Lori Ryerkerk steps down as Royal Dutch Shell’s refining head

Lori Ryerkerk played an instrumental role in consolidating Royal Dutch Shell’s refining operations. She will now be succeeded by Robin Mooldijk.

As per an internal memo from Royal Dutch Shell, Lori Ryerkerk, who was instrumental for a significant overhaul of the business, the head of Royal Dutch Shell global refining operations will step down at the end of the month.

Ryerkerk will be succeeded by Robin Mooldijk, who currently serves as the company’s Vice President Manufacturing Americas, and is responsible for Shell’s refining and chemical plants in Argentina, Canada and in the United States.

Ryerkerk was instrumental in the transformation of Shell’s refining operations, especially during the 2014-2016 downturn of the market.

She was also instrumental in the dissolution of the Motiva joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s Aramco in 2017, which saw Shell sell its stake in the Port Arthur, Texas, refinery to become sole owner of the Norco and Convent refineries in Louisiana.

Shell sold other refineries and invested billions in upgrading its operations in recent years to create three major hubs in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Rotterdam and Singapore.

In a presentation in March, Ryerkerk had stated Shell slashed its refining operations from 51 sites whose combined capacity was 4.4 million barrel per day (bpd) to 18 sites with 2.9 million bpd.

“The consolidation of our footprint has focused on retaining increasingly complex sites, which offer crude grade flexibility, proximity to trading centers for full product-side flexibility, connectivity to material marketing demands, and strong integration with Chemicals manufacturing assets,” said Ryerkerk.

Royal Dutch Shell plans on investing $2 to $3 billion a year in its refining and trading business out of a total spending budget of $25 to $30 billion, by 2020.

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