Valero Oil Refinery Explosion in Port Arthur, Texas


Shortly before noon, a large boom followed by huge billowing clouds of black smoke rising into the sky was reported this morning coming from the Valero Oil Refinery located in Port Arthur, Texas. Authorities report that a heavy oil storage tank had exploded on the site. Which came first and the cause of the fire and/or explosion are still under investigation at this time.

This industrial plant explosion resulted in portions of highway 82 in Port Arthur being shut down near the plant location while firefighters fought the blaze. Residents were warned to take shelter-in-place initially. This has since been lifted.

According to their website, Valero is the world’s largest independent petroleum refiner, and a leading marketer, ethanol producer, and corporate citizen. Valero is a Fortune 500 company operating 15 petroleum refineries and 11 ethanol plants across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company is capable of producing 3.1 million barrels of oil a day with between 300,000-350,000 coming from the Oil Refinery located in Port Arthur (absent hurricane shutdowns).

This same plant was recently shut down to Hurricane Harvey, however, it is unclear as to whether flooding or damage from the storm had anything to do with the recent explosion.

Plant explosions can result in serious and even catastrophic injuries to refinery workers, first-responders, and surrounding residents.  So far, none have been reported. If you suffered an injury as a result of a plant or oil refinery explosion call us today or visit our industrial plant accidents page for more information.