3 and Platformer 2 on Sunday.

Reformers convert low-octane refining byproducts into high components of gasoline.

The Deer Park refinery is a 50-50 joint venture between Shell and Petroleos Mexicanos [PEMX.UL], Mexico’s national oil company.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Peter Cooney


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