Citgo cuts production at Illinois refinery amid extreme cold

Citgo Petroleum cut production at its 167,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Lemont (Other OTC:  LEMT  -  news ) , Illinois, on Wednesday due to issues related to the extreme cold weather, a source familiar with the plant's operations said. The Midwest region has suffered a spate of unexpected refinery outages in recent days that has pushed up cash prices for refined products. A large swath of the United States was gripped by brutal cold and wind chills on Wednesday as record-low temperatures caused by a blast of Arctic air moved across the Midwest and into Eastern states, prompting residents to stay indoors. To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.    
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Taking the Plunge: New AR-AFFF hits industrial fire market

Success is accomplishing a particular objective, goal or aim. Failure is the inability to achieve success. In industrial firefighting, the main factor that distinguishes the two is the selection of tools, industrial fire protection giant Dwight Williams told firefighters in October. “Bottom line, what’s the difference between you and me?” Williams asked. “I’m a little older, a little taller maybe than some of you, but not any smarter or braver. It’s the selection of tools and equipment that makes the difference.” Successful extinguishment is the value of the product saved being greater than the cost of extinguishment, including lost time injuries, Williams told firefighters attending the US Fire Pump Big Water Symposium in Baton Rouge. Just being on hand when the fire finally goes out does not count as a success, he said. With more than 100 major industrial emergency operations to his credit, Williams joined with US Fire Pump and...
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Dave's Notes: Grasping the slippery truth

                                On Jan. 1, 1994, provisions of the M ontreal Protocol, an international agreement intended to protect the ozone layer, banned the domestic production of halons. One of the most effective firefighting agents known to humanity found itself condemned to death with no chance of a reprieve. Well, kinda. Halon continues to play an important role in fire protection today. We nurse stockpiles of it to keep our automatic systems in aircraft and electronic centers fully pressurized. Why? Because halon extinguishes in minimal time, is non-corrosive and relatively non-toxic to humans. Nothing better has been found to replace it. Fast forward to the present. Long range environmental concerns threaten to torpedo the use of fluorinated surfactants in Class B firefighting foam. However, testing to date still finds fluorinated foams vastly superior to non-fluorinated substitutes. Unlike halon,...
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Rio Tinto calls force majeure on some iron ore contracts after Australia fire

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Rio Tinto (RIO -0.4%) says it declared force majeure on some iron ore contracts after a fire at its Cape Lambert export terminal in Australia last week. To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE
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OSHA investigating explosions at ADM plants in Iowa and Illinois

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CLINTON, Iowa -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has confirmed that it has launched two separate investigations into explosions at ADM corn processing plants in Iowa and Illinois over the weekend. To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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El Segundo will receive a new fire engine and emergency equipment worth $1.15 million from Chevron

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The Daily Breeze The El Segundo Fire Department will get a lot of new equipment later this year, thanks to Chevron — and the federal government.   A new fire engine, a utility truck, radios and a new set of firefighting gear, among other items, are coming the department’s way, because of a federal settlement over allegations the Chevron Corporation violated the Clean Air Act. The settlement, finalized last year, required Chevron to make a $250,000 contribution to El Segundo, and the company added another $900,000, which the South Bay city accepted in December. Read The Entire Article Here
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Shell fined $400,000 for 2015 refinery fire that left 6 workers injured

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Yahoo New Singapore Oil company Shell Eastern Petroleum was fined $400,000 on Tuesday (8 January) over a 2015 fire at its Pulau Bukom petroleum refinery that caused six workers to suffer varying degrees of burns. To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .  
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Beaumont units restarted after weekend ExxonMobil fire

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By Beumont Enterprise: Beaumont, TX - ExxonMobil is restarting units that were safely idled after an electrical fire at the Beaumont refinery Saturday evening. To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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Fire in Dubai Marina Torch Tower forces residents out

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Gulf News UAE   Dubai, UAE - Residents of the 87-storey Torch Tower in Dubai Marina were evacuated in the wee hours of Sunday (Jan. 6) following a fire, the third one to hit the in the last three years. To read this article,  CLICK HERE .
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Fluorine foams remain indispensable to industrial firefighting, expert says

