CSB to investigate fire at Tesoro Salt Lake City refinery

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 23 -- A team from the US Chemical Safety Board was sent to investigate an Oct. 21 fire at Tesoro Corp.’s 58,000-b/d Salt Lake City refinery, it was reported on Oct. 23.

No injuries were reported from the blaze, which refinery and municipal firefighters extinguished within an hour, but smoke and flames were visible over a wide area and a nearby interstate highway and commuter rail line were closed temporarily, CSB said. Three investigators were sent from its western regional office in Denver.

The fire was the third in as many months at a refinery owned by San Antonio-based Tesoro. A coking unit caught fire on Sept. 25 at the refiner’s 97,000 b/d facility at Wilmington, Calif., near Los Angeles. That incident followed a small fire at the company’s 58,000 b/d Mandan, ND, facility in late August.

CSB said refinery officials indicated that this latest fire broke out following a power outage when liquid hydrocarbons were released from a flare stack during an effort to restart the plant’s crude unit. The hydrocarbons were ignited in a pool fire, which extended from the base of the stack and damaged a trailer and other equipment nearby.

CSB investigators will try to determine if there are any similarities in this incident to a 2005 fire and explosion at BP America Inc.’s Texas City, Tex., refinery that killed 15 workers in nearby trailers and injured 180 other people, according to John S. Bresland, the board’s chairman.

Flammable liquid erupted from a blowdown stack during a unit startup in that case, leading to a massive vapor cloud explosion, he said. The CSB recommended numerous changes to regulations, enforcement, and industry safety practices following that accident, he noted.

“Nearly 4 years after the disaster in Texas City, there continues to be a disturbing number of fires, explosions, and releases at the nation’s refineries,” said Bresland. “These events endanger workers and the public and can disrupt the supply of needed transportation fuels. A sudden release of flammable liquid from a flare or blowdown stack poses a potential risk to people, equipment, and the environment, and warrants a closer look.”

CSB already is investigating a fire at another Salt Lake City area refinery. Four workers were seriously burned when a large vapor cloud was released from a blaze in an atmospheric storage tank and ignited at the Silver Eagle refinery in nearby Woods Cross on Jan. 12.

The board, which investigates accidents and issues recommendations but does not assess fines or orders, said it expects to have a final report on this case in early 2010.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Croatian refinery lets contract for upgrading project

07/07/2015 Croatia’s INA Industrija Nafte DD (INA) has let a contract to Findland’s Neste Jacobs Oy to provide project management consultancy (PMC) for a resi...

South Africa’s Enref refinery due maintenance

07/06/2015 Engen Petroleum Ltd. will shut down its 125,000-b/d Enref refinery in Durban, South Africa, for planned maintenance beginning on July 9, the compan...

Nelson-Farrar Quarterly Costimating Indexes for selected equipment items

07/06/2015 The Nelson-Farrar refinery construction index rose to 2,475.6 by December 2012 from 2,467.4 in January of the same year. The index continued to ris...

Oman lets contract for Sohar refinery unit revamp

07/06/2015 Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Co., has let a contract to MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, Augsburg, Germany, for work related to the ove...

Global oil glut continues despite increasing demand

07/06/2015 A year since crude prices plunged, oversupply lingers, evident in a record-setting stock build, as production by members of the Organization of Pet...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

SIBUR plans MTBE expansion at Togliattikauchuk

07/01/2015 Russian conglomerate OAO SIBUR Holding, Moscow, has started preparatory work for a project designed to expand production capacity for methyl tertia...

OxyChem-Mexichem JV lets contract for ethylene storage

06/30/2015 Ingleside Ethylene LLC, a 50-50 joint venture of Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem) and Mexichem SAB de CV (Mexichem), has let a contract to CB&am...

RIL’s Jamnagar refinery due maintenance

06/29/2015 Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), Mumbai, is planning to shut down a crude unit for scheduled maintenance at its 1.24 million-b/d Jamnagar refining a...
White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected