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'Operational upset' at Shell's Bukom site - spokeswoman

Storm clouds gather over Shell's Pulau Bukom oil refinery in Singapore January 30, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE/OSLO (Reuters) - An incident at Royal Dutch Shell's RDSa.L manufacturing site at Pulau Bukom in Singapore on Tuesday resulted in flaring with dark smoke at one unit but it has since subsided, a spokeswoman said.

She said the affected unit had been stabilised following the “operational upset”, no one had been hurt and the rest of the site was operating normally. Shell declined to give details about the unit in question, or whether it had been shut down.

The Bukom site, Shell’s largest wholly owned plant, has a 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery and a steam cracker that produces more than 900,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.

Trade sources not related to Shell said a crude distillation unit (CDU) was due to undergo maintenance this week. They also said Shell’s cracker experienced a compressor trip on Tuesday and this could have led to the unit being shut unexpectedly.

Shell declined to comment on individual units at the site.

Shell’s Pulau Bukom refinery caught fire last August, resulting in a CDU being shut for a prolonged period and the company was issued with a stop work order..

Shell also declared force majeure on its chemicals supplies last year following issues with its Pulau Bukom cracker, which resumed operations last month.

Additional reporting by Florence Tan and Roslan Khasawneh; editing by David Clarke

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