  Opponents of firefighting foam containing fluorinated chemicals fail to fairly weigh the overwhelming benefits of these products against evidence that exposure can ultimately lead to adverse health effects in humans, said Mitch Hubert, a leading chemist or “formulator” working in this specialized market. Speaking to an international audience of industrial fire responders in October, Hubert said that fluorinated foams are under attack from an environmental standpoint on a worldwide basis.  “That has really led us to a crossroads in the firefighting foam industry,” he said. “Do we stay with fluorinated foams or go to non-fluorinated foams? There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides of that argument.” Chief among the disadvantages for industrial firefighters is the lack of a substantial track record of success using non-fluorinated foam, Hubert said. “Fluorine free foams have not proven to be as effective in large catastrophic fire,” he said. “This is much of what...
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New AR-AFFF hits industrial fire market

    Success is accomplishing a particular objective, goal or aim. Failure is the inability to achieve success. In industrial firefighting, the main factor that distinguishes the two is the selection of tools, industrial fire protection giant Dwight Williams told firefighters in October. “Bottom line, what’s the difference between you and me?” Williams asked. “I’m a little older, a little taller maybe than some of you, but not any smarter or braver. It’s the selection of tools and equipment that makes the difference.” Successful extinguishment is the value of the product saved being greater than the cost of extinguishment, including lost time injuries, Williams told firefighters attending the US Fire Pump Big Water Symposium in Baton Rouge. Just being on hand when the fire finally goes out does not count as a success, he said. With more than 100 major industrial emergency operations to his credit, Williams joined with US Fire...
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Chemical Safety Board preliminary report links refinery blasts in Wisconsin and California to cracking unit failures

A preliminary report released this week by the Chemical Safety Board blames recent refinery explosions in Superior, WI and Torrance, CA on the inadvertent mixing of hydrocarbons with air inside the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit that found an ignition source, resulting in an explosion.   On April 26, 2018, an explosion (Figure 1) and subsequent fire (Figure 2) occurred at the Superior Refinery Company LLC refinery in Superior, Wisconsin (“Husky Superior Refinery”).1 The incident occurred in the refinery’s Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU). As a result of the explosion, thirty-six people sought medical attention, including eleven refinery and contract workers who suffered OSHA recordable injuries. In addition, a portion of Superior,2 Wisconsin was evacuated. Evidence collected to date suggests similarities with a previous investigation of the February 18, 2015 explosion at a refinery in Torrance, CA.   On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, an explosion occurred in the ExxonMobil Torrance, California refinery’s...
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ExxonMobil still off hook for worker's severe injuries at Joliet plant in 2013, state appeals court rules

  CHICAGO - A state appeals panel has said ExxonMobil can't be held accountable for severe injuries suffered by a worker in a mishap at the company's Joliet refinery, affirming a Cook County judge's findings that the oil and gas company had limited or no knowledge of the contract employer's allegedly unsafe procedures on the job site.   To read the entire article, CLICK HERE
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Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery helps keep Whatcom County safe

  Whatcom County, WA - Over the years, Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery and their employees have done a lot to help Whatcom County.   To read the rest of this article, CLICK HERE .
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Montana man sentenced to jail term for mislabeling and falsifying records related to transporting explosive materials

Montana man sentenced to jail term for mislabeling and falsifying records related to transporting explosive materials
BILLINGS, MT - A Montana trucking company owner received a jail sentence of one year and a day in prison Friday on charges related to a December 2012 explosion at an oil processing plant that injured three employees. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters ordered Donald Wood, Jr. of Baker and his company, Woody's Trucking, to pay $1.3 million in penalties and restitution. The United States obtained a guilty verdict in United States v. Woody’s Trucking, LLC and Donald E. Wood, Jr. after an eight-day jury trial in Billings, Montana.  Both defendants were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, placarding violations and obstruction of justice stemming from an explosion at an oil and gas processing facility in Wibaux, Montana.  The defendants were convicted of 13 of 14 counts.  The one count of acquittal related to one of the placarding violations.  Forfeiture in the case amounts to $644,689.70. On December 29, 2012, a driver for...
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Montana man sentenced to jail term for mislabeling and falsifying records related to transporting explosive materials

