shell puget sound refinery
Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes, WA

Anacortes, Wash., Sept. 6, 2017 – Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery has planned maintenance – also known as a turnaround – on several pieces of processing equipment starting later this month. The turnaround will last roughly 1.5 months.

The turnaround will focus on sustaining the refinery’s asset integrity and reliability performance, which enables the site to continue operating in a manner that protects people and the environment. In addition, the site will put more process safety barriers in place and also improve its electrical infrastructure.

“This turnaround plays a critical role in ensuring we continue to operate safely and efficiently so we can proudly fuel life in the Pacific Northwest for years to come,” said Shirley Yap, the General Manager at Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery. “We’re also very excited about the significant economic benefits that the turnaround will bring to the community during this event.”

The turnaround will peak at over 2,500 people on-site per day, making this the largest turnaround in the refinery’s history. Shell predicts an influx of at least $2.5 million in new consumer spending in the area from turnaround workers during the event, with most of this economic activity coming from spending on food and lodging.

All workers who enter the site will undergo safety training and onboarding to ensure they’re aligned with Shell’s expectations and commitment to delivering a turnaround with zero safety and environmental incidents.  

Plant Efforts to Minimize Community Impacts

  • Traffic: Residents should expect higher traffic flow on Thompson Road, March’s Point and Reservation Road in Anacortes around daily shift changes that take place at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Shell has contacted the WA State Department of Transportation, and the department will update the timing of traffic lights in the immediate vicinity of the refinery in an effort to move traffic efficiently. 

  • Flaring: Residents may see some flaring during the unit shutdown and start-up stages of the turnaround. As a reminder, flares are process safety devices that the site occasionally utilizes to combust excess product and maintain safe operations. Shell will proactively monitor its activities to avoid impact to the community.

  • Noise & Lights: Shell will limit high noise-generating activities to the hours of 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The site may also have a few more lights on at night than it typically does – this helps ensure the safety of all workers.

  • General Timing: This turnaround kicks off in late September. The site prefers to conduct turnarounds in the fall or spring due to weather concerns in the winter and increased product demand in the summer due to driving season. It also tries to avoid holidays.


The public should contact Shell’s Main Gate (staffed 24/7) at 360-293-0800 with any immediate questions and/or concerns prior to or during the turnaround. For less urgent questions and general feedback, the public should call Shell’s community hotline: 360-293-1797. 

Commitment to Our Community

Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery is a place where generations of area residents have found jobs, built careers, supported families and strengthened their communities.

In the Community - Puget Sound

You May Also Be Interested In

HR Manager Looks for Life’s Positives

If anyone understands the true meaning of resilience, it’s Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s HR Manager Robin Yates. Despite major life obstacles that included his parents’ alcoholism, foster care, a cancer diagnosis and the tragic loss of his son, Yates refused to give up. 

Ready to Fuel Education?

The 3rd annual Fueling Education Fun Run 5K takes place on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. Anacortes. All proceeds go to the Anacortes Schools Foundation.