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The Shell Convent Refinery just northeast of the Sunshine Bridge near Convent.

Shell is testing the market to potentially sell its Convent refinery and various facilities associated with the site.

A potential sale of the Convent refinery, located midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, also would include its products truck terminal, marine docks, the Sorrento salt cavern for liquefied petroleum gas storage, and rights for its Bengal Pipeline.

"We have informed staff and local community leaders that we are assessing market interest for the potential divestment of the Shell Convent refinery in Louisiana," spokesman Curtis Smith said.  

He said the process could take several months. The plan is consistent with a mid-2019 announcement that the company plans to narrow its ownership to a smaller, optimal core set of "uniquely positioned refineries by 2025." The remaining core sites will be ones more closely integrated with Shell trading hubs and able to produce more chemicals and related products expected to be resilient in a low-carbon future.

"It’s important to keep in mind this process may or may not result in a finalized sale," Smith said.

He said the U.S. Gulf Coast will remain a key region for Shell through its integrated manufacturing sites, Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operations, midstream infrastructure assets, branded gasoline outlets and hub offices in Houston and New Orleans.

The refinery is located on a 4,400-acre site that straddles Ascension and St. James parishes and employs 700 Shell workers and 400 contract workers. The processing equipment is located in St. James Parish and occupies about 900 acres, according to the company's website, with a capacity to process 240,000 barrels of crude oil per day. 

The refinery produces various grades of gasoline; jet fuel; diesel fuel and heating oil; propane and butane for residential and industrial use; and oil for tankers, power generation and locomotives.

The facility has access to multiple major crude oil and product pipelines, which ship gasoline, diesel, kerosene and jet fuel. The site’s location on the Mississippi River allows shipping and receiving petroleum products aboard ocean-going vessels. The refinery uses two docks along 6,000 feet of Mississippi River access.

The Convent refinery began operations in 1967 as a Texaco refinery. In 1998, a joint venture was formed between Texaco, Saudi Refining and Shell Oil Co. under the name Motiva. In 2001, Texaco was purchased by Chevron and its interest in Motiva was sold to Shell Oil and Saudi Refining Inc. in 2002. A separation of the joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco in 2017 resulted in the Convent refinery being fully owned and operated by Royal Dutch Shell.