An oil refinery in southeastern Kansas was recently shut down following a fire that left four workers injured. The refinery, owned by Texas-based CVR Refining LP, generates 115,000 barrels of crude a day.
"Reports indicate CVR employees were working on a pump when it caught fire with flames engulfing the area," the Coffeyville Fire Department said in a prepared statement.
In 2010, the refinery had reported another small fire in a gasoline-making fluid catalytic cracking unit, which slowed production to 50,000 barrels a day for some time, but has since sped back up. It was also the site of a spill that covered nearly one-third of southeastern Kansas during a flood in 2007. According to The Wall Street Journal, the most recent fire caused a backslide in oil stock prices, falling 2.7 percent, despite being one of the smaller refineries in the country. Estimates put the refinery out of commission for four weeks as repairs take place.
The company also saw an explosion at its Wynnewood, Oklahoma, refinery that killed two employees.
The news source points out that this incidents highlights just how much even a small refinery outage can disrupt the flow of oil across the nation. The Coffeyville refinery pulls oil from the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub, and the outage has caused a backup at the hub, in turn affecting oil supplies country-wide. The Cushing hub was suppressing U.S. oil prices, which further benefited domestic refineries.
These incidents further demonstrate the necessity for advanced safety training in the oil and gas industry. Accident prevention through behavior based safety program can significantly improve working conditions and help support the economy, which the energy industry has such a broad impact on.