BP confirms explosion, fire at Whiting refinery as production continues

BP's largest US refinery in Whiting, Indiana, was still operating on Thursday despite an overnight fire, the company said in a statement.

One worker was injured and taken to an area hospital for treatment, but was later released, according to the company.

BP said operations at the 413,500 bpd Whiting refinery "were minimally impacted as a result of the incident and the refinery continues to produce products for customers".

BP said the fire broke out at 9 p.m. Wednesday night local time and was extinguished by 10:55 p.m. local time. City firefighters were placed on stand-by to assist, but the fire was contained and extinguished by BP's in-house unit at the refinery, according to company officials.

BP did not specify which unit was impacted by the blaze, but said it was located in the refinery's north end. According to Genscape, all monitored units were operating normally except for the blending oil unit, which shut at 9:04 p.m. on Wednesday. That unit removes sulfur from distillate and gas oil streams.

The company did not specify the cause of the fire.

BP recently completed a $4-billion revamp of the Whiting refinery to boost its ability to handle heavy Canadian crudes. The refinery is the seventh-largest in the US and the largest outside of the Gulf Coast.

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