April 1, 2019 / 11:01 PM / 2 months ago

Shell's Deer Park, Texas refinery boosting production: sources

FILE PHOTO: A guard stands outside Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell's first gas station in Mexico City, Mexico September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc increased production in some units at its 275,000 barrel per day (bpd) joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery on Monday after bottlenecked tankers made their way through restrictions on the Houston Ship Channel, Gulf Coast market sources said on Monday.

LyondellBasell Industries kept production at its 263,776 bpd Houston refinery reduced on Monday because of the shipping constraints, the sources said.

Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said operations were stable at Deer Park, but declined to discuss the status of individual units or supplies.

Both refineries cut back production last week after a chemical spill from the site of a massive fire in mid-March initially led to a stoppage of all waterborne supply and then choked it down to about half of normal.

Cleanup operations were ongoing as government agencies and private contractors scrambled to collect hydrocarbons spilled on March 22 from Mitsui & Co’s Intercontinental Terminals Co tank farm in Deer Park, near the Shell refinery and downstream from the Lyondell facility.

Sources told Reuters on Friday that Shell was expected to return to full production by Wednesday while Lyondell may remain cut back through this week.

Shell was within days of temporarily shutting its joint-venture refinery before the Coast Guard on Wednesday reopened the channel on with restrictions.

Lyondell has cut production by at least 14 percent of capacity not because of crude supply, but it because it needs to haul away sulfur produced in the making of motor fuels and receive chemicals used to keep heavy, sour crude oil from clogging key production units, sources have told Reuters.

Reporting by Erwin Seba, editing by G Crosse

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