(Adds Shell spokesman unavailable, local media report)
HOUSTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc has canceled a plan to permanently close the gasoline-producing unit at its 227,586 barrel-per-day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, oil refinery, two sources familiar with plant operations said on Thursday.
A spokesman for Shell's U.S. operations was not immediately available for comment early on Thursday.
Shell has decided to overhaul the 92,000 bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) in 2018, extending its production for at least four to five years, the sources said.
Shell had planned to permanently decommission the FCCU in early 2018 as part of a plan to integrate the Convent plant with the company's 225,800 bpd refinery in Norco, Louisiana.
The plan originated when the two refineries were owned by Motiva Enterprises, which until May 1 was a 50-50 partnership between Shell and Saudi Aramco. In the planned split of the partnership, Shell took ownership of the two Louisiana refineries.
It was unclear when in 2018 the FCCU will be overhauled, the sources said. Shell has scheduled an overhaul of the unit's heavy oil hydrocracking unit in the summer of 2018.
Plans were laid as early as 2014 to idle the FCCU at the Convent refinery because it was seen as unprofitable compared with the 45,000 bpd heavy-oil hydrocracker, which is called the H-Oil Unit. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Mark Potter)