Shell considers retiring California coker amid shale boom

|By:, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is considering retiring one of two coking units at its 156K bbl/day Martinez refinery in California as the company seeks to run lighter crude at the plant.

Shell has applied to county regulators for a permit to shut the flexicoker, a move that would shrink the plant’s reliance on heavy oils and cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 15%.

Shell is considering the shutdown amid record volumes of light oil from shale formations across the middle of the U.S.; California’s refiners, lacking pipeline access to the growing crude supplies, are bringing in the most ever by rail as they work to counter shrinking production within the state.