Oil report

UPDATE 1-Shell says it completes permanent shutdown of Convent, Louisiana, refinery

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HOUSTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc completed the permanent shutdown of its 211,146 barrel-per-day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery over the weekend, a company spokesman said on Monday.

“I can confirm all Convent operating units are shut down as of this weekend,” said Shell spokesman Curtis Smith. “We will now move to the decontamination and preservation phase which will take a number of months.”

Sources familiar with plant operations told Reuters on Dec. 3 that plans called for the refinery to be completely idled by Sunday.

Shell has been unable to sell the refinery since putting it on the auction block in July. The plant became unprofitable in March as fuel demand was hammered in the COVID-19 pandemic. Shell said on Nov. 5 it would shut the refinery.

Layoffs of employees are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021 and continue into the third quarter of that year, sources have told Reuters. Workers are needed to clean up equipment and prepare it for mothballing, the sources said.

Shell plans to continue marketing the refinery, the sources have said. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by David Gregorio)