Just before the Great Depression, Shell Oil Company became the first manufacturer to call Deer Park home in 1929. At that time, Deer Park had no other businesses or buildings in what is now a bustling community about 20 miles east of downtown Houston.
The original 800-acre refinery site was carefully chosen for its location along the Houston Ship Channel. In the 1940s, Shell added a chemical plant. Between 1945 and 1950, the site completed major expansions that added to the refining and chemicals operations. Today, Shell Deer Park covers 2,300 acres and is a fully integrated refinery and chemical plant with about 1,500 employees and to 1,200 contractors.
The site operates 24 hours a day and is a unique combination of processing equipment, control rooms, storage tanks, environmental protection equipment, office buildings, shops and warehouses – all run by highly skilled, well-trained and experienced employees. Shell Deer Park has its own security staff, medical facility, fire stations and utilities, as well as railroad, marine docks and pipeline networks.
Shell Deer Park’s location near major crude oil and products pipelines – in addition to extensive dock facilities – is one of its most important assets. This provides the site with numerous transportation advantages and significantly increases efficiency when delivering or receiving products.
Annually, an average of more than 2,500 vessels are loaded or off-loaded at the site, which represents about 100 million barrels (4 billion gallons) of crude oil and products for the refinery and chemical plant. The dock facility ranks (in volume of materials) as one of the 25 largest ports nationwide.