Shell Deer Park refinery in Texas to finish restart this week: sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to complete the restart of its 325,700 barrel-per-day (bpd) joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery this week, said sources familiar with plant operations.

Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said the refinery’s restart after being shut on Aug. 27 by Hurricane Harvey is “progressing as planned.”

Shell has not released a timeline for restarting the refinery.

Shell began restarting the refinery on Sunday with the 270,000-bpd DU-2 crude distillation unit, the larger of two at the refinery, sources said.

DU-2, along with the 70,000-bpd DU-1 CDU, does the initial refining of crude oil coming into the Deer Park refinery and provides hydrocarbon feed for all other production units.

DU-2 is the workhorse of the refinery and has been out of production since an Aug. 17 fire. Shell had been preparing to restart the CDU when the refinery’s production was shut down by flooding from Harvey.

The large crude unit was ready by Friday to resume production, but the restart was delayed by a day because of a transformer outage at the refinery, the sources said.

The sources said Shell was restarting the 70,000-bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), 45,900-bpd CR-3 Reformer and 30,000-bpd Platformer 2 reformer. Reformers convert low-octane refining byproducts into high components of gasoline.

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

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker