A massive fire broke out at the Petroleum refinery in Louisiana on Friday, forcing the plant, which is one of the largest oil refineries in the US, to shut down
The fire broke out at the Marathon Petroleum’s Garyville refinery Friday morning, WDSU-TV in New Orleans reported.
While the fire was extinguished on Monday, it still remains shut down, according to NOLA.com, the website of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The WSJ reported that the fire also led to a two-mile radius evacuation order.
“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.”
The shutdown led to a surge in future prices for gasoline and diesel fuel.
Diesel futures were 4.8 percent higher Friday at $3.31 a gallon, the highest price at the close of a day since Jan. 26.
Marathon’s Garyville oil refinery, were the fire started, is the third-largest refineries in the US, according to Reuters.
“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.
CNN reported that Marathon officials said the fuel tank was not on fire.
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 have been spots where it is harder to control.”