Company Investigating Explosion, Fire at West Tulsa Oil Refinery


Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 7:58 am
By: News On 6


Company officials say they are investigating the cause of a fire at one of their two HollyFrontier refineries in West Tulsa early Thursday morning.

Neighbors heard what sounded like a jet engine and explosion which shook their homes at about 2 a.m. at the former Sinclair refinery or what is now called the East refinery.

In a statement, HollyFrontier said no one was injured and the cause of the explosion and fire is under investigation:

The fire was contained by our Emergency Response Team. Tulsa Fire Department was on-call to support our team but have since been released. The cause of the fire, extent of the damage, and the impact on Tulsa East operations are currently being investigated. There is no risk to the surrounding community.

Safety is our number one priority and we practice regular response drills and training for situations like this and as a result, the fire was immediately contained.

"While we are investigating the cause of the fire, safety is our number one goal – safety for our employees, fire team and surrounding neighbors," said Tony Conetta, VP & Refinery Manager. "We appreciate the Tulsa Fire Department's standby support."

The company says the west refinery was not impacted by Thursday's fire.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality says it has a stationary air quality monitor for sulfur dioxide northwest of the Holly Refinery. 

In a news release, the DEQ says there "has been some slight elevations but nothing significant. In addition, the DEQ says there has been no exceedance of the SO2 standard."

The DEQ says Holly told them that fire suppression water used to extinguish the fire was contained on site.

According to the HollyFrontier website, the Tulsa Refineries have a crude oil capacity of 125,000 barrels per day.  The refineries primarily process sweet crude oils; however, they have the capability to process sour crude oils when economics dictate, and serve the markets in the mid-continent region of the United States.

The company says the only personnel inside the East refinery at the time of the fire was company firefighters.