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Shell Convent refinery hydrocracker may be shut two months: sources

(Reuters) – The heavy-oil hydrocracker at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 209,787 barrel-per-day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery may be shut for two months of repairs, said two sources familiar with plant operations.

Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said planned work was being performed at the Convent refinery, but declined to identify the unit involved.

The 45,000-bpd hydrocracker, called the H-Oil Unit, was shut on Wednesday because of a hot spot developing in a reactor on the unit, the sources said.

Shell also brought forward planned work scheduled to be done the H-Oil Unit in June 2019, the sources said. The planned June 2019 overhaul was scheduled to last 40 days.

The hot spot may indicate a hole could develop in the reactor wall, the sources said.

The H-Oil Unit is an atypical hydrocracker that uses hydrogen and a catalyst under high heat and pressure to convert residual crude oil into motor fuels, especially diesel.

Residual crude is normally processed by coking units. Most hydrocrackers use gas oil as a feedstock.

Reporting by Erwin Seba in Houston; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and James Dalgleish

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