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Shell Pernis starts FCC, XOM Gravenchon shuts FCC

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    Charles Randall

    Shell Started Gasoline Unit at Dutch Oil Refinery (Update1)

    By Nidaa Bakhsh
         Feb. 23, 2009 (Bloomberg)
    — Royal Dutch Shell Plc started a
    gasoline-making unit at its Dutch oil refinery, Europes largest,
    at the weekend after a two-and-a-half-month closure, a person
    familiar with the situation said.
         The 50,000 barrel-a-day fluid catalytic cracker at the
    Pernis refinery is running normally, the person said,
    to be identified because the information is confidential. Wim van
    de Wiel, a Shell spokesman in The Hague, declined to comment. The
    unit was shut by a Dec. 4 fire in a bundle of pipelines.
         The units start, originally expected in mid-December and
    delayed at least three times, will increase supplies of the motor
    fuel ahead of peak demand during the summer. The Pernis refinery
    near Rotterdam has the capacity to process about 416,000 barrels
    of oil a day.
         Gasoline supplies have been curtailed by scheduled and
    unplanned plant maintenance. The fuel was trading today $2.28 a
    barrel above Brent, Europes benchmark oil, compared with $2.29
    on Feb. 20 and $4.73 on Feb. 2, according to data by broker PVM
    Oil Associates Ltd. As of Jan. 26, gasoline prices had been lower
    than crude oil for most of previous four months.
         Exxon Mobil Corp., the worlds largest oil company, shut an
    FCC and associated units at its 233,000 barrel-a-day Gravenchon
    refinery in France on Feb. 11 for about four weeks.
    Galp Energia
    SGPS SA was forced to shut its entire 202,670 barrel-a-day Sines
    site in Portugal because of a Jan. 17 fire.
    The outage is
    expected to last six weeks.

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