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Video: Huge tornado causes damage to Halliburton refinery

A huge tornado in the US has caused damage to an oil refinery in the state of Texas. Footage shows the twister as it caused havoc in the region. The Halliburton power-plant was severely damaged by the tornado which ripped through the plant and caused chemical and gas leaks. Watch the footage below.

Health, Safety & Environment

CPS decide not to bring corporate manslaughter charges after refinery explosion

The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) in Wales said no corporate manslaughter charges will be brought after an explosion which killed four workers at an oil refinery. The investigation into the incident, which happened at a Chevron refinery – now Valero – in 2011, was described as “extremely complex”. The families of Julie Schmitz 54, Dennis Riley, 52, Robert Broome, 48, and Andrew Jenkins, 33, were informed of the decision.

Oil & Gas

Sinopec completes expansion at Chinese refinery

Sinopec has completed expansion works at a refinery in China by adding 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude unit. The company said it plans to raise throughput in the fourth quarter at the Jiujiang refinery in the Jiangxi province.

Oil & Gas

ExxonMobil sells Torrance refinery to PBF Energy

ExxonMobil has struck a deal with PBF Energy for the sale of its refinery in California. The company said in addition to the facility at Torrance the agreement also includes a lubricant distribution centre at Vernon, a products terminal at Vernon and Atwood and associated Californian pipelines and other logistics assets. The move is expected to affect 700 staff members and 700 contractors who work at the refinery and associated facilities.

Health, Safety & Environment

Petroineos fined £24,000 after worker injured

The operators of the Grangemouth oil refinery have been fined £24,000 for safety failings related to an incident in which a worker was injured at the plant. The decision came after a Petroineos employee was sprayed in the face by low pressure steam. The worker had been in regulation personal protective equipment including a hard hat and safety glasses at the time of the incident.


ONGC sees rise in profit after cutting discounts on crude oil to refiners

Indian explorer Oil and Natural Gas corp (ONGC) has reported a 14% increase in quarterly net profit. The rise was seen as the company significantly cut its discounts on crude oil to refiners after global oil prices fell. The company's net income for the first fiscal quarter rose to 54.59billion rupees from 47.82billion rupees a year earlier.

Oil & Gas

South Korea’s GS Caltex to trim refinery runs in Sept on falling margins

South Korea's GS Caltex Corp is expected to cut refinery runs further in September after trimming throughput by nearly 3 percent in August to combat weak margins, traders said on Thursday. The country's second-biggest refiner by capacity after SK Energy has cut throughput to about 720,000 barrels per day (bpd) so far this month versus July. But traders said GS Caltex was likely to keep refinery runs at or above 700,000 bpd as demand for jet fuel and kerosene could increase towards year-end on heating fuel demand in winter.

Oil & Gas

BP’s Indiana refinery outage ripples through US oil market

For want of a refinery unit in Indiana, oil is tumbling in Oklahoma and Alberta while gasoline in the Midwest is soaring. Leaking tubes on a piece of equipment forced BP Plc to shut the largest crude unit at its refinery near Chicago over the weekend, according to a person familiar with operations there. It could be down for at least a month. The shutdown of the most important unit in the biggest plant in the Midwest has disrupted markets throughout the region. It puts extra oil onto an already-oversupplied market and cuts the supply of gasoline to the Midwest in the middle of peak summer demand. That’s helped push heavy Canadian crude to trade at the lowest level in a year and propelled wholesale gasoline in Chicago to the highest level since 2013.

Oil & Gas

Morocco’s sole refinery to shut due to financial problems

Morocco's Societe Anonyme Marocaine de l'Industrie du Raffinage (SAMIR) will halt production at its 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) Mohammedia refinery due to financial difficulties, the company said in a statement. Sources at the refinery said it was already shut down, but would restart once it received delivery of two cargoes of 2 million barrels of crude oil, scheduled to arrive between Aug. 15 and 18. It said SAMIR will continue to supply oil products until its stocks run out.

Health, Safety & Environment

Total fined £1.4million after worker killed in oil refinery explosion

Energy giant Total has been fined £1.4million after a worker was killed in an oil refinery explosion. Contractor Robert Greenacre, 24, was working under a distillation column containing hot crude oil, which was released and caught alight at the huge plant in North Killingholme, North Lincolnshire five years ago. A colleague was able to escape with minor burns but Mr Greenacre died at the scene.

Oil & Gas

Oil producers’ ugly duckling refineries just turned into swans

Oil companies’ least-loved business over the past five years is proving to be their lifeline. Margins from refineries in northwest Europe rose fivefold last quarter to the highest since at least 2003, data from Total SA show. In the preceding quarter, the share of profit from processing crude and chemicals at Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc was four times higher than the same period a year earlier. The turnaround follows last year’s end to an oil boom that tripled the cost of crude for processing since 2009 and spurred a focus on drilling instead of refining. A decade-long doubling of refining capacity in China also swamped European efforts to rein in supply. Crude’s slump in the past year has reversed the dynamic, curbing refining costs and raising demand for fuels. “Refining has become a boon in these times from being a burden over the years,” Iain Armstrong, an oil analyst at fund manager Brewin Dolphin Ltd., said July 22 in London. “The companies will look to make the most of this dramatic change while it lasts.” Shell and BP are scheduled to release second-quarter earnings at the end of the month. Results at their downstream businesses, which include trading as well as refining, are likely to show they also benefited from a market structure called contango, where future prices are higher than those for immediate delivery. That allows their traders to profit by storing cheap oil now to sell for more later.

