Shell Norco, Louisiana refinery restarting gasoline unit


HOUSTON, May 13 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc began restarting the gasoline-producing unit at its 218,200-barrel-per-day (bpd) Norco, Louisiana, refinery on Sunday, sources familiar with plant operations said on Monday.

Shell spokesman Ray Fisher declined to discuss specific units, but said, "After a period of planned maintenance, startup procedures are under way at Shell Norco."

The 112,000-bpd gasoline-producing Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) was shut on March 7 for a planned overhaul scheduled to last eight weeks. In April, the work was extended by a week, the sources said. On Monday, Shell was getting steam in the unit and raising it to operating temperature.

The RCCU uses a catalyst under high heat and pressure to produce gasoline from residual crude oil, unlike the more common fluidic catalytic cracking unit, which converts gas oil into gasoline.

Shell has restarted ancillary units including the 14,800 bpd alkylation unit, the sources said.

This article appears in: World Markets , Stocks , Economy , Oil , Commodities

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