BILLINGS, MT - A Montana trucking company owner received a jail sentence of one year and a day in prison Friday on charges related to a December 2012 explosion at an oil processing plant that injured three employees.   U.S. District Judge Susan Watters ordered Donald Wood, Jr. of Baker and his company, Woody's Trucking, to pay $1.3 million in penalties and restitution.   The United States obtained a guilty verdict in United States v. Woody’s Trucking, LLC and Donald E. Wood, Jr. after an eight-day jury trial in Billings, Montana.  Both defendants were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, placarding violations and obstruction of justice stemming from an explosion at an oil and gas processing facility in Wibaux, Montana.  The defendants were convicted of 13 of 14 counts.  The one count of acquittal related to one of the placarding violations.  Forfeiture in the case amounts to $644,689.70.   On December 29, 2012,...
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Dave's Notes: A captain named obvious

Working any kind of firefighting magic at an industrial conflagration requires one basic component – water. And, yet, as incontrovertible as that fact is, it is amazing how often responders have to scrape together major moisture on short notice at facilities where the need for water is as obvious as oranges are called oranges because they are orange. No, I am not referring to the 1989 Pasadena, TX, chemical plant explosion and fire. As much as I enjoy dwelling on that high point in my firefighting career the fire water system at Pasadena would have been up to the challenge had not the initial blast sheared off every available hydrant at ground level. I mean companies who do not even bother installing the hydrants. In 2002 a fire at a petroleum blending and packaging plant in Pearland, TX threatened nearly 1.2 million gallons of motor oil, hydraulic fluids and lubricants. Yet,...
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Valero firefighters in Memphis train on their own fire field

  For most industrial emergency responders, live-fire training is a treat reserved for occasional visits to Brayton Fire Training Field in Texas or the state fire academies back home. But at Valero Energy’s 195,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Memphis, TN training with live fire is the norm, not the exception. Valero Memphis operates its own fire field on site, complete with live-fire training props, said Nick Fazzio, chief of the Valero Memphis emergency response team.  “We’re really lucky that we can do live fire training in our refinery Fazzio said. “We like to take advantage of it.” Once relatively common, refineries with on-site training for emergency responders are becoming harder to find. Most have long since been taken over by the necessities of expanding production with only limited property available. “We bring the Memphis municipal firefighters into our facility to train,” as well as bring them with us to TEEX to give...
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TEEX holds 56th annual industrial fire training

  Seven hundred and thirteen industrial emergency response brigades members and safety officers from some of the world’s largest energy and chemical companies attended the 56th annual Industrial Fire School at Brayton Fire Training Field last July in Texas. The students represent 17 countries and 32 U.S. states. Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) staffers and 267 specially recruited guest instructors conducted the training. Bill Burket of Shell has attended every summer school for the  last 19 years. Now a guest instructor he teaches NFPA 1080 exterior firefighting. “We get a lot of municipal firefighters,” he said. “We try to introduce them to the different approach needed for big fires.” As children, Burket brought his two children to witness the school. Today, his oldest holds a degree in industrial safety. His youngest, Michael, 19, now pursuing the same degree, returned to Brayton this year with his father. David Bartek of Charlotte,...
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Williams Fire & Hazard Control legendary industrial fire event returns to Brayton Fire Field

    One hundred and fifty participants from nine countries representing 63 different companies attended the 25th annual XTREME Fire and Hazard Training in June at Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, TX. Chauncey Naylor, director of training and emergency response for Johnson Control’s Williams Fire & Hazard Control, celebrating a quarter century as one of the premier events on the industrial fire training calendar deserves recognition. “Just about everything that has gone into that 25-year history is something you’re going to witness today,” Naylor told the audience for the opening day general session. “Along with our sales and response team, sixteen guest instructors representing all aspects of industrial emergency response conducted the combination of classroom and live-fire training that makes the XTREME event unique,” said Naylor. “We had a star studded group of guest instructors from industry,” he said. “We need to acknowledge with deep graditude that industry really...
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