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UPDATE 1-Shell shuts Norco refinery after cutting rates during Isaac
* Norco LA refinery closed, Convent LA refinery to restart
* Capline pipeline restarted
* US Gulf pipeline network, Houma-Houston pipeline still shut
By Kristen Hays
HOUSTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell shut the Norco, Louisiana, refinery that ran at reduced rates when Hurricane Isaac came ashore, the company said on Thursday, but it gave no explanation for why the facility had been shut.
The company also said that its Capline crude oil pipeline, with a capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day, had restarted.
During the storm, Shell ran the joint-venture Motiva Enterprises 233,500 barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in Norco, at reduced rates. But on Thursday, the company said the refinery had shut its units while its chemical plant was operating at reduced rates.
Shell did not say whether the storm damaged the refinery and did not respond to questions about the matter.
"The outcome of these assessments will determine the timeline for a return to full operations," the company said.
The storm's threat diminished on Thursday as it moved further inland and weakened into a tropical depression. It came ashore Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane.
Shell shut Motiva's 235,000 bpd refinery in Covent, Louisiana, before Isaac came ashore, and said on Thursday that it would begin restarting. The company did not say when.
Motiva Enterprises is a 50-50 joint venture of Shell and Saudi Aramco.
Shell also said on Thursday that it restarted its Capline system, which can transport up to 1.2 million barrels per day from St. James, Louisiana, to Patoka, Illinois.
Valero Energy Corp's was running its 180,000 bpd refinery in Memphis, Tennessee, at reduced rates because of the Capline shutdown.
Valero spokesman Bill Day said late Thursday that the Memphis plant was still running at reduced rates.
Shell's offshore Gulf of Mexico pipeline network and its Houma-Houston pipeline remained shut down, but the company said it may conduct aerial inspections of those facilities on Friday if weather permits.
The company also said its terminals at Convent and Collins, Mississippi, had reopened, while its Kenner, Louisiana terminal remained shut.
Of Shell's chemical plants affected by the storm, its complex in Geismar, Louisiana, was to begin restarting while its plant in Saraland, Alabama, continued to run at reduced rates on Thursday.
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