Monday, May 16, 2011

Second Largest US Oil Refinery Threatened by Flood

All eyes are on the Mississippi river and the decision to open nine floodgates in an effort to save the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  While most attention has properly been focused on the innocent people in other towns and farming communities who will be flooded by this action, the flood also poses another significant threat.

The second largest oil refinery in the United States is within the area subject to mandatory evacuation and is threatened by the rising waters from the spillway.  The refinery in Krotz Springs is owned by Alon USA Energy Inc.  It refines 83,000 barrels of oil per day.

So far the company has been granted an exemption from the mandatory evacuation order and is building a temporary levee to protect the refinery and surrounding homes and buildings.  While the refinery has not yet been forced to curtail operations, the prices of oil and gasoline rose in trading early on Monday on fears that flooding could affect refinery operations in Krotz Springs and elsewhere.

John Howley
Woodbridge, New Jersey

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