Fire Breaks Out at Romania's Biggest Oil Refinery

Reuters, June 23, 2023

A fire at Romania's Black Sea crude oil refinery Petromidia, the largest in the country, was being brought under control after a blaze broke out on Wednesday, a government emergency response unit said.

An Environment Ministry unit reported the fire occurred after an explosion at the refinery, located in Constanta county, halfway up Romania's coast and 240 km (149 miles) east of the capital Bucharest.

Refinery representatives could not be immediately contacted.

No victims from the blaze were reported, and the emergency response unit said no dangerous substances were detected in the air.

Television footage had earlier shown black smoke rising from the area next to the refinery.

"At the moment the fire is no longer aflame," an emergency response spokesperson said.

"Because there is a risk it will be re-ignited, technical staff (of the company) are emptying out the installation and firefighters are continuing with cooling measures."

The refinery is owned by Rompetrol Rafinare, which is majority controlled by KMG International (KMGI), part of Kazakh state oil firm KazMunayGaz. The Romanian state holds a 45% stake.

The refinery sources crude oil from Kazakhstan.

In 2022, it processed 5.26 million tonnes of raw materials, according to its website, with 63% of the 4.1 million tonnes of fuels it produced - including gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel - directed to the domestic market.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Alan Charlish, Jason Hovet and Sharon Singleton)


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