A major Shell oil refinery in Convent is closing this month because the company failed to sell it.
The refinery employed nearly 700 people full-time and another 400 contract workers. Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement saying the state will support the laid-off workers and try to find work for them elsewhere. Shell employs about 4,000 people in Louisiana.
The facility received no bids when it was put on the market, so Shell assessed its finances and decided to shut it down instead, officials said in a statement.
Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith said the company would maintain refineries and chemical plants in Norco and Geismar, and work to safely decommission the Convent site.
The 4,000-acre Convent refinery produces crude oil, gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and sulfur. It was originally built by Texaco, with major investments in infrastructure and capacity from the 1980s to 2000s. Operations transferred to Royal Dutch Shell in 2017.
The move is part of a greater effort to consolidate its operations and “provide customers with the lower-carbon products they desire,” Shell's statement said. The company plans to invest in producing more environmentally friendly products like biofuels, hydrogen and synthetic fuels.
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