Shell shedding eight refineries by 2025; fate of Convent facility unknown

The Shell Norco Refinery (The Associated Press/Gerald Herbert)

As part of its plans to reduce its refinery portfolio over the next five years, Shell will retain its facility in Norco, but the fate of its refinery in Convent is not yet known.

Shell announced plans last week to shrink to six sites from 14 by 2025, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services, or ICIS, reports.

Shell sees the six sites as operating as what it called energy and chemicals parks. The refineries will become integrated with chemicals and increasingly with low-carbon fuels such as biofuels, hydrogen and synthetic fuels, CEO Ben van Beurden said during an earnings presentation.

The Shell Petroleum Corporation, a forerunner of Shell Oil Company, acquired the Norco Refinery in 1929. The chemical plant was added in 1955. The Shell Norco Manufacturing Complex is home to Shell Oil Products U.S. and Shell Chemicals. The refinery is designed to convert approximately 250,000 barrels per day of “medium sweet” crude oil. Chemicals manufactures ethylene, propylene and butadiene that are used to make many different everyday materials and end products.

Shell is already in the process of divesting some of its other refineries; options for those that remain include closure or conversion into terminals. Its refineries in Convent and Mobile are among the eight targeted for reduction.

Based on a Reuters story, 10/12 Industry Weekly reported in July that Royal Dutch Shell Plc was contemplating the sale of its Convent refinery and associated infrastructure—including a salt cavern for LPG storage in Sorrento, marine docks, products truck terminal and line history rights for the Bengal Pipeline.

The Convent Refinery is located next to the Mississippi River, midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, designed to process approximately 240,000 barrels per day of crude oil, producing conventional petroleum products and refinery grade sulfur. The Convent Refinery began operations as a Texaco refinery in 1967. In 1998, a joint venture was formed between Texaco, Saudi Refining and Shell Oil Company under the name Motiva. In May 2017, Shell assumed full ownership.

Spokesman Curtis Smith tells ICIS each asset “will be reviewed on its merit and applying a value lens.”

ICIS has the full story.