Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Update on the San Antonio Refinery Fire

A fire yesterday at a refinery in San Antonio was a result of vaporizing kerosene, according to owners of the plant. The company says that a contractor was installing drain tubing and dislodged a valve, “which allowed a small quantity of kerosene to spray.” That kerosene vaporized and caught fire.

“The fire was completely contained within the crude unit,” Mary Rose Brown, Senior Vice President of Administration at NuStar Energy, which owns the refinery, said in an emailed statement. “Fortunately, we were able to begin spraying the unit with water immediately and the the San Antonio Fire Department arrived within five minutes and quickly extinguished the fire.”

The company and San Antonio Fire Department say there were no injuries. NuStar said that the refinery will remain closed for now, but that when it re-opens they’ll send an update. NuStar purchased the refinery from AGE earlier this year.

UPDATE: NuStar released a statement this afternoon that the refinery “did not sustain significant damage” and that the refinery will resume operations tomorrow.

“The incident did not  have a major impact to production,” the company said, and “we have invested tens of millions of dollars in improvements at the refinery since acquiring it in April.” The company also thanked their employees and the San Antonio Fire Department for their efforts to put out the fire safely.


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