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Shell Sydney Gasoline Unit Repairs to Take `Several Weeks’ More

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Bloomberg: Shell Sydney Gasoline Unit Repairs to Take `Several Weeks’ More

By Angela Macdonald-Smith

April 21 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, one of Australia’s four crude-oil refiners, said repairs to a gasoline- making unit at its Clyde refinery in Sydney will take “several weeks” more, extending fuel shortages in the region.

Maintenance is still being carried out at the catalytic cracking unit shut down in January, Claire Wilkinson, a Melbourne-based spokeswoman for Shell in Australia, said today in an e-mail. She couldn’t give an exact date for the restart of the unit.

Shell said Jan. 31 it halted the unit at Clyde after “erratic operating behavior,” bringing forward a shutdown for maintenance. The shutdown has resulted in a shortage of premium unleaded gasoline at Shell retail sites around Sydney.

The maintenance work “will take several months in all, so it will still be several weeks from now” until the unit restarts, Wilkinson said in the e-mail. “It is a comprehensive overhaul of the cracker so it is a major bit of engineering work.”

Shell has been looking at all options to get premium unleaded gasoline back at its branded sites, which have no supplies at present, Wilkinson said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Macdonald-Smith in Sydney at [email protected]

Last Updated: April 21, 2008 03:44 EDT

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