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Shell Says Fire Breaks Out at Pernis Oil Refinery

By Timothy Coulter and John Buckley

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — A large fire erupted today in a pipeline at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Pernis refinery in the Netherlands, Europe’s largest plant.

The fire broke out in a heavy-diesel pipeline at the refinery at 1:20 p.m. local time,Wim van de Wiel, a spokesman for The Hague-based company, said by phone. RTV Rijnmond earlier reported that the fire was in catalytic cracker Unit 2.

“The pipeline has been blocked in and now the fire is under control,” the spokesman said. “It was heavy diesel oil” that caught fire, he said, adding that no injuries were reported.

Shell’s Class A shares in London fell as much as 3.1 percent and last traded down 36 pence at 1,639 pence.

The refinery has a capacity of 416,000 barrels a day. The plant’s catalytic crackers can process 50,000 barrels of gasoline a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shell closed one of its FCCs at Pernis in September to repair a fault. The plant was scheduled to resume operations at the end of November after the two-month halt, a person familiar with the situation who declined to be identified, said Nov. 20.

The refinery has had to delay at least twice the restart of a crude distillation unit, two people familiar with shutdown procedures said previously. The crude unit was also supposed to restart in late November.

Gasoline in Europe traded for $6.73 a barrel below crude oil as of 12:59 p.m. in London, compared with a discount of $6.02 yesterday, according to broker PVM Oil Associates Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Buckley in Amsterdam at[email protected]

Last Updated: December 4, 2008 09:53 EST


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