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Update to the BP Fire
We still don't know the cause, but I did hear a bit more information last night.

Sadly, the two injured employee's passed away. Two brothers, both under 30, who were hired as operators in 2019. Truly heartbreaking news. It may not of had anything to do with the incident, but I mentioned yesterday the inexperience and lack of training for new employee's, it's an issue across the industry.

I also learned that this happened in their crude unit, which means virtually the whole facility will be down until repairs are completed (all processing starts in the crude unit where salts are removed and the crude is heated and separated into it's main constituents for further processing.) The overhead section of the crude tower (that does the separation) is notorious for erosion/corrosion due to contaminants in the crude. I have no idea if this is where the failure was, but it's a likely place to start looking.

If it's mainly piping and instrument damage, best guess is 2-3 months of down time. If they decide to perform an unscheduled full turnaround, it will be on the longer side of that range. If major equipment damage is involved, you can add additional time as well. Worst case is probably 6 months if they run into delays in sourcing material and personnel.

It's also possible they can bring in excess product from other refineries running at capacity and still run parts of the plant (ex. they can rail in gas oil and run their FCC, or high sulfur diesel and run their diesel hydro-cracker). Many plants have limits on their down stream units that are lower than what their crude unit produces, I'm sure BP will try and take advantage of this and get some units back up and running.

Cracks were up again yesterday, lead by gasoline which had a notable jump while diesel was flat. Cushing 5-3-2 was at $33.48, up $0.98. After expense's, refiners are back making $20+/bbl.


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