Shell’s Oil Refinery Intake Fell 8% in the First Quarter

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said the newly expanded Port Arthur refinery in the U.S. is processing crude and a hydrocracker will start operating by the end of second quarter.

“We have crude in the units,” Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said today on a conference call. “Some of the downstream processing units are actually up and running producing on-spec product.” Hydrocrackers produce distillate fuels, a category that includes diesel and heating oil.

The refinery in Texas, operated by Motiva Enterprises LLC, completed an expansion project that more than doubled total capacity to 600,000 barrels a day, with crude processing starting earlier this month, The Hague-based Shell said today in a statement.

Motiva is a refining and marketing venture of Saudi Refining Inc., a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., and Shell’s U.S. oil unit. Shell owns 50 percent of the refinery.

The amount processed at Shell’s refineries fell by 8 percent, or 248,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, to 2.78 million barrels a day in the first quarter, Shell said.

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