Ultramar Diamond Shamrock eyeing damage from Texas refinery fire

Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corp. was evaluating the damage to its 98,000-b/d refinery at Three Rivers, Tex., following a Monday fire. The company did not know when the refinery would resume operations but expected no significant disruptions in supplying its market with products.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, July 10 -- Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corp. was evaluating the damage to its 98,000-b/d refinery at Three Rivers, Tex., following a Monday fire.

One refinery employee and two contract employees were injured. The company said they were in good condition at Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi.

Three Rivers is a town of 2,000 persons midway between Corpus Christi and San Antonio. Persons living within a 7-block radius of the refinery were evacuated after the fire and remained evacuated (OGJ Online, July 9, 2001).

UDS spokeswoman Diane Mitchell said the fire was in the alkylation unit. "There's still a small fire burning, but it's like a pilot light and we don't want it to go out." Air is being monitored for hydrofluoric acid emissions.

She said the company has not determined when the refinery could resume operations and had begun to evaluate damages. The cause of the incident is unknown.

Jean Gaulin, chairman, president and CEO of UDS, said, "Our primary concern is for these individuals and their families.

"The safety of our employees and those who live and work near our refineries is always a top priority for us. We are working closely with various environmental agencies to monitor air and water quality. We are committed to the environment and will continue to work diligently to minimize any impact from this incident."

The alkylation unit produces 7,000 b/d of alkylate, which is part of the gasoline production process.

UDS said it did not expect significant disruptions in supplying its markets with product as a result of the accident. The company operates seven refineries in the US and Canada with total throughput capacity of 850,000 b/d.

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