Shell Deer Park, Texas, refinery shuts gasoline-producing FCC after fire: sources

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

How long the 70,000-bpd FCC will be shut was unknown on Sunday, the sources said.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said on Sunday that all individuals were safe and accounted for at the Shell Deer Park Complex, which includes the refinery and adjoining chemical plant.

“We responded to a small fire and leak at one of the units at our Deer Park Manufacturing Complex,” Smith said. “The fire is extinguished, all individuals are safe and accounted for and our operations team is working to stop the leak and safely repair the unit.”

The Deer Park FCC outage will tighten supply when gasoline consumption is close to last year’s levels. U.S. finished gasoline consumption has recovered since April, when it was down by 48% from a year ago, to 6% of the 2019 level of 8.6 million bpd for the second week of July, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The FCC uses a catalyst under high heat and pressure to convert gas oil into gasoline.

The Deer Park refinery is a 50-50 joint venture between Shell and Pemex [PEMX.UL], Mexico’s national oil company. Shell is the managing partner.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Nick Zieminski