BP confirms fire at Whiting refinery

An overnight fire at BP PLC’s 413,000-b/d refinery in Whiting, Ind., has resulted in only minimal interruptions to operations at the site, the company said.

The fire, which broke out at about 9:00 p.m. on Aug. 27 following an “operational incident” at an unidentified process unit on the north end of the complex, was extinguished at 10:55 p.m. by the refinery’s in-house fire department, BP said.

No serious injuries have been reported as a result of the incident, and an employee that was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure has since been released, the company said.

The incident has minimally impacted operations at the Whiting complex, and production of petroleum products at the refinery remains ongoing, said BP.

Details regarding the precise nature of the operational incident that caused the fire or the exact unit involved were not disclosed.

Last year, BP completed the full commissioning of a long-planned modernization of the Whiting refinery, a project which included a 102,000-b/d coker, a reconfigured 250,000-b/d crude unit, a 105,000-b/d gas oil hydrotreater, as well as associated units (OGJ Online, Dec. 18, 2013).

The Whiting modernization has enabled the refinery to process heavy, sour crude at more than 80% of its feedstock slate. Before the project, the low-quality crude could represent only about 20% of the refinery’s feed.

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