Oil & Gas

Libya lifts force majeure at Ras Lanuf oil terminal

Libya has lifted force majeure at the major Ras Lanuf oil terminal, though restarting exports would take at least two days depending on available crude, a spokesman for the National Oil Corporation said on Tuesday. Restarting Ras Lanuf would be a major boost for Libya's crippled oil industry. The terminal, along with another major eastern oil port Es Sider, has been under force majeure since December last year due to fighting between rival factions,

Oil & Gas

Total restarts La Mede refinery after strike

French oil major Total said on Monday it had begun procedures to restart its La Mede refinery near Marseille, which management had decided to halt after the CGT union called a strike against plans to stop crude processing.

Middle East

Attacks in Baghdad as security forces try to repel oil refinery targeted by IS

Attacks in and around Baghdad have killed at least 14 civilians, as Iraqi security forces repelled an attack by the Islamic State group on the country’s largest oil refinery, officials said. Seven people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a commercial area in the town of Mahmoudiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, police said. The car was parked in a mainly Shiite section of town near a bakery and went off as people were standing in line to buy bread. Another 13 civilians were wounded in the attack, police said. Hours later, another car bomb exploded in a car park outside Baghdad’s Yarmouk Hospital, killing four civilians and wounding 10, a police official said.

Health, Safety & Environment

China chemical blast prompts army rescue amid safety concern

A plant in southeast China that produces a toxic chemical was rocked by its second explosion in 20 months, prompting a rescue operation by the nation’s army and reviving concerns about the safety of industrial projects. The army deployed 118 soldiers and 25 specialized vehicles after the blast at the paraxylene-making Dragon Aromatics facility in Zhangzhou, People’s Liberation Daily reported on Weibo, a microblogging service. Local residents have been transferred to four sites that are 18 kilometers (11 miles) away from the plant, the Beijing Times newspaper said. Six people were hospitalized, and another 13 were treated for minor injuries, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Oil & Gas

Ugandan Government awards $4billion oil refinery project to RT Global Resources

Uganda has awarded a $4billion oil refinery project to a consortium led by RT Global Resources, which is owned by Russia’s Rostec. The government and RT will negotiate the terms of a joint venture to engineer and finance the $2.5billion refinery plus a product pipeline and associated infrastructure. The country struck hydrocarbon deposits in 2006 but commercial production was delayed and is not expected to start until 2018 at the earliest.

Oil & Gas

Phillips 66 profit from gasoline sales jumps amid price drop

Phillips 66, the largest US refiner by market value, said profit from the sale of gasoline and other fuels tripled in the fourth quarter as prices fell to a five-year low. Net income rose to $1.15 billion, or $2.05 a share, from $826 million, or $1.37, a year earlier, the Houston-based company said in a statement. Excluding one-time items, per-share profit exceeded the $1.41 average of 16 analysts’ estimates compiled.

Health, Safety & Environment

Investigations launched after refinery fires

An investigation has been launched into a fire at a US refinery operated by Canadian oil firm Husky Energy. The Husky Lima Refinery produces gasoline, diesel, jet fuel , residual fuels and petrochemical feedstocks which produces two billion gallons of refined petroleum products every year. A spokesman said the company is investigation the cause and impact on operations.

Oil & Gas

India refiners boom amid oil bust as investors eye risks

Oil’s slump has almost doubled the value of India’s big, state-owned refiners, outpacing the rest of the industry from China to the US. The companies had been forced to make a large proportion of sales at below cost for over a decade. Now, they can profit from fuels after India’s new government saw its opportunity in falling oil prices to deregulate the market without bothering its inflation targets. OPEC’s decision to sit on its hands in the face of an oil glut has only accelerated share gains.

Oil & Gas

Iraq’s biggest oil refinery to reopen

Iraq’s biggest oil refinery at Baiji is set to reopen after government troops forced Islamic State militants further from the facility, according to state-sponsored Iraqiya television. The army entered Baiji after clearing bombs and other equipment from around the plant, the station reported. It didn’t say when production would resume at the refinery that halted in mid-June. “Army troops achieve a victory and lift the siege on Baiji refinery,” Iraqiya reported in the banner headline. “Baiji refinery to reopen soon.”

Oil & Gas

PM rues collapse of refinery deal

The collapse of a deal for the oil refinery in Milford Haven is “very disappointing”, David Cameron has said. But the Prime Minister insisted ties should not be cut with Klesch Group, which is also in the process of buying Tata Steel’s long products division. Mr Cameron made the remarks in answer to Labour MP Tom Greatrex who highlighted concern about the Swiss-based firm’s intentions given its record of “asset stripping”.

Oil & Gas

Third UK refinery shuts

A third UK refinery shutdown in five years will put hundreds of people out of work while making only a small dent in the estimated TWO million barrels a day of European capacity that must go by 2020. Murphy Oil Corp (MUR) will close the Milford Haven refinery in Wales after a sale to Klesch Group collapsed, ending a four-year search for a buyer and resulting in “significant” redundancies, the U.S. oil company said late yesterday.