TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California oil refinery unit that was damaged by an explosion was already offline for unplanned maintenance when the fire occurred, industry analysts said Thursday.
The so-called fluid catalytic cracker unit refines gasoline and is critical to producing California-grade fuel. It was down for two days after problems with a recently repaired component within it when another component exploded, the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks the oil industry, said Thursday. The blast caused a fire that shook the neighborhood on Wednesday and rained debris and ash on nearby lawns. Four contractors were taken to the hospital for evaluation for minor injuries.
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — An explosion and fire tore through part of a Southern California oil refinery, shattering both a four-story structure and the peace of people whose nearby homes shook from the blast.
Wednesday's blast occurred in a recently installed processing facility, Fire Department spokesman Steve Deuel said. Four contractors suffered minor injuries.
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — An explosion devastated part of a major refinery on Wednesday morning, raining down ash in the area and, experts say, likely helping to increase California gas prices, which have been creeping up in recent weeks.
A huge smokestack flare — in which workers were burning off flammable product after the explosion — could be seen for miles around. Four contractors suffered minor injuries as workers fled the site of the blast, according to ExxonMobil, which owns the refinery.
MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. (AP) — The fiery derailment of a train carrying crude oil in West Virginia is one of three in the past year involving tank cars that already meet a higher safety standard than what federal law requires — leading some to suggest even tougher requirements that industry representatives say would be prohibitively costly.
Hundreds of families were evacuated and nearby water treatment plants were temporarily shut down after cars derailed from a train carrying 3 million gallons of North Dakota crude Monday, shooting fireballs into the sky, leaking oil into a Kanawha River tributary and burning down a house nearby. It was snowing at the time, but it is not yet clear if weather was a factor.
MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. (AP) — Fires were still burning more than a day after an oil train carrying more than 3 million gallons of crude derailed in a snowstorm, shooting fireballs into the sky and leaking oil into a West Virginia waterway.
Hundreds of families were evacuated and two water treatment plants were temporarily shut down after 19 of the tanker cars left the tracks and caught fire, burning a nearby house down to its foundation.
Monday’s fiery West Virginia derailment -- which involved newer model tank cars – has given ammunition to those who say further steps are needed to ensure oil train safety, including better track maintenance and automated braking systems, FuelFix reports.
The Senate intends to try to override President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline approval this week, while the House plans a vote on measures targeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of scientific data, National Journal reports.
Republicans from the Gulf region are angry about Obama administration proposals to cut the money states will get from offshore oil and gas drilling, and Alabama lawmakers Rep. Bradley Byrne and Sen. Richard Shelby say the proposal is "dead on arrival", The Hill reports.
Negotiations between refiners -– represented by Shell Oil. Co. -- and striking workers are set to resume Wednesday, as the walkout by United Steelworkers, now affecting 15 plants, drags toward its second month, Reuters reports.
A strong dollar and an increase in Libyan production helped to pressure oil prices early Monday. U.S. benchmark crude for April delivery dropped 95 cents to $48.81 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent fell $1.28 cents to $61.30, Reuters reports.
The administration of Pennsylvania’s new Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, is set to release plans to update drilling rules to address concerns about the health and environmental impact of natural gas drilling, The Associated Press reports.
Low natural gas prices have suppressed the demand for coal, Duke Energy Progress executive Brett Phipps told the Kentucky Public Service Commission in a filing, predicting that coal prices would remain stable in the short term but could become more volatile in the future as miners cut back production, Platts reports.