28 March 2005 04:05 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--BP expects the impact of the Texas refinery accident on oil supplies to its US consumers to be minimal, the company said over the weekend.
The 470,000 bbl/day refinery in Texas was hit by a fire and explosion on 23 March. Fifteen people lost their lives and more than 70 were injured.
All 15 people who died were contractors involved in maintenance work. All personnel working at the refinery at the time of the accident were accounted for.
The company said: "Overall production from the refinery continues, and impacts on supplies to US consumers are expected to be minimal."
BP said that the refinery is now in the stabilisation phase after completing the recovery stage.
The affected portion of the refinery, the isomerisation unit which enables the refinery to produce high octane gasoline, was badly damaged in the incident, and the area has been secured to preserve evidence and to enable the investigation work to proceed.
The spokesman told CNI last week that the adjacent units to the isomerisation unit were likely to be affected by the fire and explosion. As of last weekend, the company had not confiirmed if other units were damaged.
At the time of the incident, the unit was in a turnaround, a process of restarting the unit after a two-week work programme.
The cause of the incident is not yet known. BP America and US authorities continue their investigations.
On 24 March, Nymex Access April unleaded gasoline futures prices picked up from where it left off in Wednesday's floor trade, rising 81 points to 158.30 cents/gallon. April unleaded futures settled at 157.49 cents/gallon after hitting an intraday high of 160 cents/gallon.
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