Illinois orders Citgo to investigate refinery fire before restart

The state of Illinois has ordered Citgo Petroleum Corp. to conduct an analysis and review of the cause of the Oct. 23 fire that damaged the crude oil unit at the company’s 167,000-b/d Lemont, Ill., refinery before full operations can resume (OGJ Online, Oct. 24, 2013).

State Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan and Will County state’s attorney James Glasgow filed the interim agreement in court on Nov. 8.

“This incident created a significant threat to public safety and the surrounding environment,” Madigan said in a release. “We’re taking this legal action to ensure that Citgo takes all necessary steps to prevent dangerous equipment malfunctions.”

Citgo cannot restart the vacuum section of the crude unit until it has demonstrated that it is safe to resume operation, according to the release.

Citgo confirmed with OGJ its agreement with the interim order, adding that the company “has taken all necessary and appropriate steps to respond to this incident and will implement the appropriate corrective actions once our incident investigation is completed.”

Citgo’s government and public affairs manager for the Lemont refinery Pete Colarelli told OGJ, “Citgo understands and appreciates the state’s responsibility to ensure all businesses operate with the same priorities, and we have and will continue to cooperate fully to this end.”

The company previously confirmed that the vacuum distillation unit was the only unit impacted by the Oct. 23 fire (OGJ Online, Oct. 29, 2013).

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