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European petroleum giant Dutch Royal Shell dropped a bombshell on the oil and gas industries in Louisiana.  The company has announced that it will be closing the refinery located in Convent in the near future.  According to KATC, this shutdown will also mean the loss of 700 jobs. Shell claims that this closure is part of a larger strategy to reduce to the company's carbon footprint.

The process of shutting down the 4,400 acre oil-refining supersite is set to begin mid-November (just over a week away) as Shell slims its number of refineries around the world from 14 to just 6.

For what it's worth, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a statement about the closing and the expected impact on the displaced workers and economy.  Here's the official statement:

“We are disappointed to learn that Shell’s Convent Refinery in St. James Parish will be closing in the near future. This is a difficult decision for Shell and a challenging time for the company’s 700 Convent employees and their families. The State of Louisiana will support them in every way we can through the Rapid Response Unit of the Louisiana Workforce Commission and through prioritized placement of these talented workers within our state.

“It’s important to note that Shell is reducing the number of standalone refineries companywide in favor of consolidated industrial sites that integrate refining and chemical operations. This decision is not due to a lack of competitiveness on the part of Louisiana’s business climate or workforce, and the company will continue to operate many vital assets here. Shell employs nearly 4,000 people in our state, with a similar number of retirees. Company holdings in Louisiana range from deepwater operations headquartered in New Orleans and conducted offshore, to the Norco refinery, the Geismar chemicals plant, the Port Allen catalysts site, pipelines and other operations.

“I have asked Shell to work with us in re-employing workers of the Convent Refinery at other Louisiana locations. We also will support Shell in its efforts to sell and repurpose this important industrial site for the future benefit of St. James Parish, the River Parishes and our entire state.”