A fire at Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Baytown, Texas, refinery injured four people and sent gasoline prices surging.
The blaze occurred at 1 a.m. local time at the plant, which processes more half a million barrels of oil a day. Gasoline futures in New York jumped as much as 4 cents per gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Around 1 a.m. on 12/23/2021, a fire occurred at our facility. At this time, emergency vehicles and smoke may be noticeable to the community. We are coordinating with local officials, and working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
The blaze is under control and four injured personnel are in stable condition after being transferred to a local hospital, said Casey Cook, a public information officer at the Baytown Fire Department. — ExxonMobil Baytown Area (@ExxonMobilBTA) December 23, 2021
The fire comes as U.S. gasoline stockpiles are at a their lowest for this time of year since 2015 as the Biden Administration has been working to lower pump prices to fight surging inflation. It’s the second such fire in last two years. In 2019 a blaze on the plastic-producing side of the industrial complex injured about 37 people.
Air quality monitoring at the site and fence line has shown no adverse impact so far, Exxon spokeswoman Julia King said in an emailed statement. A leak occurred at Baytown around a sulfur removal plant known as a hydro-desulfurization unit late Tuesday, according to a filing.