Shell closing Convent refinery 

The Shell Refinery in Convent will begin shutting down later this month after failed attempts to sell the complex, the company confirmed today. 

The plant, which opened in 1967 as a Texaco refinery, employs nearly 700 workers and 400 contract workers, WAFB-TV reports.  

Last week, Shell announced plans to shrink its refinery portfolio from 14 to six sites over the next five years. The company says it will help its employees find work at other Shell locations, including in Geismar and Norco, if possible and will offer severance to employees who aren’t identified for open roles at other refineries.  

The refinery, located on 4,400 acres in parts of Ascension and St. James parishes, is designed to process nearly 240,000 barrels of crude oil daily. After the shutdown is complete, Shell says it will continue to try to sell the facility. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards this afternoon released a statement about the facility’s closure, expressing condolences to the Convent employees and saying the state and the Louisiana Workforce Commission will help displaced workers. 

St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne says in a prepared statement that parish leadership is saddened by the news, and remains hopeful that in the future the refinery can resume operations under new ownership. Dufresne says the parish received no warning that the Shell facility would be closing and that the impact on the parish will be “detrimental.” The plant has been the largest taxpayer in the parish for many years. Read WAFB-TV’s full story.