Shell Reports Tank Roof Problems at Deer Park, Texas, Facility

Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Monday its Deer Park refinery and chemical facility in the Houston area is having problems with a storage tank roof because of heavy rainfall from Hurricane Harvey.

"It was discovered that the external floating roof of Tank G346 had material on top of the roof and in the dike area," the refinery said in a statement to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Roof is sinking due to Hurricane Harvey dumping heavy and large amounts of rainfall in short period of time."

Shell said the discovery was made Monday morning and that it placed foam on the material to lower emissions, and transferred the material to another tank.

Damage to floating roofs is becoming a common theme for refiners in the rain-drenched Houston area. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) reported an almost identical problem at its Baytown refinery Monday. Fuel and storage tanks often comprise an open-topped cylindrical steel shell equipped with an external roof that floated on the top of the liquid being stored.

Both refineries have been shut since the weekend, as Shell and Exxon witnessed the deluge of rain and decided it was more prudent to shut them down in an orderly fashion as opposed to being forced to do an emergency shutdown if there was a power outage, flooding or other problems.

Shell Deer Park is along the Houston Ship Channel, 20 miles east of downtown Houston.

Write to Dan Molinski at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 28, 2017 18:41 ET (22:41 GMT)