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Traffic resumed at the Houston Ship Channel amidst continuous cleanup efforts to cover up the aftermath of a spill in the region. A collision in the channel between a 755-foot oil tanker and a tug pushing two barges on Friday spilled thousands of barrels of gasoline blending product into the channel. US Coast Guard informed that the collision capsized one barge, impaired the other and triggered the leak.
Fire safety authorities, today, put out a fire at a Malaysian oil refinery owned by state-run oil major, Petronas. An explosion occurred early morning at the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID). A testing procedure was ongoing at the project for planned commercial operations later this year. RAPID is a 50-50 joint-venture between Petronas and Saudi Aramco.
With emergency workers siphoning leaked fuel from the United States’ busiest oil port, ship traffic remained at halt along the key stretch of Houston Ship Channel yesterday. A containment barrier at Mitsui & Co Inc’s Texas ITC breached on Friday spilling fuel. The Houston Ship Channel covers nine US oil refineries that process 2.3 million barrels of oil per day (bpd).
A fire broke out yesterday at the Russian oil major, Rosneft’s Kuibyshev Refinery, which was later put out. A source told news agency TASS, “Provisionally, the fire happened on the territory of the Kuibyshev Refinery, by now it has been put out,”. Output at the Kuibyshev refinery, which processes 7.9 million tonnes of oil per year, hasn’t been affected.
A crude oil pumping station owned by state-run PDVSA was caught in a fire yesterday. A company statement informed that the fire at the 300,000 bpd-Ero pumping station was controlled, with no one injured. PDVSA will, however, experience problems in the transport of crude through pipelines. PDVSA referred to the incident as “an act of sabotage perpetrated by the right-wing opposition.”
Oil prices dipped in the international market today after BHGE data showed a climb in rig count in the US. Benchmark Brent crude oil futures dropped 1.1% to $61.39 a barrel. US WTI crude futures dipped 1.5%, to $51.92 per barrel. BHGE data released on Friday showed rig count in the US reaching to 854. Fire in Phillips 66’s Wood River refinery yesterday weighed down on WTI prices as well.
The Mexico pipeline explosion on Friday has so far claimed 85 lives, according to a Minister. In a news briefing, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo told the reporters that state-owned Pemex considered the leak “minimal”, and did not shut the gasoline pipe despite an early warning from the military. Officials said that dozens of bodies were so badly charred that they will have to resort to DNA testing for identification.
An explosion in a ruptured pipeline burnt many people trying to fill containers with fuel in central Mexico yesterday. Television footage showed flames blazing from the burning pipeline in the municipality of Tlahuelilpan. State governor Omar Fayad denied knowledge of any deaths, but said that he had received reports that “many people” suffered burn injuries in the explosion.
In a major accident in the South China Sea, an offshore tanker rammed into the pipelay vessel, Star Centurion, and sank the £77 million ship. The collision punctured a hole in Star Centurion, making it tip onto its side. Tanker owner, Bernhard Schulte Ship Management stated that all crew members on the vessel were accounted for. The course of pipelay vessel is thought to have been charted out for Indonesia.
Canadian oil firm, Irving Oil has reported a major incident at its Saint John refinery in Canada. Residents in the area witnessed fire and explosion at the refinery. According to CNBC, the Saint John refinery has the capacity to refine 320,000 barrels per day of gasoline, diesel heating oil, jet fuel and other petroleum products. More than half of Irving Oil’s produce is supplied to the United States.
A huge fire broke out at the Vohburg Refinery in Germany, followed by a blast. The incident forced the authorities to evacuate the surrounding area inhabited by atleast 1,800 residents. The mishap at the 120,000 barrel per day (bpd) plant, part of the Bayernoil refinery complex, left 10 people injured. Varo Energy, Rosneft Deutschland, Eni Deutschland and BP Europe jointly own stakes of Bayernoil.
Plains All American Pipeline yesterday updated on the fire on its Texas crude storage tank. The pipeline giant, in a statement, said that the fire was extinguished, and the situation was under control. The terminal and connecting pipelines have resumed operations. The crude storage tank was caught in fire on Tuesday morning. Wichita Falls is a crude injection point in north Texas along Plain’s Basin Pipeline.
The Shell Higher Olefins Plant (SHOP) which came under fire yesterday has been extinguished. Essar Oil UK’s Stanlow refinery is on the same site as Shell’s chemical plant. Shell manufactures polymer, lubricant and detergent intermediates, plasticizers and detergent alcohols from ethylene at the site. Essar runs both the chemical plant as well as the refinery.
State-owned Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) refinery at Mahul, India witnessed an explosion yesterday when a hydrocracker unit caught fire, leading to 40 injured workers. The official statement from BPCL assured safe shutdown of the unit. Fire-fighting teams are keenly monitoring the refinery. BPCL will, additionally, set up an investigative team for the matter. The hazard was categorised as a level III (major) blaze.
Royal Dutch Shell has been penalized with £60,000 by Aberdeen Sheriff Court in lieu of a technician being severely injured on Brent Delta installation. The incident occurred back in 2014 when a gas cylinder unexpectedly discharged, with projectiles to hit a worker. The oil major in a statement said that it “deeply regrets” what happened and has since improved upon safety regulations.