Company News

UPDATE 1-Shell stops leak at Deer Park, Texas FCC, preparing unit for repair -sources

(Adds Shell statement, background on unit, refinery)

HOUSTON, July 21 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc stopped a leak on Tuesday in the shut gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC) at its 318,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) joint venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery, said sources familiar with plant operations.

Shell is stripping insulation from the main fractionator column of the 70,000-bpd FCC to repair the leak that led to a fire on Saturday night, forcing the unit’s shutdown, the sources said.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said a leak has stopped at a unit that had a fire on Saturday at the Deer Park Manufacturing Complex, which includes the refinery and an adjoining Shell chemical plant, and maintenance work is underway.

Shell did not identify the unit where the fire broke out. No injuries were reported.

Shell is also blocking off pipes in the FCC ahead of repairing the leak, the sources said.

The FCC uses a fine, powder catalyst to convert gas oil and other feedstock into unfinished gasoline and naphtha. The catalyst behaves like a fluid within the unit.

The Deer Park refinery is a 50-50 joint venture between Shell and Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company. Shell is the managing partner. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; editing by Richard Pullin )