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Shell weighs sale of refinery

July 10/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc is weighing the sale of its 211,146 barrel-per-day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Robin Mooldijk, Shells executive vice president of manufacturing, told employees in an internal message about the possible sale of the refinery, located 58 miles (93 km) west of New Orleans, according to sources familiar with plant operations. Shell took sole ownership of the refinery on May 1, 2017, when Motiva Enterprises became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco. Motiva had been a joint-venture between the two companies for 15 years.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said the possible sale was part of the companys plan announced in 2019 to structure its operations to match the future market for downstream products. "The remaining core sites will be advantaged by way of increased integration with Shell trading hubs and by producing more chemicals and related products expected to be resilient in a low-carbon future," Smith said in an email.

Shell has not announced consideration of a possible sale of its 227,400 bpd Norco, Louisiana, refinery which produces motor fuels and also supplies feedstocks to the companys adjoining chemical plant. Along with the refinery, Shell plans to sell its associated co-located logistics infrastructure - the products truck terminal, marine docks, Sorrento, Louisiana, salt cavern LPG storage, and line history rights for Bengal Pipeline, Smith said.

In February, Shell sold its 156,400 bpd Martinez, California, refinery and logistics assets to PBF Energy for USD960 million plus the price for oil and refined products on hand. That would set the pre-pandemic price for refining assets at about USd6,000 a barrel.

Because of reduced travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. refinery utilization fell to 68% of 19 million bpd in April. Utilization rose to 75.5% by the last week of June.

As MRC informed earlier, Royal Dutch Shell Plc restarted the reformer and hydrocracker at its 227,400-barrel-per-day (bpd) Norco, Louisiana, refinery, sources familiar with plant operations said. The 40,000-bpd reformer restarted on Sunday after a month-long overhaul, the sources said. The 40,000-bpd hydrocracker restarted on Monday after tripping out of operation due to a brief furnace malfunction.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim.  At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, PP, PE, ethylene, propylene, petrochemistry, Shell.
Category:General News
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