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Shell Deer Park, Texas, refinery and chemical plant shut – company

Shell Deer Park, Texas, refinery and chemical plant shut – company

Reuters Staff: FEBRUARY 16, 2021

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut its 318,000 barrel-per-day joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery because of severe cold weather, the company said on Tuesday

The company’s adjoining chemical plant was also shut.

“Shell’s Deer Park facility has shut down due to unprecedented weather in the region,” the company said in an email. “As a result, flaring is expected to increase in the near term. There is no threat to the surrounding community and we continue to contribute power to the regional grid by way of our cogeneration facilities.”

Shell shut the two primary fuel production units, the gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC) and the diesel-producing hydrocracker, on Monday, one day after the refinery’s crude distillation units (CDUs) were shut by a malfunction, said sources familiar with plant operations.

The 70,000-bpd DU-1 CDU 240,000-bpd DU-2 CDU were shut after a seal failed on a pump that provides feedstock for other units, the sources said.

The 70,000-bpd FCC and 67,000-bpd hydrocracker were shut on Monday due to severe cold weather that came into the region on Sunday night, according to the sources.

The CDUs, FCC and hydrocracker were among 12 units that had shut by Monday morning at the Deer Park refinery, which currently has limited water supply, the sources said.

The CDUs break down crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstocks for all other production units at the refinery.

FCCs use a fine powder catalyst to convert gas oil to unfinished gasoline.

Hydrocrackers use a catalyst in the presence of hydrogen under high heat and pressure to convert gas oil or heavy oil into diesel and other motor fuels.

The Deer Park refinery is a 50-50 joint venture between Shell and Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Mexico’s national oil company. Shell is the managing partner.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Dan Grebler

SOURCE

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