Fire hit a Marathon Petroleum refinery in Louisiana on Friday, leading to a shutdown at the plant and a spike in diesel prices.
The fire and a leak of the hydrocarbon mixture naphtha took place at Marathon Petroleum’s Garyville refinery Friday morning, according to WDSU-TV in New Orleans.
It was officially declared extinguished on Monday, according to NOLA.com, the website of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The fire led to an evacuation order in a two-mile radius of the blaze, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the facility began a shutdown process of units closest to the fire this morning,” Marathon said in a statement Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported. “As the fire-suppression efforts continue to progress, facility operations will continue to be evaluated, with safety as our top priority.”
Incredible new aerial video shared with WBRZ shows an up-close look at the fire raging at the Marathon refinery in Garyville, Louisiana.
— WBRZ News (@WBRZ) August 25, 2023
The shutdown led to a rise in futures prices for gasoline and diesel fuel. Diesel futures ended up 4.8 percent higher Friday at $3.31 a gallon, the highest price at the close of a day since Jan. 26.
The fire was declared contained Saturday and the evacuation order was lifted, according to CNN.
Marathon’s Garyville refinery is the third-largest in the United States by capacity, according to Reuters.
Bloomberg noted that the fire was the third at the plant in less than a year.
Oil prices are flat but refining cracks are coming in. Natural gas prices are up after Australian LNG facility strikes appear more likely. A fire at Marathon’s Garyville refinery on Friday caused diesel to rip 16cpg higher. #OOTT
— StoneXEnergyKC (@EnergyKc) August 28, 2023
UPDATE: Source confirms to GasBuddy that MPC has begun a shutdown of some units at its Garyville refinery, closest to the fire. https://t.co/WOjnGCsKZu
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) August 25, 2023
“This refinery is one of the largest in the US and if accurate, could cause a low, yet far-reaching impact to #gasprices,” Patrick De Haan, an analyst for the website Gas Buddy, wrote on social media.
Marathon officials said the tank of fuel was not on fire, according to CNN.
— Zack Fradella (@ZackFradellaWx) August 25, 2023
The “tank itself is not on fire,” said Justin Lawrence, human resources manager for the plant.
“The product in the tank is a naphtha product, which is partially refined product that we use it as … components to make gasoline,” Lawrence said at a news conference Friday, according to CNN. “The tank itself is not on fire. It is the product surrounding the tank.”
“Initially it was kind of a lazy flame and we were putting foam on it to keep the fumes and the fire down to keep it contained,” Lawrence said. “As it picks up and this morning as the day gets hotter, it did reignite and there’s been spots where it is harder to control.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.