Royal Dutch Shell PLC may begin the permanent shutdown of its 211,146 barrel-per-day Convent, Louisiana, refinery early next week, Reuters reports.
Shell announced on Nov. 5 the refinery, located 57 miles west of New Orleans, was to close after the company failed to find a buyer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Convent refinery is first U.S. Gulf Coast refinery to permanently close because of the pandemic-related decline in demand for refined products. Eight other North American plants have been idled or targeted for shutdowns.
The coronavirus pandemic cut fuel demand by up to 30% earlier this year, and even as economies recover the outbreak will likely reduce global demand by 4.7 million barrels per day over the next five years, analysts have said.
Three U.S. oil refineries, including Calcasieu Refining in Lake Charles, have shut already this year because of weak demand for jet fuel, diesel and gasoline amid a slowing economy.