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No injuries after large fire at Motiva plant

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1:57 PM. CDT August 11, 2016

CONVENT, La. – A major fire rocked the Shell Motiva oil refinery in Convent, Louisiana shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday. According to a Motiva spokesperson, “Motiva’s Convent Refinery experienced a fire involving one of its units.” A large amount of fire and plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles in the area.

The general manager of the Motiva plant said that no one at the plant, either Motiva employees or contract workers – a total of about 1,400 people – were injured as a result of the fire. He also said that there was no explosion.

Motiva said the fire was isolated to the H-oil unit, which is otherwise known as the “heavy crude unit.” The plant was evacuated except for the people fighting the fire. 

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but Meteorologist Dave Nussbaum said there was some lightning in the area around the time of the fire. 

The Motiva spokesperson said that “air quality monitoring” was underway to confirm there is no community impact. Motiva was using “on-site” personnel to handle the fire, but said community resources are on standby if needed.

State Department of Environmental Quality responders were on their way to the plant a little after 11 a.m. Thursday, but no further information was available at the time, said DEQ spokesman Gregory Langley.

Motiva Enterprises, a Houston-based company, refines, markets and distributes fuel in the United States. The company has been owned for years equally by subsidiaries of Saudi Aramco and Shell Oil Company, but earlier this year the company announced that Shell and Armaco would be parting ways.

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