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Shell Pernis Refinery Fire Contained, Plant Operating



Shell Pernis Refinery Fire Contained, Plant Operating (Update1) 

By Alexander Kwiatkowski and Eduard Gismatullin

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc said its Pernis oil refinery in the Netherlands, Europe’s largest plant, received the “all clear” from the local fire brigade after it contained a blaze in a heavy diesel pipeline.

The fire broke out at the refinery near Rotterdam at 1:20 p.m. local time today, said Wim van de Wiel, a spokesman for Europe’s biggest oil company, based in The Hague. Wendel Broere, also a company spokesman, said later the blaze was brought under control by 3:25 p.m. and the incident is now closed.

The refinery continued operating during the afternoon even as the Rotterdam fire department sent 40 firefighters to help contain the blaze, Van de Wiel said. No injuries were reported.

The refinery has been working to restore production at various units that were closed last month for maintenance and repairs. RTV Rijnmond reported earlier that the fire was in catalytic cracker Unit 2.

Shell Class A shares in London fell as much as 52 pence, or 3.1 percent, to 1,623 pence before recovering to 1,661 pence, down 0.8 percent from yesterday.

Pernis 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.

Catalytic Cracking

Shell closed one fluid catalytic cracking, or FCC, unit at Pernis in September to repair a fault. That unit was scheduled to resume operations in late November after a two-month halt, a person familiar with the situation who declined to be identified, said on Nov. 20.

The refinery has also 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 supposed to restart in late November as well.

Gasoline in Europe traded for $5.88 a barrel below crude oil as of about 6:40 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: Alexander Kwiatkowski in London at[email protected]Eduard Gismatullin in London at[email protected]

Last Updated: December 4, 2008 14:15 EST

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