Posted BY: | NwoReport

A massive fire erupted at a Louisiana oil refinery, prompting the evacuation of nearby residents due to the towering plumes of black smoke. The incident occurred at the Marathon Petroleum facility in Garyville, raising concerns about refinery safety as this marked the third fire at the plant within a year. No injuries were reported from the blaze.

The fire ignited around 8:30 a.m., was attributed to a naphtha release, and ignited storage tanks within the refinery. Naphtha, a flammable substance derived from crude oil, is commonly used in the chemical industry and products like soaps and varnishes. St. John Parish President Jaclyn Hotard declared an emergency and ordered the evacuation of residents within a two-mile radius, which was lifted after the fire was brought under control, limiting damage to two storage tanks.

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The incident triggered market reactions, causing diesel futures to surge by 5% and gasoline futures to jump around 4%. This surge was prompted by Marathon Petroleum’s decision to shut down the third-largest U.S. oil refinery, jeopardizing distillate stockpiles already below average as the nation headed into the harvest and heating seasons. The refinery, located in Garyville between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, produces a significant portion of the nation’s gasoline and diesel, with a daily crude processing capacity of 596,000 barrels.

Although the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality reported no detectable readings in the adjacent community, the Environmental Protection Agency deployed resources for air monitoring in nearby areas. Additionally, a firefighter was being evaluated for heat stress, and two storage tanks incurred damage as a result of the fire. The incident has raised fresh concerns about the safety and regulation of oil refineries, emphasizing the need for continued vigilance in the industry.